Ernie Foster awarded 2014 Roger Cyr Award for outstanding contribution to rail safety

OTTAWA, June 23, 2015Operation Lifesaver (OL), Canada’s national rail safety program, today announced Ernie Foster of The Pas is the recipient of the Roger Cyr award for his railway safety efforts that have helped diminish crossing and trespassing incidents in Manitoba. This year’s RSW theme was See Tracks? Think! and Mr. Foster has promoted the public’s awareness of rail safety through his work as an active member of Operation Lifesaver since 2011. “Ernie’s commitment to the program and its mission is what makes him a natural choice for recipient of the Roger Cyr award,” said Mike Regimbal, national director of Operation Lifesaver. “Ernie is dedicated to prevention and treats each Operation Lifesaver event as an opportunity to promote the OL message and educate people about the dangers surrounding railways.” As a Hudson Bay Railway locomotive engineer, Ernie foster holds a special place within the Manitoba Operation Lifesaver committee. Each year, Foster travels to rural and remote communities in Manitoba to ensure that the communities and their thousands of children get the OL message. His natural ability to connect with people has earned him the working partnership of the RCMP ensuring that the enforcement presence is always apparent in his OL presentations. “It is not uncommon for me to meet young people from Northern Manitoba here in Brandon,” says Greg Bartlett, Chair of the Operation Lifesaver Manitoba Committee. “When I engage with them about rail safety, they tell me stories about Ernie in his pin stripe overalls giving them a life lesson about rail safety.” Ernie is not just a presenter, but an ambassador of rail safety not only here in Manitoba, but across Canada. About the Roger Cyr award Named after the founder of Operation Lifesaver in Canada, the Roger Cyr Award for Public-Rail Safety began in 1981 and 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 undertook efforts to improve railway safety and encouraged others to follow suit throughout 2014. 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. Operation Lifesaver spreads its motto of “Look, Listen and Live” through its many year-long initiatives that complement PRSW, including interactive kids websites, online new and professional driver education modules, and social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook and now Instagram. Additionally, OL’s network of volunteers conducts more than 500 rail safety presentations and activities across Canada each year. For more information, please contact: Mike Regimbal National Director Operation Lifesaver 613-564-8100