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Interview: City of Alameda Fire Chief on Why Personnel Didn’t Attempt Rescue of Drowning Man

| June 1, 2011
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Update Jun 2: We’ve culled some the responses to this post and posted them here.

Update 4:05 p.m. Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore said the city will conduct an investigation into the incident, the Contra Costa Times reports.

Earlier post
The suicide drowning death of a man on Robert Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda while members of the City of Alameda fire and police departments watched, declining any rescue attempt, is being reported nationally and as far away as the U.K.. (Here’s AP’s video report.)

Alameda officers and firefighters also remained on land after 52-year-old Raymond Zack had drowned, leaving it to a civilian to wade into the Bay to retrieve his body.

Yesterday, KQED News intern Katrina Schwartz interviewed Alameda Interim Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi, asking him why no police or fire personnel attempted a rescue.

Alameda Interim Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi on why no rescue attempt was made

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D’Orazi made the following points:

  • A change to fire department policy in 2009 prohibited personnel from performing water rescues.
  • The department previously was highly trained in water rescue but over the course of several years, due to budget cuts, the program was decertified.
  • The police decided a rescue attempt was not safe because the man in the water “could have been armed, could have had a weapon. That was what was discussed.”
  • The chief has “already directed our staff to change our policy in which we will give our incident commander more discretion to utilize personnel and equipment based on circumstances.” He has also ordered the department’s training division to “re-implement our rescue swimmer training so that we can have rescue swimmers available on every shift….”
  • D’Orazi said that while some fire personnel on scene may have had training enough in the past to effect a rescue, “it’s been a couple of years since that program has really gotten the attention it deserves.” Plus, he reiterated, policy dictated that no water rescue attempt be made.

A Coast Guard boat and helicopter were also on the scene. Katrina Schwartz interviewed Coast Guard spokesman Marcus Brown, who said that when the Guard was notified of the incident, it launched a small boat, which couldn’t get close enough because of the shallow depths the swimmer was in. A helicopter was also launched, Brown said, but by the time it hovered over the scene, another swimmer was bringing the man — who was deceased at that point — onto shore.

Coast Guard spokesman describes the incident

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A couple of non-plussed witnesses to the event are interviewed in this KGO video:

As a side note, the Alameda County Fire Department has been tweeting that it wasn’t involved in the non-rescue. Apparently, media organizations have been confusing Alameda County with the city of the same name.

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Category: Fire, Water

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  • raymond mosier

    Everyone involved should be fired. All the firefighters and police. I understand that personal safety is a number one concern for any emergency worker but to stand by and watch a man drown without making any attempt is nothing but being a coward. You took an oath to protect people and property. I can’t believe that your fire dept does not have a zodiac boat or that the Coast Guard did not have a Zodiac. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves and feel like less of a man. Disgraceful.

    • resqman

      Why in the world should the police and firefighters be fired for not attempting a rescue without the proper equipment – equipment that they didn’t have due to intentional budget cuts? You get what you pay for. If you don’t pay for the fire department or police to train and equip for water rescue, then you don’t get it.

      • Mmullen

        because real heros save lives. Humans save lives too. What part of the human aspect left these idiots bodies?

      • Blair scammell

        When you sign up as a police officer or fireman there is no where in the oath that says you will only carry out your duties if you have the proper equipment.

      • So Sad

        Outrageous. Why would you defend bureacracy and the lack of courage? Money and policy doesn’t solve problems. Dedication, courage and hard work do. There is either an attitude problem among these firefighters and/or a lack of real leadership.

      • BecJ

        Given Resquman’s weird way of defending these actions makes me think you might happen to be the Alameda Fire Chief.

      • Kathy

        Where was the equipment they had when budgeted for water rescue two years ago? No one present had the training from two years ago? I am sorry, you may need refresher courses, but many were trained in 2009. Makes me sick. The budget had nothing to do with this incident, the police and fire department are just using this to politicize the issue… respect for human life and the oath to protect and serve are the real issue. The Almeda Fire Chief is a real winner… the fact that he insinuated he would let a child drown to follow policy says so much about who he is… a paycheck is worth more than a childs life…. I would lose my job in a minute to save the life of ANY child.

      • stoptheutopianmadness

        resqman: You should be ashamed of yourself, and I honestly pray you are not an actual rescue worker.

        You heard “budget constraints” and bought that complete GARBAGE hook line and sinker, your ignorance is astounding. When 9,000 retired government employees in california make over $100k/year you expect ME, the person PAYING for that, to believe that the BUDGET is why this man died? It’s the lying thieving corrupt scum in the legislature who caused this death, as well as people like YOU who ignorantly believe that the budget cuts made to fire, rescue and police is necessary. How about cutting some of the absolutely INSANE benefits packages public employee unions have negotiated? Huh? nope, we have to cut the budgets of the firemen, it’s OUR fault it happened right? You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • Borgland

          stoptheutopianmadness
          You hit the nail on the head. Oh, for a bright investigative reporter to go over the Fire and Police department budgets line by line and see where the money is really spent. Methinks enough money could be redirected to cover the cost of water rescue training. But that only gives legitimacy to a totally corrupted system of public employment remuneration.

