GREAT FALLS – Every year, hundreds of people who work as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and tow truck operators are injured, dismembered, paralyzed, or killed.
An estimated 60% of those are tow truck operators, which is now considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America.
The Spirit Ride, which arrived in Great Falls on Wednesday, wants to put an end to this, while also honoring those killed in roadside accidents.
“Spirit” began its journey on June 1st, 2017, and was created by American Towman Spirit, Inc. which is a non-profit organization. The Spirit Ride is a year-long coast-to-coast campaign to raise awareness of “Slow Down, Move Over” laws.
The laws are in effect in all 50 states and require passing vehicles to move a lane over or slow down when approaching an incident where tow operators, police, firefighters, and EMS people are working.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 70% of drivers are not aware of the law, while others simply ignore it.
During The Spirit Ride, there is a procession of tow trucks and emergency vehicles where they relay the ceremonial casket, known as “Spirit,” which was painted by Cecil Burrowes with numerous scenarios of first responders at the scene of highways incidents.
“Spirit” symbolizes those who have lost their lives in roadside accidents.
When the ride concludes at the end of the year, “Spirit” will have visited 300 cities across America with an estimated 10,000 tow trucks, fire trucks, EMS, and police vehicles as escorts.Click here to learn more at the website.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News