Bombings prompt security conversations in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin April 17, 2013
In the wake of the bombings that killed three people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, authorities are talking about security for the events, races and competitions that are held almost weekly in Summit County through the summer.
“We are having conversations about enhancing security,” Sheriff John Minor said.
But he was unwilling to discuss any details of those conversations, instead asking that people remain aware and report anything suspicious.
“We will not disclose security arrangements for events,” Minor said. “But the message to the public is, as always, you are our greatest ally. If you see something, say something.”
Local authorities said Tuesday that there had been no evidence to indicate any ties between Colorado and the events in Boston.
Summit County hosts a series of outdoor summer events throughout the season, but arguably the headliner for the last two years has been the USA Pro Challenge, a seven-day professional road bike race that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators every year and will include a stage finish and start in Breckenridge this summer.
After Monday’s bombing on the East Coast, organizers say they will “definitely” be reviewing security protocols for the race that will pass through Summit in August.
“The safety of our riders and spectators has always been our No. 1 priority,” Pro Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter said in a written statement. “We are very thankful to all the local safety institutions throughout Colorado that continue to support the race. Given the recent events in Boston, we are going to sit down and take a look at our security procedures to be sure we are doing everything possible to keep the USA Pro Challenge as the fun, safe, family-friendly event it has always been.”
But not all events warrant a security enhancements, even in a time of increased safety concerns. The much smaller Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner 5K walk/run April 27 will continue with existing security measures in place, representatives said.
The Frisco Police Department currently provides safety measures for participants in the fundraiser, including street crossings.
“In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, we are, as is all of the county on a heightened level of awareness,” St. Anthony Summit Medical Center president and CEO Paul Chodkowski said in a written statement. “We like to think our mountain towns and our small events are safe harbors, but know that tragedy and even unintended accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. We have a well-rehearsed emergency plan at the hospital and have also made our usual plan for medical emergencies at the event.”
The very public bombings in Boston Monday heightened security awareness at outdoor spectator events across the state, including the upcoming Bolder Boulder, which drew upwards of 50,000 runners last year.
“This is every race director’s worst nightmare,” Bolder Boulder organizer Rich Castro said earlier this week. “We’re twice as big and more concentrated than the Boston Marathon. At least we have protocols in place. … But how can you possibly plan for something like this?”
The Denver Post contributed to the reporting of this story.
Editor’s Note: The Red Cross weighs in with advice and information about how to help the victims of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. The following information was provided in a written statement from the agency.
The Red Cross has mobilized response vehicles and more than 100 trained workers to provide support and comfort in Boston. At the request of local authorities, the Red Cross is providing food, water, emotional support and spiritual care services to the people injured, their families, and emergency responders. Since Monday, the Red Cross has served 5,000 meals and snacks, and handed out dozens of relief items like blankets and comfort kits. The Red Cross has also provided about 500 additional blood products to several Boston area hospitals to help meet the needs of those injured. The Red Cross continues to work in close coordination with officials in Boston to determine how we can best help the community and support emergency workers in the days to come.
We understand that people around the country want to help and we appreciate that nationwide show of support. Right now, the American Red Cross has what it needs to support this event both financially and with an adequate local blood supply.
People who may want to provide other support to the Red Cross can consider taking one of these actions:
> If people want to make a donation to support the victims, Mass. Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have created The One Fund Boston to help the people most affected by the tragic events. For more information or to make a donation visit theonefundboston.org.
> This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time. While the Red Cross has all it needs to respond to this event, we do need the public’s support to respond to the nearly 70,000 other disasters we handle every year around the country and Boston. To help us respond to and prepare communities for future emergencies please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org.
> The need for blood is constant. Eligible blood and platelet donors across the country are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.
> Type O negative blood is often used during emergencies, when there is no time to determine the patient’s blood type. It’s especially important that people with type O blood donate as frequently as they can.
> Many people in Boston yesterday jumped in to provide immediate help for the victims. Register for a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course at redcross.org so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies.
> Download the free Red Cross First Aid App which puts free and simple lifesaving information in the hands of smart phone and tablet users. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.