      • Andrew Harlow

        How much equipment and training is required to effect a rescue in hip deep water? How much money do you think it requires? Your kind of attitude is exactly what led to this. If every budget request isn’t me with an immediate and unexamined money dump, we the tax payers have no right to expect courage or even competence from our sworn peace officers. According to witnesses, this man kept looking back towards the shore. He clearly wanted to be rescued, but instead died knowing that those sworn to serve and protect him cared more about serving and protecting departmental policy and his life had no meaning to them whatsoever.

        • stoptheutopianmadness

          +1 @ Andrew Harlow. Reqman’s attitude and the attitudes of those like him (such as the fire chief who would watch a child drown if he were on duty ACCORDING TO HIS OWN STATEMENT) are exactly what led to this senseless, needless death.

          These people have actually come to believe that following the corrupt rules laid down by an utterly bought-and-paid-for bureaucracy and the public employee union goons who own that bureaucracy is more important that a human being’s LIFE.

          It’s horrific and disgusting. This is the world the public employee unions want and now we have it: The fire chief stated publicly that he would save a drowning child if he were OFF duty, but ON duty… he’d have to follow the guidelines of the department. A shameless, disgusting, soul-less, ball-less stance that is clearly an attempt to grab people’s attention and squeeze tax payers for more money for his union and their stooges. DISGUSTING.

          Good job Fire Chief, you’re turning the public AGAINST firefighters. I hope you feel shame and hatred for yourself for the rest of your life, you are a horrible person.

      • Effy OU

        That is the most ass-inine thing I have ever heard anyone say!!

      • Jim F

        resqman: You get what you pay for.

        There it is – the state and city worker mentality that values the paycheck first, and the citizens it has a duty to protect second. It’s funny how we pay as much if not more than we have for years, yet suddenly now it doesn’t seem to be enough. Well resqman, rest assure that wrongful death lawsuits will be eating up a lot more of the budget than an OSHA fine for not going into the water like the bystander girl ended up doing. Nice job.

    • alexandra

      exactly my thoughts!! this is almost like the people who stood back and watched millions of Jewish people being murdered…

      • alexandra

        why in the world would this man save a child when he’s off duty, but not on duty?!?! he’s being PAID to SAVE LIVES!!!!!!

        • Blair scammell

          Don’t fool yourself, this guy wouldn’t save a child off duty either because you can’t turn your morals on and off at the beginning and end of your shift. This fire chief should be made to find a different career for even saying something so callus in public.

    • Jmoe

      How lame are you all….he was trying to commit suicide. He suceeded…maybe we should pay the politicians less and give the police department and fire department the proper budget and they would have attempted it. However, i hate to point it out, but he WANTED TO DIE. I dont feel sorry or outraged. If it were someone in danger that would be a whole other story.

      • W. Carwitz

        Another one for the idiot file!!!

        • Jmoe

          if you were trying to commit suicide, id let you. One less bleeding moron in the world.

          • W. Carwitz

            Idiot file…

      • Outraged

        Yea and he might have had a weapon. I work at a psychiatric hospital and we deal with suicidal people all the time. They are placed on a 72 hr hold because by the time the hold expires the suicidal person has changed their mind and want to live. They often say, “I wasn;t thinking clearly.” It is the fire department and the police department who are authorized to place someone on a 5150 (72 hr hold). That is part of their job descipton!!!

  • W. Carwitz

    Up until this point in my life I have always been very proud, when asked what I did for a living, to say I am a retired fireman. That all changed today, I am ashamed to say that. Shame on all of you!!! To say that it was his decision is the most ridiculous thing I have every heard, when people decide to take their own life they are not capable of making rational decisions. I hope that all of the men that stood there and watched that have dreams about it for the rest of their lives. NOT A SET OF BALLS AMONG ALL OF YOU.

    • resqman

      It’s pretty easy to call for others to risk their lives after you retire, isn’t it?

      • Blair scammell

        I risked my life several times before I retired so I know what I’m talking about.

      • W. Carwitz

        I agree with BecJ, I think resqman might be right about you being the chief. If not the chief, then one of the lowest forms of life on the planet. I also risk my life several times to save another. That my dear uninformed friend is what the job is all about.

        • W. Carwitz

          correction:-I think resqman might be the chief!!!

