Family of man who died in park to file complaint
Jon Woodward, ctvbc.ca
Published Sunday, August 16, 2009 6:30PM PDT
The family of an aboriginal man who was left for hours in the sun before he died says they will file a formal complaint with emergency workers about how he was dealt with.
The family of Curtis Brick, who died in Grandview Park on July 29, said they were told that he died of sunstroke -- but not of the horrifying back story.
"If someone had gotten to him earlier and phoned the ambulance I imagine he might have been all right," said Ken Ferguson, Brick's uncle.
And responding to reports that paramedics and firefighters were rude and dismissive, Ferguson said that needs to be investigated.
"They need to be reprimanded or written up or some damn thing, that's no way to treat people," he said.
The family and representatives plan to meet with a lawyer on Monday.
Brick was found twitching in the park at about 4 pm that day, some six hours after he was first spotted lying in the same place.
It was one of the hottest days of the year, where recorded temperatures nearly reached 34 degrees.
Activists said that despite the park being full of people, no one stopped to help Brick. When firefighters and paramedics got there, activists say they were rude and dismissive.
"We're grateful that the aboriginal community would stand up in the park and say that's not acceptable that one of their own would sit and die in a very busy park and nobody would do nothing," said Christine Smith-Parnell of the Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Service, who is working with the family on their complaint.
Paramedics and fire fighters are also planning their own reviews of what happened in the park but say they won't have answers until the weekend is over.
In the meantime a sad picture is emerging of Brick -- family members say he was self-sufficient as a labourer until he fell from a balcony and injured his head.
They say Brick wasn't the same after that. He started drinking and ended up homeless.
Activists will hold a vigil for him at the park on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Anyone is welcome.