More than 200 cyclists departed from Woodbine Park on the morning of Friday, Sept. 13 to start the seventh annual Ontario Paramedic Ride.
The four-day ride to Ottawa is held in support of the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Association which recognizes Canadian civilian and military paramedics who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The destination of Ottawa is in support of having a national monument built in Canada’s capital to recognize those sacrifices.
A total of 215 riders departed from Woodbine Park just after 11 a.m. this morning on the first leg of the journey. They were escorted by numerous ambulances from paramedic services across the country.
Prior to departure, a memorial bell was rung 46 times to recognize those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
One of the main goals of the ride is to bring attention to the toll that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is taking on paramedics, and the number of suicides among those who are suffering from it.
“Mental health resources for active military members and their families, and for paramedics and EMTs is crucial,” said Sgt. Alex Rogers, a Canadian Armed Forces Medical Technician prior to the ride beginning from Woodbine Park.
The ride will conclude on Monday, Sept. 16 in Ottawa. Today’s first leg will see the riders cycle approximately 130 kilometres from Woodbine Park to Port Hope.
For more info on the ride, please visit www.paramedicride.ca