FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — After a back-and-forth between members of the Bridge Day Commission, the event for 2021 was officially canceled on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
The Bridge Day Commission voted unanimously to cancel the event that was set to take place on Saturday, October 16, 2021.
Two weeks ago, after a 4-2 vote, the Bridge Day Commission initially decided to move forward with the event. However, at the next meeting, the coordinator for BASE jumping at Bridge Day announced they were pulling BASE jumping due to safety concerns. With an already taxed healthcare system, organizers were worried about the care they’d be able to provide to people attending Bridge Day.
The Fayette County Commission, which voted reluctantly to cancel the event, released a statement ahead of Wednesday’s meeting:
It IS because a small group of individuals decided it knew better than your elected Federal, State and County officials and acted to influence the coordinator of Bridge Day’s main event, BASE jumping, to cancel its participation in Bridge Day. They did this by misleading him to believe the jumpers he represents would not have the support they required to efficiently reach the jump site or have access to medical care should they suffer an injury. This small group knew the BASE jumper withdrawal would likely result in the cancellation of Bridge Day – and, they were right.Fayette County Commission
Multiple healthcare workers in Fayette County have spoken out against holding Bridge Day due to hospitals being strained already due to COVID-19. On average, organizers said there are between 30 – 40 EMS calls related to Bridge Day.
“We are not in a good place. Our hospitals are full, EMS continues to have very long wait times,” said Teri Harlan, Fayette County Health Department Administrator.
This is the second year Bridge Day has been canceled, due to the looming COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers for Bridge Day said they will begin planning for 2022’s event.