Former responder makes cross-country trek to support 'move over' laws

Aodhan O’Ferrell is cycling “from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean” to raise awareness about "move over" laws after being hit on the highway five years ago

By FireRescue1 Staff

BATON ROUGE, La. — A former responder who was injured after being hit on the highway while on duty is now raising awareness about "move over" laws by cycling across the country.

WAFB reported that former firefighter-paramedic Aodhan O’Ferrell is “cycling from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean” in an effort to put a face to the cause and encourage drivers to move over for emergency vehicles, as well as visit local fire stations and EMS agencies along the way.

“Five and a half years ago, I was a firefighter-paramedic in California and I was hit while on the highway,” O’Ferrell said.

O’Ferrell suffered a broken neck as well as nerve and brain damage as a result of the incident and had to have spinal surgery two years ago.

“Riding across country has always been a personal dream of mine and a lot of my friends were like, 'You need to make it mean something,' so this is what I’m doing,” he said. “I’d like it to be a testament to why these laws are being put in place and how it has changed the lives of others.”

Aodhan O'Ferrell bikes cross-country for move over law awareness

NEW TONIGHT: Aodhan O’Ferrell a former paramedic, was injured while working a scene after being hit by a car. Aodan biked through our area this week as part of his cross-country journey to raise awareness about move over laws. Scottie Hunter WAFB reports. >>

Posted by WAFB Channel 9 on Friday, March 23, 2018


The former responder said he is also racing against time as the effects of his spinal surgery are beginning to wear off and he could soon become paralyzed.

“I started feeling loss of sensation again a few months ago and yes, I am definitely racing against the clock,” O’Ferrell said.

O’Ferrell started in Savannah, Georgia and has been on the road for 30 days. His latest stop was Baton Rouge.

East Baton Rouge EMS unit commander Nick McDonner said O’Ferrell’s campaign is a great way to spread awareness.

“It’s nice to see that somebody’s trying to bring some awareness to it,” he said. “This is probably one of the most dangerous situations we put ourselves in on a routine basis. It’s a great help to us if people do move over and allow us room and make sure you can come to a stop if someone happens to move out in the roadway in front of you.”

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