AUGUSTA — Members of Maine’s emergency medical service community will be honored Saturday morning at an event combining an annual awards ceremony, the kick-off of a memorial bicycle ride, and the groundbreaking for an EMS memorial near the State House.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the memorial’s future site, which is between the fire and police monuments, near the intersection of State and Union streets.

The first phase of the EMS Memorial and Education Site will be built over the summer.

The memorial has been nearly 10 years in the making and will be funded by the almost $100,000 raised in private donations, according to Nancy McGinnis, event organizer and member of the project committee.

“There’s been nothing paying tribute to EMS, which is certainly another important aspect of public safety,” McGinnis said.

She said the memorial will include a 4-foot-by-6-foot illuminated glass panel with the star of life — the EMS symbol.

The memorial also will have an educational component, with an audio tour visitors can take by calling numbers listed on the monument.

McGinnis said the recordings will include the voices of current EMS professionals and friends and family members of those who died while on duty.

She said the event will feature a flyover by a LifeFlight helicopter, if the weather cooperates and there are no emergency calls.

Besides the plans for groundbreaking and unveiling the memorial, Maine EMS will present its annual statewide awards during the event.

Cyclists in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride also will begin their trek to Pennsylvania.

The annual ride is intended to raise awareness about the profession and honors those who died or have been injured in the line of duty.

McGinnis said that although the event celebrates EMS professionals, the public is invited.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663
pkoenig@mainetoday.com