What is the GRAND TOUR?
When the club was young, the easiest way to tell others about it was by word of mouth. This meant that the members had to get out to visit other firefighters in their areas, and one of the best ways to do that was to visit Fire Stations. Someone came up with the idea of rewarding members who made a certain number of visits with a certificate and a pin. Proof of these visits was needed and so the idea of Grand Tour was born. After visiting Fire Station beginning with the letters G R A N D T O U R members were given a pin. Over the years, other rides were added since some members were not able to find new stations to visit beginning with these letters. RED KNIGHT and FIRE HOUSE rides were added and for members from remote areas, a ride to visit twelve stations beginning with any letter of the alphabet.
At the 2009 Spring Executive Board Meeting in Syracuse, NY, it was decided to make some changes to the program. After numerous inquiries as to why we did not have a separate pin for each of the four rides available it was decided that we would offer a three inch patch (of the same design as the pin) with a rocker for each of the rides. A database will be kept to track who has completed the rides and when a member has completed all four he/she will also be awarded a pin. When you have completed your visits simply fill out the application form and return it with your pictures to the Grand Tour Chairperson and he/she will send you your certificate and patch and rocker. When a member has earned all four rockers, he/she will be issued a pin as well. If you are riding as a group, you need only send one application form with the names of the participants attached. Photo albums will be kept displaying pictures of everyone who has completed the Grand Tour and will be available at all future conventions. You may also send your application and photos electronically and we will show your pictures as a slide show at future conventions.
Have you participated in the Grand Tour?
Plan to run the Grand Tour this year, either by yourself, with a few Red Knight friends, or with your Red Knights Chapter, and help spread the word to other firefighters about what a great organization the RKMC is.
To help plan your ride, check the gallery below, for stations visited by fellow Ontario 9 members.