The Spirit Ride is a travelling memorial to all Fallen Emergency Responders The RRAS unveiled it this summer and it made 2,649 km around Saskatchewan on the decks of our members tow trucks. The Spirit Ride originated down in the United States and it has been travelling around there for years now. With their blessing we decided to create our own and help to teach the public about the importance of taking the SLOW TO 60 and SLOW DOWN, MOVE OVER campaign seriously. We lost one of our own on March 7, 2017, Courtney Schaefer was working on the side of the hiway in a snow storm and was hit by a passing semi whom did not Slow Down and Move Over. There is a memorial plaque on the Spirit Ride in Courtney`s honour.
Article taken from the Clark`s Crossing Gazette:
“Klotz said this year the RRAS will be unveiling a new memorial to fallen operators and emergency responders. Modelled on an initiative that tours across the United States to draw attention to that country’s ‘Move Over’ laws, the ‘Spirit Ride’ memorial was built in Saskatchewan and is transported on the rear deck of a tow truck.
“We obtained permission from the folks in the States who originated the ‘Spirit Ride’ to use the name,” said Klotz. “We borrowed the idea from them. They were more than happy to see the concept cross the border. Safety is a huge concern in the US for emergency responders as well.”
Brad Stratychuk, RRAS President and owner of Brad’s Towing in Saskatoon, said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a tow truck driver was killed every six days, on average, in North America.
Over the past year, that average has fallen to one every eight or nine days, but only because there’s been less traffic. The risks to tow truck operators and emergency responders is still very real, said Stratychuk.
“I’ve been hit twice in the 38 years I’ve been in this business,” he said. “When you’re working on the side of the road, you have to be very aware of what’s going on around you, and be prepared.”
The Spirit Ride will continue to be used to help and teach the public the rules. Watch for it hitting the road next summer and then featured at our Tow Show in Saskatoon September 9 – 11, 2022.