In light of the recent stabbings in an April bush part in Comox, town council has asked the provincial government to expedite COVID-19 vaccinations for firefighters.
At the April 21 council meeting, Mayor Russ Arnott addressed council prior to the meeting and said the more than 50-person gathering that took place on April 17 in the sandpit in the area of Pritchard and Cambridge Roads put first responders – including the town’s volunteer fire department – in harm’s way.
“These are volunteers who were not given vaccines to keep themselves safe … it was unfortunate that this was allowed to happen – this party. We are very fortunate that our firefighters were there to protect us,” he noted.
Three youths were taken to hospital after suffering stab wounds at the party.
Arnott said he and Jordan Wall, the town’s chief administrative officer wrote a letter to B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix asking that first responders get vaccinated promptly.
Coun. Ken Grant, who noted he lives near the area where the party took place, asked if there was anything council could do.
“It’s a notorious party spot, ever since I was kid,” he said.
Arnott replied that discussing the issue brings it out in the open, which is the first step. He added making sure people are aware of the severity of gathering in large groups is important.
“It’s up to the parents as well to keep their children from going into these large groups, and educating their kids. We’re all getting COVID-weary. We still have to hold on and protect each other and our first responders.”
He added the property is part provincially owned and privately owned, and the town has placed no parking signs along a stretch of road in the area.
“Education for all is part of what we can do.”