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Monday, October 20, 2014
Saskatchewan

RIDE OF YOUR LIFE PROGRAM KICK-OFF

Saskatoon Sutherland MLA Mark Koenker, on behalf of Deputy Premier and

Crown Investments Corporation Minister Dwain Lingenfelter, along with

MD Ambulance, SGI and Saskatoon Transit Services, today launched the

8th annual Ride of Your Life program. The program will ensure

Saskatoon and area high school students have a safe ride home from

graduation night festivities.



"Every year, needless injuries and deaths occur on grad nights,

usually involving drinking and driving," Koenker said. "However, lack

of sleep from late parties and overcrowding of students in vehicles

has also contributed to such accidents. The Ride of Your Life program

works to eliminate those accidents by providing vans, buses and

volunteer drivers to safely transport students to and from their grad

night activities."



Since 1992, M.D. Ambulance, together with SGI, Saskatoon Transit

Services and as many as 20 other corporate sponsors, has offered the

Ride of Your Life program. All graduating classes that are

participating in a chemical free after-grad are eligible to sign up.

This year, all 13 Saskatoon high schools and two rural high schools,

in Warmen and Martensville, are taking part.



"In 1998, 2,350 graduating students participated in the program and

arrived home safely after their grad nights," said Dave Dutchak,

Director of EMS for MD Ambulance. "MD Ambulance has helped provide a

memorable and tragedy free night for thousands of graduating students.



Our goal is to ensure 1999 is equally safe."



"The City of Saskatoon and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union

(ATU) local 615 have been involved in the Ride of Your Life program

from the beginning," said Dave Andreen, with Saskatoon Transit

Services. "The city donates the buses and fuel and the operators

donate their time. On average, 35 40 buses and drivers are

available to help transport students to and from their grad night

festivities every year."



The Ride of Your Life program also relies on vehicle dealerships in

Saskatoon to donate vans to help transport students.



SGI is a long-term co-sponsor, providing third-party liability

insurance to cover the volunteer drivers, and providing funding that

assists in buying shirts for all the volunteers.



"The effects of an accident on grad night are devastating to entire

communities," Koenker said. "By providing transportation on

graduation night, the goal of The Ride of Your Life program is to

ensure graduation festivities are memorable and safe."



The program runs from mid-May to the end of June.



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For more information, contact:



Julianne Jack

SGI Communications

Regina

Phone: (306)775-6907



Darren Boser

MD Ambulance

Phone: (306)797-3004

(306)221-2388 (cell)



Dave Andreen

Saskatoon Transit Services

Phone: (306)975-3139 (wk)

(306)382-2490 (hm)
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