National EMS Memorial Bike Ride set
BENNINGTON -- The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, also known as "The Muddy Angels," will be beginning their trek to Washington, D.C., in Bennington on Saturday, May 15.
The "Muddy Angels" are a family of caring individuals who have an interest in EMS and ride bicycles. They honor Emergency Medical Services personnel who serve every day, those who have become sick, injured or died while performing their duties, and any fallen EMS brethren. They also want to see recognition of EMS as a profession, a reduction in debilitating injuries and line of duty deaths in EMS, along with a national EMS accountability system.
The group is not the National EMS Memorial Service, but supports their efforts. "We hope to help as many people as we can in the 2010 National EMS Memorial Bike Ride by embarking on a full-scale fund raiser to expand our mission that will assist families of EMS personnel who have become severely ill, injured or have died due to their EMS involvement," states Jennifer Frenette, president of the Muddy Angels Inc.
There are three starting points this year, Bennington, Portland Maine, and Paintsville, Ky., and all will converge in Washington. There are 18 riders thus far who will start in Bennington and a total of 88 riders throughout.
The Bennington Rescue Squad will be hosting the riders as they arrive and will be the starting point of their journey. "We have chosen Bennington to honor our fallen brother Dale R. Long, who was killed in an ambulance collision last June," says Frenette, "We ride basically for two reasons, the first for all those who have died, are ill, or injured, the second is for our ‘Fallen Angels,’ which is a fund where we have raised over $23,000 last year and where this money will be given in scholarships for those children who have lost a mom or dad. The average age for an EMS provider who has been injured or died is 38, and that leaves a lot of young folks without their parent or parents. This year we will be recognizing 26 individuals that have died within the past year and 6 other individuals for either injuries or disabilities."
"The riders who will be coming to Bennington come from New York, Massachusetts, West Virginia and even Colorado," says Brenda Hathaway, public information officer of the Bennington Rescue Squad. "Bennington Rescue is humbled at the fact they have chosen Bennington as one of their starting points. The ride from here is a difficult one, where there route will take them over Route 9 East to Woodford Mountain into Wilmington, over Hogback Mountain into Brattleboro, then into Keene New Hampshire and onward to Nashua New Hampshire in just the first day, where they will meet up with the group of riders who started in Portland Maine"
Bill Hathaway, the executive director of Bennington Rescue said "It is our hope that we can have the town rally around these folks for support, lining the touring route, cheering them on. It’s our turn to support those you have supported us for so long."
More information about the ride can be found on the Website, www.muddyangels.org, or by calling 442-5817 and asking for Bill or Brenda.
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