      • stoptheutopianmadness

        resqman you really are the most ignorant, backwards, disgusting human. I think W. Caritz might be right, maybe you ARE the fire chief in Alameda who would watch a child drown if he were on duty. You make me sick.

  • Bill

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves!!!! What happened to protect and serve? And you wonder why people are up in arms about state, county, and town workers and don’t feel sorry for you when there are budget cuts

  • W. Carwitz

    IF YOU GUYS ARE AFRAID TO GET WET, WHY DIDN’T YOU AT LEAST THROW THE POOR GUY A ROPE. THE CHIEF IS AN ASSHOLE. NOW THAT IS A CITY YOU WANT TO AVOID IF YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION.

    • resqman

      Why would anyone expect a suicidal person to catch the rope so he can be rescued?

      The first rule at suicide calls is to avoid a well-intentioned rescue attempt becoming a tag-team suicide.

      The issue here is that public safety funding cuts removed the fire department’s ability to train and equip their people to do this rescue safely. That’s not the fault of the cops or firefighters who responded.

      • Blair scammell

        Do you know what goes through a persons mind in the last moment of their life, maybe he would have grabbed the rope. It’s not up to anyone to say the person has decided to take his own life therefore I don’t have to try and save them. And if I’m wrong what has this world come to.

        • Outraged

          As I said eariler, sicides often change their mind. Most actual suicides are an accident because they have done something lethal and can’t undo the act to save their lives. Besides, nobody who attempts suicide is in a rational state of mind. Don’t be so judgmental!!!

      • Kathy

        Better check into the budget before you make comments like this… the fire department chooses where to make cuts… totally eliminating a program instead of downscaling??? This rests totally on the people present who made the decision to not attempt a rescue.

      • W. Carwitz

        IDIOT!!!!

      • Andrew Harlow

        Are you still seriously trying to argue that with 25+ uniformed personnel on scene there is no way a suicidal 52 year old could be rescued from hip deep 60 degree water? Really? There was no obligation to serve and protect this human life? He would have drowned all 25 by himself? I admit I’ve never worn a uniform in my life nor had any kind of rescue training but I know in my heart I’d have been in that water in half a second- no excuses or policy could have stopped me. And if a suicidal 52 year old took me down, I guess I’d be entering the afterlife with a shocked look on my face. But I could NEVER continue in this life knowing I stood around with 24 other idiotic bureaucrats who value policy and paycheck over human life in distress.

      • stoptheutopianmadness

        “The issue here is that public safety funding cuts removed the fire department’s ability to train and equip their people to do this rescue safely. ”

        Once again you’ve swallowed the politicians BULLCRAP that these cuts are unavoidable and that this kind of cutback in public safety funding is the result of taxpayers refusing to pay more into the system. BULL-S! The president of my local junior college gets and $800/mo car allowance. She lives less than 20 miles from the school, yet needs an $800/mo car? I’ve never in my LIFE owned a car that cost $800/mo, that’s RIDICULOUS!

        Yet people like you want me, the taxpayer, to believe that this man died because of funding cuts to public safety programs? HORSE-CRAP! This man died because of corrupt scumbag legislators who line the pockets of public unions and their employees with perks and benefits others can only DREAM of while they try to scare the public with exactly this kind of nightmare scenario. I guarantee that legislators in Sacramento and their union bosses are LOVING this story because fools like YOU believe that the problem here is a lack of funds. It’s NOT, it’s that the existing funds are being grossly misspent, and that’s NOT MY FAULT.

        Pull your head out and wake up: Politicians protecting their pals is the reason this man died. That and a bureaucratic system that has convinced our public safety “leaders” that paperwork and procedures are now more important than human life, because if they don’t toe that line they lose their ultra-cushy job and retirement package.

        George Orwell is rolling over in his grave, California the great experiment in tolerance has proven that socialism is the DEATH of a society. Good bye sweet America, the scumbag socialists are literally letting us die now instead of doing their jobs.

      • Jim F

        resqman – that might be reasonable if that had been the response when asked – but the FIRST thing out of everyone’s mouth was nobody was certified because they cut the water rescue budget.

  • Deuce

    Everyone needs to understand that the Alameda Fire Department did everything correctly! What the public doesn’t understand is that if the fire department’s rescue program has been cut that means no PFD’s, no rescue boards, no rigid hull inflatable boats, no surf rescue training! Period! Any subject who is a drowning victim can and will attempt to drown the rescuer (ask any lifeguard). Without the proper training and equipment there would have been further fatalities. The fire department even called for mutual aid from the Coast Guard in an attempt to have the proper personnel perform this rescue. Gee, I wonder how many psychiatric holds and past issues this subject has had? Hmm, maybe he/she should have been confined to a treatment program a while ago.

    • W. Carwitz

      Hey Deuce, did the city make all these guys forget how to swim. Your an idiot.

      • resqman

        W. Carwitz,

        That’s the opinion of someone who doesn’t have all of the facts. It is unknown if any of the firefighters or police officers knew how to swim, or if they even had life jackets at the scene. When you start insulting people who make legitimate points, that doesn’t make your target the idiot. You also mispelled “You’re”.

        • W. Carwitz

          Resqman must be one of the dot the i’s and cross the t’s people that would rather correct someone’s spelling than to save someone from drowning. You also go into the idiot file.

        • Andrew Harlow

          @resqman: Are you really suggesting that NONE of the 25 uniformed personnel in the Bay Area knew how to swim sufficient to negotiate hip deep water? Really? Expensive training and equipment is required to go into 60 degree water up to waist level? Really? What other facts do I need to refute your “legitimate points” on behalf of bureaucracy, self interest, and cowardice? By ignoring the substance of the previous comments and focusing on the spelling, you have insulted yourself and highlighted your own obvious insincerity.

      • Deuce

        Hey W. Catwitz,
        Actually depending on the job requirement and what is required in the job description at the time of hire the Alameda Fire Department might NOT require their firefighters to pass a swim test and/or this might not be a condition of employment. While some fire departments, such as Newport Beach for example require a swim proficiency test prior to accepting employment this might not be the case for Alameda. FYI, many fire department’s in the Bay area do not require a swim proficiency exam and may firefighters do not know how to swim. Also, let’s not forget that had a fire department member who could have not been unable to swim AND did not have any surf rescue training entered the water AND caused bodily injury including death to the victim the City could be liabile. Maybe next time you can think before you use the term “idiot”.

        • acreccsucks

          Alameda City is an Island.

          What idiot or group of idiots at the city govt level decided they don’t need a boat or water rescue capability?

          And who “forgot” that neighboring FD’s have boats that could have reached this guy? Throw a couple cops and FF’s on those boats and you could have saved him.

          Not all FF’s or cops know how to swim. It’s not a job requirement. Perhaps it should be. The mud in that area can be like quicksand. People who get trapped at low tide have been known to drown as the tide comes in – so wading out there would not have been the best rescue plan.

        • W. Carwitz

          I rest my case YOU are an idiot. You know nothing at all about being a fireman or about firemen.

        • W. Carwitz

          Another one for the idiot file. You have no idea about what being a fireman is about.

        • Andrew Harlow

          @Deuce:
          Are you really taking the position that not 1 of the 25+ uniformed personnel standing around could swim well enough to negotiate 60 degree hip to shoulder deep water? Are you really saying the take away from this is not profound sorrow at the unnecessary loss of a human life but rather the conversation should be steered toward policy implementation and budget concessions?
          I truly hope you are not sworn to serve and protect the public, because your comments- if sincere- betray a deep and true disdain for the public and slavish dedication to departmental policy regardless of logic or efficacy. My guess is you intend to rise within the current bureaucracy putting your personal ambition before public safety and the true mission of peace officers. If that isn’t true, take the time to review your own writing and look within to see if that is really what you meant to say.

      • Jean

        carwitz ur an idiot there were lots of people on the beach im pretty sure they new how to swim were the hell was there compassion and how come no one else went out to save him everyone wants to pass blame and talk shit well how can they live with themselves watching a man drown also

        • W. Carwitz

          Another one in the idiot file. Knew not new.

    • Blair scammell

      When I swam out to a drowning man in freezing water after his canoe overturned I didn’t have a life jacket, zodiak or any other kind approved flotation device. I used an old log laying on the beach and thought I was going to die before I got the guy out of the lake. I could not have lived with myself if I had not at least tried. The police or firemen could have used a spare tire from any one of their vehicles. There is just no excuse for not trying.

    • Ed Ball

      I did the job 22 years, 17 on the shores of Lake Tahoe,, A person in the water, calls for SCUBA gear and dive rescue training, period.
      Alameda Fire made the right call,,sometimes decisions are made that the public dont like.. The flip side here is for all the critics, go to city hall, fill out and application, pass the tests then suit up and show up for a shift. Respond to anytime when 9-1-1- rings and do the job..THEN and only THEN can you call the crews chickens–t.

      • W. Carwitz

        You would have been a good one to work with. Where did you spend your 22 years on the job, in fire prevention.

      • Blair scammell

        I don’t think anyone is calling the responders chicken, I think the majority of these folks feel the responders got their wires crossed when it came down to making the right decision. If a person was seen burning to death at the scene of a motor vehicle would you refuse to put him out because you didn’t have the approved fire extinguisher or would you take off your jacket and smother the flames, even though you may get burned. Sometimes you have to make do with what you’ve got and worry about the policy makers later. I would also have to disagree with you that only people that do the job are qualified to comment on a situation like this, after all the public do pay your wages and like it or not are your bosses. And being an emergency responder doesn’t automatically give you the moral high ground. Obviously.

      • W. Carwitz

        You need scuba gear in neck deep water for an hour?

      • Jim F

        Ed – I’ve done the job and I’ll call them chickens–ts. At the very least you throw the guy a life preserver on a rope because in those final minutes he will probably change his mind. Also – the first thing out of everyone’s mouth was not the danger element, it was the budget aspect.

    • Outraged

      Yes, maybe. But the psychiatric services budget had BEEN CUT! The drowning victim does NOT try to drown the rescuer. They are trying to climb up out of the water on the rescuer’s body. Basic rescue skills (like those taught at the YMCA) teach you that. Throw that rope and pray the suicidal person will grab it if you are so afraid the victim will take you with them. Besides, correctly is what they said about the Rodney King beating. Nice cover.

  • Artsygirl

    I’m sorry, but I do NOT accept the excuses that we’re hearing for why this man had to drown. There WAS time to do something, to make an effort, to TRY! But oh, lots of excuses.

    I’m hearing ‘no equipment”. They’re on the beach. You mean nobody nearby had a boat? A jet ski? Even an innertube? No method of getting out into the water to get to this guy? Come on.

    “No proper personnel.” You mean they had no human beings? A couple of guys, a woman, a handful of reasonably intelligent adults, nothing? What kind of special training do you need to TRY?? It’s one thing if the rescuers gave it their best shot and the guy drowned despite their efforts, but everyone on the scene — by all reports — did NOTHING.

    That’s inexcusable. I don’t care if procedures were followed and all t’s were crossed and all i’s were dotted. A guy DIED while people watched. Everything that is wrong with society today can be narrowed down into this one story: Death by bureaucracy.

    • resqman

      Apparently, despite your disbelief, that’s exactly the situation.

      The rescuers, contrary to popular belief, have no obligation to participate in a suicide attempt.

      • Blair scammell

        But they have an obligation to prevent a suicide attempt, that’s what they get paid for.

        • Artsygirl

          I agree wholeheartedly. You’re walking a dangerous line when you choose whom to protect and serve, on a case-by-case basis, based on whether or not you think that particular individual *deserves* saving.

          Moreover, I think that the sentiment of ‘excuses’ here seems to indicate that the inaction of the rescuers was to in part to make a point — that cutbacks cost lives — by purposely letting that guy die. I truly hope that isn’t the case, because it’s pretty sad that wanting to be right, or to make a point, is worth more than someone’s life.

          No rescuer should be making a determination of individual worthiness to be saved, nor allow their own frustration with governmental bureaucracy interfere with their sworn duty to protect and serve ALL citizens.

      • W. Carwitz

        By LAW they do have an obligation.

  • awiggins

    To the crew of moral cowards and sheeple of the City of Almeda Police and Fire Department: Shame on you! You are a great disgrace and useless and unfit for your duties.

    • resqman

      Why do you say that? The firefighters and police officers have no obligation to join in the deceased person’s suicide attempt.

      • Blair scammell

        But they have an obligation to prevent it. This sounds like a lot of politicians commenting on how to be a police/fireman.

      • I’m shocked

        Perhaps, they could have talked him out of it by wading out alongside him but keeping their distance… Perhaps, they could have found a nearby boat… Perhaps, they could have disregarded the policy and rescued the man and later asked for forgiveness from superiors, the public would have been forgiven them… Perhaps they could have done many other things other than a man die right before everyone’s eyes…

        • acreccsucks

          Wading out into the quicksand-like mud would have been dangerous, and danger IS their job.

          However even if they did wade out there and were successful (and none of the ff/cops got hurt) they would have all been fired for cause on the spot. Unemployed.

          That’s how it works at FD’s in Alameda County.

          They also fire whistleblowers by the way – but that’s another story.

      • Outraged

        Oh really? What about their responsibility to do their job. The second biggeat shame of all of this, after their lack of morals and compassion, is tha they will still get that great big pension check every month even though the city, county and state can’t afford to cover mental health services. I wonder how these people would feel if it were someone they love attempting suicide.

  • http://none Bobblehead57

    Ray was a friend of mine. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in years. He and I did volunteer work together. I knew he was having emotional problems most of his life, but a nicer guy you would never meet. Kind and warm hearted. Gentle nature. If I saw a person drowning an was forbidden by ‘regs’ to assist, I’d ask for my lunch hour right then and there , go off duty, and swim out to save him.

    • Blair scammell

      You are absolutely correct except the police or firemen don’t need to go off duty as they are sworn to protect and serve the public

  • Blair scammell

    Anyone on this website that defends the actions of the emergency responders in this matter should stop and have a long look at their own morals and values.Think about how you would feel if this was one of your family members going through a hard time and was allowed to kill themselves while the authorities watched and did nothing.

  • Charlotte

    For all those who think the authorities acted appropriately, would you feel the same if a child were drowning (suicide attempt or not)? Does that somehow change the situation? Make life more valuable and worth saving? And on Memorial Day of all days. When people are doing all their hero worship of law enforcement and troops.

  • mna

    I can only say that they are all stupid. Their policy & also using budget cut as a reason sounds more stupid to me. The coast guard was on the scene & yet they cannot do anything. What if it was their family member, are they gonna let them die?

  • RdvG

    A long list of piss poor excuses for not doing the right thing and rescuing someone in dire straits.

  • I’m shocked

    I am totally shocked by the excuses these people had. Why didn’t they at least intervene and talk to the guy at least. Obviously this was a cry for help, a very public cry for help. Hats off to the brave volunteer for trying to save the guy…

  • JM

    As a current LA City firefighter, I am ashamed to call you, the Alameda Fire Department and Police my brothers! When we took the oath to protect and to serve, it meant exactly that!

    • I’m shocked

      I know what you mean… I am no firefighter or policeman, but this story is so unsettling, I just can’t believe they stood by. I usually don’t write on these comments/blog sections but this totally sickens in me than anything I have ever seen. I know if I had been there I know I would not stand by and do nothing…

    • W. Carwitz

      Right on the money, brother.

  • don

    how do you just sit and do nothing?

  • Jean

    My spouse works for alameda fire dept though he was home that day. You people do not see what these men and women do all other days u just see one thing and talk all your smack. Do to program cuts and closing of stations alot is limited and though u public helped to cut these things and u voted for obama ur the ones who let this man die so next time all of u vote maybe u should do ur homework. Ur not bitching when there families are home on holidays and they are out there cutting you out of cars and putting your burning house out. you are not at there funerals when they die in the line of duty or died helping one of you. None of you care then. This man had issues and needed help yes and he should have got help before he even went to the beach and if law an fire were the cause well there were tons of people there why did it take so long for anyone to go in were was there compassion they let him drown to. So dont blame fire fighters for not being for one man that was ill and needed help. he should not have died and now all of u should go to the state capitol and bitch and complain because they are the ones taking away from the fire and police. If you think you can do the job better then by all means go for it. If it was my family member I would have got there ass out the water before they got to far and called the police so put the blame were it belongs.

    • I’m shocked

      You are partially correct, firefighters and policeman are our unsung heroes they risk their lives every day, but something terribly happened that day where they left a man die, a man that was obviously crying for help in a very public way… That should not have happened in that 45 minute time window. The reason that probably no one else helped is that the police and firefighters weren’t doing anything. Either case, hats off to that brave girl that waded out to the man, she did the job that the police and firefighters were suppose to have done. TO PROTECT AND SERVE, I don’t understand how a lousy policy gets in the way of being a decent human being, it saddens me…

    • W. Carwitz

      Holy cow now it is the people that voted for Obama’s fault. Jean you should get your butt back in the kitchen and make cookies or do something else that you know about because being the spouse of a fireman doesn’t give you any knowledge of the job.

    • Karli

      You’re waaay out of line Jean. And, your logic speaks volumes about you, and perhaps the thinking at AFD. AFD has placed themselves in a league in their own. A league, that very likely no other firefighter/police officer would ever want to be associated with. AFD has indeed tarnished the entire safety community. “The man should have got help before he even went to the beach…” I guess that means, when folks are at the end of their rope/witts end, they’re supposed all of the sudden, get hold of their faculties, before trying to kill themselves. This was an acute situation. You seem limited, and lack substantial insight as it concerns most everything you wrote. I hope that all involved get fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, in an attempt to save face for all other ER personnel, that don’t deserve to be associated with what happened, and the kind of thinking that goes on w/AFD.

  • don

    Alameda Fire Department and Police oath ‘sit and watch’

  • Blair scammell

    Jean, you are absolutely right about the great job firefighters and police officers do on a daily basis. The public is up and down with their support of these brave individuals. But the bottom line is that the responder at the scene is ultimately responsible for his or her actions, and to do nothing when someone is dieing is just plain wrong. People for the most part become firefighters or police officers because they want to help others, as I’m sure your husband wants to do. The people that did nothing as this trouble individual killed himself were just wrong. If a policy or lack of equipment can steer a person to do right or wrong then there is something terribly askew with the system.

    • I’m shocked

      Also, I am sure the public would have forgiven the firefighter or policeman that acted against company policy to save this man… he or she would have been a hero, at least in the minds of every person with a moral compass.

    • Jean

      Blair u are so right and there is something wrong with our system and country people just do not see it till something so wrong like this happens. Nothing was right but passing blame is not going to bring this man back or bring peace to his family. The fire crew the coast guard the police all were there so just to blame the fire fighters is so wrong. Blame the city the state blame the budget and the hire up people. your right he did not need to die so all the mad people that have so many mean opinions go to the the city hall meetings go to the state capitol make your voice useful and do something about it instead of placing blame . You are the voters and you pass the laws and the cuts and when they com in action then people are wrong in what they should do. Someone should have saved that man that man should have never been in that water and yet everyone keeps saying that the fire crew should have went against company policy to save him were is the compassion i do not knock that opinion but until that lady went and got the body no one else went out either so they are just as responsible as everyone else on that beach watching that man die that day. No one had compassion to have the guts to save him so before the blame is passed make sure you made a effort if you were there. It was a needless tragedy and no one helped him except that lady.

      • W. Carwitz

        Cookies, please.

        • Blair scammell

          Hey Jean. I do agree with what you are saying but unfortunately in a situation like this blame does have to be placed on the appropriate individuals after a proper investigation has been conducted. With public figures like police and firemen and politicians they are accountable to the public and to the victims and their families. The only way to prevent incidents like this from happening again is to learn from our mistakes and to change rules and policies to ensure the brave responders throughout this continent can act on their belief of right and wrong and not be dictated by bias policies . You are a good wife for standing by your man, we should all be so lucky. No cookies required.

    • Mark

      When faced with making a decsion on following policy or saving a life, always error on the side of saving life. Police and Firefighters must remember that the oath they took to serve and protect should be the ultimate policy to follow. If you went to the same 911 call today, I bet all of you would be in the water irregardless of traininng or not.

  • Blair scammell

    Maybe the public should be looking twice at the individual that came up with such a lousy policy and questioning the politicians that won’t fund a water rescue program when one is obviously needed.

    • John

      The 10 Year contracts implemented in OCT 2001 and the months following in the absolute worst financial times our country has seen since the Depression and we offered Lifetime Pensions of 90% of highest pay and medical benefit and salary packages that have crippled the citizens of Alameda and the city. Most companies at this time were cutting salary’s and Benefit packages 50% and laying off just to survive and implemented self directed retirement plans with very small contributions by the company.
      The Taxpayers have given up alot of “Skin” and the City has deferred most maintance using duct tape and mirrors to keep sustaining these Salary packages to our employees.In October 2001 when this was approved the Tech Bubble had already popped and Stocks and The Nasdaq Market had Lost 80% of Its Value and All Tech companies Were laying off thousands. To not be aware of what had transpired in previous 12 months to this regarding economy and what was happening and go ahead and approve raises and new benefits to employees was HUGE Betrayal of the Citizens of Alameda.

      Look what we have been rewarded with after 10 year contracts

  • acreccsucks

    Contrary to tweets from ACFD, Alameda County Fire was involved. The 9-1-1 Dispatch center handling this incident was operated by Alameda County Fire-even though it was Alameda City personnel who actually responded.

    The mud in the bay is potentially like quicksand in places by the way. A Fire Dept on an ISLAND needs to have a boat and water rescue capability. But Alameda City retired it’s boat years ago due to “budget.”

    Couple of things to keep in mind. First, Firefighters are not cops. If the patient is armed, violent, or poses some other threat then FF policy is to stand by until Police secure the scene. But cops are not FF and don’t have water rescue training. So initially, it’s a stalemate.

    That said, this guy was in the water for how long, an hour? There are many other FD’s in that area with boats capable of reaching this guy who could have responded. Was a mutual aid request made? A boat from Alameda County Fire or Oakland could have been there in 20 minutes or less. San Francisco, maybe 30 minutes. Heck, the COAST GUARD base at COAST GUARD ISLAND was less than 3 miles away. Sure, a coast guard cutter intended for the open ocean is not going to be able to get close..but don’t they have inflatables?

    I don’t think this was dispatch’s fault, but dispatch should be investigated nevertheless since ACFD’s dispatch center has a long history of response delays that in a few cases have contributed to patient deaths.

    Inexcusable.

  • Jj

    Now this is going give the FD an excuse to try to get mre money. I respect all police officers but i can’t say the same for the FD. Lay people think they are all heroes. The truth??? Sept. 11, 2001 made all other fire departments look like heroes. Biggest publicity stunt for the FD’s. The firefighters who died on 9/11 are the real heroes, not these FF’s here. Ask them how many times they actually pulled someone out of a burning building. They are overpaid and receive too much credit as being heroes.

    • W. Carwitz

      Did you really say it was a “publicity stunt”?

