Letters: Triathlon risky business

Shirley resident unhappy with road closure during Sooke triathlon

The inconvenient truth about holding the triathlon in Shirley is that it is dangerous to do so.

Unlike Sooke or Otter Point our local fire department has to respond to any emergency call out by using the same highway where the event is held. We have no other routes available to us. This is unsafe for the race participants, local residents, anyone else on the road and emergency personnel. This is the primary reason why Shirley is an inappropriate venue for this event.

I was one of the Shirley firefighters who responded to the emergency call out in the middle of the triathlon in 2011. Mr. Mottershead, the only clenched fists I had were on the steering wheel of the fire engine I was driving down 12 kms of narrow winding highway which was dangerously crowded with bike racers on both sides of the road.

Holding the triathlon in Shirley and using the only available emergency access road means that in the event of an emergency call out:

1. The response time for emergency crews to get to a local medical emergency or structure fire will be longer when every second of delay counts in trying to prevent a tragedy;

2. It creates more difficult conditions for emergency personnel with increased risk of harm to race participants, other drivers using the road; fire department vehicles and the risk of greater liability for the local fire department;

3. The alternating lane openings putting traffic on the road while the race is still taking place increases all of these risks even more.

While some might want to pursue the hypothetical economic benefits of tourism, it should not be at the cost of greater risk to the residents of Shirley.

The triathlon was highly successful in its first four years without being located in Shirley.

Luckily there were no emergencies this year; but in future years, the known risks of holding this event in Shirley are just not worth the hypothetical benefits. Now is time to acknowledge this inconvenient truth, while future events are being planned. Our regional director and local fire commission should now insist that the race organizers relocate this event somewhere else where local residents are not put at increased risk just to promote tourism.

Guy McDannold

Shirley

Just Posted

Sooke fastball team to compete at B.C. finals

U19 provincial tournament takes place July 13 to 15

UPDATE: Search continuing for missing kayaker in East Sooke

A witness saw the man paddling out from the marina in a kayak

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Sooke’s Ayre Manor celebrates two anniversaries

Senior housing complex started in 1968

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read