After an 18-month break due to COVID-19, Wilton SafeRides will be back in service beginning Friday, Sept. 24. A record 135 Wilton High School juniors and seniors attended the annual orientation for SafeRides on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Trackside Teen Center.
Trackside Director Cindy Moser welcomed everyone and expressed her pride in hosting the program. “Wilton SafeRides has become the model program in Fairfield County that other towns try to copy.”
John Miscioscia and Linda Soltis from the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps discussed in detail the warning signs of alcohol poisoning and the procedures for handling passengers exhibiting these signs.
“I applaud everyone in attendance here today. You are giving up your free time on weekends to make your fellow classmates safe. That is to be commended,” Miscioscia added.
Lt. David Hartman of the Wilton Police Department pledged the support of the WPD for the program. “You make our job easier by making our town safer.” A 1994 graduate of WHS, Hartman added, “I wish we had SafeRides back when I was in school.”
This year’s program has eight Student Board members:
Halley Costello (Co-Head)
Hayley Sayewitz (Co-Head)
SafeRides operates every Friday and Saturday night (weather permitting) during the school year between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. out of Trackside. Any WHS student needing a ride home for any reason may call 203-834-CARE and a SafeRides volunteer will be dispatched to safely drive the passenger home. All calls, names and destinations are kept completely confidential, with no questions asked.
“The program has become crazy popular,” said Sayewitz. “On the Saturday of Homecoming in 2019, SafeRides provided safe rides home to over 125 WHS students.”
Costello explained why. “It’s a program for students, run by students and it’s completely free. Who wouldn’t like that?”
Karen Brophy and Mike Safko are the parent coordinators overseeing this year’s program, and they emphasized the need for more parent volunteers.
“If there is one need of Wilton SafeRides this year, it is Parent Volunteers,” Brophy said. “The program requires one parent volunteer orientation meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at Trackside. If any parent would like to volunteer or just wants to learn more about SafeRides, please join us.”
At the meeting’s conclusion Costello and Sayewitz thanked the Wilton Kiwanis Club, which sponsors SafeRides, and Trackside for providing a very welcoming and comfortable environment for the Student Volunteers. “Without these two institutions, we couldn’t do it,” they said.