An annual event commemorating paramedics lost in the line of duty will take on a new form this year.
The County of Simcoe Paramedics are getting geared up for the National Paramedics Ride this Saturday. The effort is to raise funds to construct a monument in Ottawa commemorating paramedics who have died on the job. In years previous, the ride saw bike riders from across Canada descend on Toronto, followed by a four-day ride to Ottawa. There, a bell ceremony would traditionally be held, where the bell is rung for each of the 51 fallen paramedics whose names are etched on it.
However, COVID-19 has put a different spin on this year’s event. County of Simcoe Paramedics will gather this Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus for a special ceremony. It will include remarks from local dignitaries and the bell ceremony. Riders will then hit the road for a 48 kilometre ride to the Orillia Paramedics Station. Riders will enjoy some lunch while there before returning to the campus in Barrie. It is expected the ride will end around 4 p.m. after riders travelled nearly 100km in a day.
To support the event and the development of a National Paramedics Monument, donations can be made online.