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    SF Pride’s Safety Team Really Does Save Lives

    safetyEach year during the San Francisco Pride Parade, we’ve seen potentially dangerous situations: the person who walks into heavy traffic as the parade is dispersing, the inebriated individual who totters in front of a moving parade float, or the parade goer who dangles perilously off of some ledge to get a closer look. Helping to keep them all safe is SF Pride’s fearless Safety Team, who work countless hours each year—long before Pride Sunday—to make sure the event is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

    Two of our favorites are Safety Joan and Safety Freddy. Members of our San Francisco Bay Times Pride Contingent Team have taken their training classes for years now, and we still get a kick out of how Joan and Freddy use dry wit to convey the necessary information. When talking about the dangers of drug usage at the parade, for example, Safety Joan pulls a brownie out of her fanny pack, and we all imagine that it is laced with Alice B. Toklas-grade weed. Other props are in the pack too, such as a Frisbee, a whistle and a keychain with a beer logo on it. The presentation is like a show that we actually look forward to each year.

    safety3Then there is Safety Freddy, who marches around on stage wearing his trademark shorts and cut-off t-shirt. It’s hard not to notice that this guy works out! He also humorously brings in math subjects, which isn’t surprising, since by day he is Mr. Fred Teti, a beloved Instructor of Mathematics at City College.

    safety2We also met Safety Too Tall, who is indeed a towering fellow, along with his partner Woody. Both are incredibly kind and considerate, and have helped out at SF Pride for decades.

    So where would we be without these dedicated SF Pride workers and volunteers? Probably squashed flat somewhere on Market Street, a victim of a confused driver at the Parade. (In all honesty, Safety Joan saved us from that fate last year.) Thank you to them, and to the many other members of the SF Pride team, who continue to help keep us safe on Pride Sunday. They often work without much public praise, so if you see a member of the Safety Team, please take time to thank them for what they do—which is a lot!