The National EMS Memorial Bicycle Ride (NEMSMBR) rolled intoPrince George's County this morning on-board support vehicles and not on bicycles due to some overnight thefts. The NEMSMBR is a non-profit organization that started as a grassroots effort inBoston in 2002 as a "ride to remember" to the Annual National EMS Memorial Service inRoanoke,Va.
This year the event includes riders from 24 states andIreland. From May 17 Ï May 23, 2008, 110 participants will bike fromNew York City orLexington,Ky. toRoanoke,Va. the location of the National EMS Memorial. This morning's journey started in Anne Arundel County, Md. However, rain was not the only thing to put a damper on their parade. Overnight, vandalism to support vehicles and thefts of navigational GPS equipment from two vehicles occurred in the parking lot of their hotel inAnnapolis.
After a period of re-focusing on their purpose, the participants made a decision to travel fromAnnapolis toCapitolHeights via support vehicles. Once at the Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station in Prince George's County, riders were treated to a variety of nourishment and motivational speeches by Prince George's County Fire Chief Lawrence H. Sedgwick, Jr; NEMSMBR Coordinator David Page; Fire/EMS Department Chaplain Alvin Graham and the mother of fallen hero; Nadar A. Hammett. Riders mounted their bikes and departed Fire/EMS Station #805 with a renewed and clear-cut purpose of honoring EMS workers that have made the ultimate sacrifice and to push for legislation forEMS workers safety and line of duty death benefits. The next stop was a press conference on Capital Hill.
At the request of 1st. Battalion Firefighter/Medics, Royal Auto Glass, arrived at the Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station and repaired the broken windows that had occurred the night before. Donations to cover the cost of repair of the vehicles and stolen GPS equipment are being accepted by logging on to the group's website atwww.muddyangels.org or by mailing your donation to:
NEMSMBR and Advocates for EMS participated in an event inUpperSenatePark from honoring emergency medical services providers who have become injured or who have died in the line of duty. Advocates for EMS are a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to educate elected and appointed officials as well as the public at-large on important issues affecting theEMS community.
From May 17 Ï May 23, 2008, 110 participants will bike fromNew York City orLexington,Ky. toRoanoke,Va. the location of the National EMS Memorial. The riders' stop in Washington on the 20th is primarily focused on raising public awareness about those who have lost their life or suffered a debilitating injury in the line of duty, as well as to voice their support for H.R. 3822, which broadens the Public Safety Officer Benefit Program death benefits to nongovernmental and volunteer firefighters, ground and air ambulance crew members, and first responders.
Prince George's County Council Chairman Samuel H. Dean, in a written statement, stated, "The Prince George's County Council sincerely commends the efforts to formally demonstrate appreciation for the contribution made by Firefighter/Medic Hammett, and the many other Emergency Medical Services members who have given their lives in the line of duty."
"This was a tremendous tribute to Nadar Hammett and an honor to have his family with us today", stated Fire Chief Sedgwick. "After all, we are all family."
Support for thePrince George's leg of the journey of the NEMSBR was provided by:
CapitolHeights Volunteer Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary
IAFF Local 1619 Ï International Association of Firefighters/Paramedics
Six FlagsAmerica ÏLargo
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
Prince George's County Firefighters/Medics
Prince George's County Police Department
Link to PGFD Web Release: