September 23, 2022
OTTAWA – Operation Lifesaver Canada (OL)—a national not-for-profit dedicated to promoting rail safety—is pleased to announce the winners of its prestigious 2021 Roger Cyr Awards.
The Village of Valemount, B.C. has been selected as the winner of OL’s first Roger Cyr Award for Communities, and Constable Hank Neumiller, a peace officer with the CN Police, will receive the individual Roger Cyr Award. Honourable mentions in the latter category also go to Dean Solowan (CN Police), Chris Kalmakoff (CP Police), and Jean-Guy DuSablon (VIA Rail – retired).
Named after OL’s founder, the Roger Cyr Awards recognize individuals and communities that are doing outstanding work to prevent railway trespassing incidents and reduce deaths and injuries at rail crossings. A single award has traditionally been given out during Rail Safety Week (September 19-25, 2022) to an OL partner or volunteer who has gone above and beyond in promoting railway safety. But this year, for the first time, OL is also giving a second award to a community.
2021 winners used fresh approaches to promote rail safety
Constable Neumiller, winner of the individual Roger Cyr Award, joined the CN Police five years ago after a successful career with the RCMP. Last year, he launched an alternative measures program in Regina to educate youth about rail safety and curb dangerous behaviours around CN’s property; an innovative approach that made him the obvious choice to win the 2021 individual Roger Cyr Award.
“Hank’s passion for rail safety, his commitment to education and community engagement, and his restorative-justice approach to enforcement made him the stand-out choice for this year’s award,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”
Valemount, B.C. was chosen as the winner of OL’s community award for its similarly impressive efforts to prevent track tragedies. The village installed “Look. Listen. Live.” decals at key pedestrian-rail crossings in 2021, and also arranged for OL’s videos to air on local TV stations to educate the community about rail safety.
“OL’s B.C. Committee is so grateful to have Valemount Councillor Pete Pearson involved in its rail safety outreach and initiatives,” says Charlene Dishaw, OL’s Western Regional and Indigenous Outreach Coordinator. “Valemount has shown tremendous leadership in promoting rail safety to its residents, and I’m sure their work will inspire other municipalities to partner with Operation Lifesaver to #STOPTrackTragedies.”
Operation Lifesaver Canada wishes to extend its congratulations and thanks to both Constable Neumiller and the Village of Valemount, B.C. for their outstanding efforts in promoting rail safety in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
For more information:
Operation Lifesaver Canada
About the Roger Cyr Award
Named after the founder of Operation Lifesaver Canada, the Roger Cyr Award for Public Rail Safety was first awarded in 1981 and is a joint initiative of OL, the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada. The award is open to all active Operation Lifesaver partners and volunteers who are making efforts to improve rail safety and encouraging others to follow suit. A separate award is also available to Canadian municipalities and communities that have made an outstanding contribution to rail safety through education, training, or community-based programs aimed at reducing rail crossing and trespassing incidents.
About Operation Lifesaver Canada
Operation Lifesaver Canada is a national public rail-safety program sponsored by Transport Canada, the Railway Association of Canada and its members, including CN, CP, VIA Rail, Metrolinx, exo, West Coast Express and Genesee & Wyoming, among others. Through its national network of Rail Safety Ambassadors, partnerships with safety councils, police, the trucking industry and community groups, and innovative tools such as its virtual-reality Look. Listen. Live. campaign, Operation Lifesaver Canada works to save lives by educating Canadians about the hazards of rail crossings and trespassing on railway property. Canadians can keep up-to-date on the latest rail safety news by visiting operationlifesaver.ca.