OTTAWA, May 5 /CNW/ - Operation Lifesaver, the nation's dedicated
not-for-profit organization focused on preventing accidents associated
with train collisions with motor vehicles and trespassing on rail
property, has announced its 2011 Roger Cyr Award winner, Miguel
Lewerenz, as part of Public-Rail Safety Week, May 2 through May 8. The
national award recognizes efforts to raise public awareness and promote
public-rail and road safety.
A veteran train engineer and a certified Operation Lifesaver presenter
since 2009, Miguel Lewerenz was nominated for the award by Normand
Adams, Training, Security and Settlement coordinator at Quebec-Gatineau
Railway. Miguel was named this year's Roger Cyr Award in recognition of
his extensive community outreach activities, presentations, and
meetings with public officials in the Trois-Rivières, Québec, region.
Lewerenz was selected from among the dedicated advocates of rail safety
who applied for this year's Roger Cyr Award.
"Since becoming a certified OL presenter, Miguel has reached out to
safety and educational institutions, as well as the public in general,
to rally greater awareness and involvement in making rail safety a
priority in the Quebec region," Adams said.
On his personal time Lewerenz has met with principals of the
Trois-Rivières school board, clubs such as the model railroading club,
and a cross-section of public safety officials. Lewerenz has delivered
more than 30 presentations to students at local schools, represented
Operation Lifesaver in the Québec ATV tradeshow, and promoted rail
safety during public safety events.
"He leads by example," Adams said. "He works diligently at a grassroots
level, with passion and determination, to reach out and spread the word
of the importance of rail safety. It is through these efforts, among
the youth and the general public, that help prevent dangerous behaviors
that can lead to terrible tragedies."
Lewerenz will be honoured during the two-day Operation Lifesaver
Public-Rail Safety National Conference (link?) September 13th and 14th in Gatineau, Quebec. The conference brings together rail and community
stakeholders including school boards, municipalities, law enforcement,
first responders, engineering groups and driver education groups for
training and education in rail safety. The conference also includes a
tradeshow exhibiting new safety products, services and technologies.
Named after the founder of Operation Lifesaver in Canada, the Roger Cyr
Award for Public-Rail Safety is a joint initiative of Operation
Lifesaver, the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada. The
award is open to all active Operation Lifesaver partners and volunteers
who have undertaken efforts to improve railway safety and encouraged
others in this pursuit during the 2010 calendar year.
Award submissions were evaluated by a panel of Members of the Operation
Lifesaver Program Review Committee, comprised of representatives from
Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada and its members.
"Operation Lifesaver believes that safety knowledge saves lives," said
Dan Di Tota, National Director, Operation Lifesaver. "It is the
dedicated volunteers such as Miguel, who reach out to the community and
promote rail safety, that have contributed in large part to the
reduction in rail fatalities and injuries in Canada. It is with our
heartfelt pleasure that we award Miguel with the Roger Cyr Award in
recognition of his outstanding efforts in promoting rail safety."
Thanks to the efforts of Operation Lifesaver presenters, associates and
volunteers, as well as the enforcement and engineering efforts of
Canada's railways, the number of crossing collisions (where a train and
motor vehicle collide) in Canada has fallen dramatically from over 800
in 1980 to approximately 200 in 2010.
It is through continued, collective efforts by involved safety-advocates
such as Miguel Lewerenz, that Operation Lifesaver is optimistic that
rail fatalities and injuries can be further reduced in the years to
come. One fatality or serious injury, is one too many, and Operation
Lifesaver is honoured by the work of Miguel and others in supporting
the vision of a Canada free from rail accidents.
About the Quebec-Gatineau Railway
The Quebec Gatineau Railway provides rail transportation services to the major industrial regions
and ports in the Province of Québec. We are situated on the north shore
of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, an area comprising Québec
City, Trois-Rivières, Shawinigan, Joliette, Montréal, St-Jérôme,
Lachute, Gatineau and Hull.
About Operation Lifesaver
Established in Canada in 1981, Operation Lifesaver is a national
public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the
Railway Association of Canada. Through partnerships with provincial
safety councils, police, railways, the trucking industry and community
groups, Operation Lifesaver is dedicated to saving lives by educating
Canadians about the hazards surrounding highway/railway crossings and
trespassing on railway property. www.operationlifesaver.ca
SOURCE Operation Lifesaver
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