As 36th Bridge Day Approaches, Safety and Security Matters to Commission

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — The 36th Bridge Day is now just days away, meaning that the security features that jumpers dislike may be their only option for taking the plunge on Saturday.

Jumpers and vendors are given an option to provide a third party background check or go through a finger scan, but there is no longer enough time to complete a third party background check–meaning an on-the-spot finger scan is the only option.

“Everybody can come that wants to,” Fayette County Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Cruikshank told MetroNews. “Of course, with the third party background check, you have like a two-week window. Now people deciding to come and rappel or be a vendor or be a BASE jumper, there’s only the finger scan option left.”

Cruikshank said it’s something that every single person, if they’re going to be out on that bridge, will have to follow–regardless of why they are out there.

“It’s for everybody,” she said. “It wasn’t just for jumpers. It was for base, rappel, and vendors. It’s for everybody that’s out on the bridge for 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.”

Jumpers, rappellers, and vendors will be checked against a terrorism watch list, but Cruikshank said it’s just purely about safety.

“We want to make the event as safe as we can,” she said. “That’s what we strive to do.”

Cruikshank wants the BASE community, which she considers part of the Bridge Day family and it’s history, to not feel singled out.

“I know that the BASE community said it was singled out for them,” she said. “However, it wasn’t. We all go through the security clearance.”

More than 200 jumpers are expected to attend Bridge Day 2015. The Bridge Day Commission and the surrounding area are preparing for tens of thousands of spectators.