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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read