Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Services paramedics will take a 100-kilometre bike ride across Essex County on Saturday to honour a fallen colleague and raise money for a national memorial.
“Although September 11 is a day that no first responder shall forget, this year we are commemorating it by riding in honour of Russ Ransome,” said Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter, one of the ride organizers.
Ransome was killed in a plane crash while transporting a patient off Pelee Island in June 1989. His story is among those highlighted on the website of the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Foundation, which is raising money for a national memorial honouring all paramedics who have died in the line of duty.
Saturday’s ride is one of 32 Paramedic Ride events being held across the country this year to raise funds and awareness.
It will start at the Festival Plaza on Windsor’s waterfront at 8:30 a.m. The 16 riders will make their way to St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Amherstburg, where they will pay tribute to Ransome at his gravesite.
From there, they will ride on to Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, where there will be a small ceremony during which flowers for each of the fallen paramedics will be placed in the surf followed by a moment of silence. There will be a small dinner afterwards for riders and supporters in the Northwest Beach pavilion.
Riders will be wearing distinctive navy-blue jerseys with lime green sleeves that feature the Paramedic Ride logo and names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Members of the public are encouraged to wave, cheer and take photos of the riders when they see them on the roads Saturday. They can post the photos on social media with the hashtag #ParamedicRide.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the public are asked not to join the group ride and event at Point Pelee. Instead, they can support the ride on social media and by going to the Paramedic Ride donation page.
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Manager, Communications and Organizational Development