Concerns about youth at Pitt Meadows Day

Firefighters called to 'unconscious collapses'

Drunken youth partying during Pitt Meadows Day have caught the attention of city hall.

An RCMP spokesperson said the annual community celebration is a family event throughout the day, but during the fireworks, and in their aftermath there has been underage drinking in recent years, and Saturday was no exception.

The Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Service reports attending a number of medical emergencies called in as “unconscious collapse.”

“It was a fairly busy night,” said assistant fire chief Mike Larsson. “It’s been the same for years and years.”

There was a call at the skate park, another at the field where people were watching fireworks, two on the streets and another at Roosters.

In one case, a young person was having seizures, but those with him denied drug use was the cause.

The fire department monitors vital signs until B.C. Ambulance arrives to transport patients to hospital.

Larsson did not want to throw cold water on the event.

“Overall, it was a great day – from the water fight to the barbecue to the fireworks, it was a good night, and our guys had fun.”

Similarly, Mayor John Becker said the city should consider teens and young adults in the event planning.

“The vast majority caused no problem whatsoever,” he said, but added there are no activities directed at that demographic.

“If you’re 16 or 17, you’re not drawn to the bouncey castle anymore,” he said. “We need, as a community, to look at what we aren’t offering for our teenagers.”

He suggested Westcoast Amusements or band performances could be organized at the Pitt Meadows Airport on Pitt Meadows Day, with community shuttles to move people between venues.

“Give them something to do, with zero tolerance on alcohol, is the way to do it,” he said.

Maple Ridge News

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