  • James

    Deuce, you are a fool. This was an obvious case of unnecessarily sacrificing a human being ( child or adult…any citizen of ANY age ) on the city’s political altar. ER personnel whom are used to responding to incidents of a lesser urgency, within minutes, had an hour to figure this one out. What for instance, stopped them from contacting sister fire depts say in Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont, Cerritos, San Leandro, Hayward, etc.. for assistance, after the Coast Guard made it clear they were on another call? DID ALL OF THESE OF OTHER ( BAY AREA=WATER AREA ) FIRE DEPTS NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY CERTS AS WELL?? WERE ALL OF THEM GOING THROUGH A SIMILAR POLITICAL HAGGLE? Do they don’t have boats? Do they don’t posses water rescue equipment? Don’t other fire/police agencies from other cities assist themselves when the need arises? Yes they do. Why did the City Alameda not do so in this case? My thinking is that they indeed took this incident as an “opportunity” to make a point to the city as it related their internal political wranglings. And, this is a case of opportunism in its lowest form. I agree with some of the other writers. The mayor, police and fire chiefs and all the cops/fire guys that that were out present and duty at the scene, should be summarily fired. Some should be easily criminally prosecuted. That should help get rid of a lot of deadwood, and assist with the budget problem. If there was ever an “opportunity” to help ease the Alameda budget, this is it. There hasn’t been any effective leadership for a while it seems. And, that’s probably trickled into other areas not publicized. An ER doc doesn’t let a patient unreasonably die on the table, just because a stupid policy ( derived from the word: po-li-tics.. ) gets in his way. Policy is not law. It’s a policy. And, in this case, there was an imminent threat of death, where this policy carried very little credibility. That argument ( for re-certs, etc.. ) could have been made after the rescue, regardless of what it meant to the threat of the fire/police personnel’s safety. That’s what they’re hired/paid/benefited to do.

  • Jj

    MOST FIREFIGHTERS ARE OVER RATED and OVERHYPED INTO BEING LABELED AS “HEROES”. OFCOURSE THERE ARE TIMES
    WHERE THE JOB IS DANGEROUS BUT IT IS NOT ALL THE DAMN TIME. IN FACT, NOT A MAJORITY OF TIME. THEY ARE OVERPAID.

    • W. Carwitz

      Your right there. They only spend about 3% of their time fighting fires and I would have loved to have you on the end of a hose in a burning building with me, you would shit yourself.

  • Karli

    Just out today 6/2/11:
    “Mayor Marie Gilmore has said an investigation will take place into the death of Raymond Zack, who died Memorial Day as police and firefighters watched while he stood in the bay waters off Shoreline Drive.” “We are absolutely going to do an investigation,” Gilmore said. “And we are planning to do it in as transparent a way as possible.” THIS WOULD BE VERY WRONG, AND A BIG MISTAKE. OF ALL PEOPLE, THE MAYOR IS LIKELY VERY MUCH A PART OF THE PROBLEM THAT LED TO THIS TRAGEDY. MAYORS ARE THE CEO’S OF POLICE AND FIRE DEPTS. IF THE CITY IS ALLOWED TO CONDUCT IS OWN INVESTIGATION, IT WILL LIKELY BE CORRUPTED/COVER-UPS. THIS REQUIRES THE COUNTY DA TO STEP IN AND PERHAPS HIGHER LEVEL FOLKS, TO INVESTIGATE AND THEN PROSECUTE. IF THE CITY IS ALLOWED TO CONDUCT IT’S OWN “INTERNAL INVESTIGATION” PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR A DISAPPOINTMENT.

    Also in 6/2/11: “It’s a very tragic event,” police Lt. Sean Lynch said. “But he was engaged in a deliberate act of taking his own life. We did not know whether he was violent, whether drugs were involved. It’s not a situation of a typical rescue.” HOW OFTEN DOES A COP/FIREFIGHTER KNOW THE PERSONAL HISTORY ( VIOLENCE/DRUGS, ETC. AND, REGARDLESS OF AGE AND SIZE. A CITIZEN IS A CITIZEN. SOUNDS LIKE THIS GUY WAS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF HIS SIZE, AGE AND GENDER. THIS SHOULD MAKE ALL OF US TAKE PAUSE IF THIS IS REALLY WHAT’S GOING THROUGH A RESCUERS MIND… ) OF MOST PEOPLE THAT THEY’RE INVOLVED IN A RESCUE OF? THEY JUST DO IT. AND THEY DO IT IN REAL TIME. LIKE… NOW. THERE’S NO TIME TO PONDER ANY OF THAT. THE LT SURELY MUST KNOW THIS. THE LT’S RESPONSE THE WAY IT’S WRITTEN, HOLDS NO WATER, SO TO SPEAK. BETTER THAT AN ORDINARY CITIZEN, LIKE A 20 SOMETHING FEMALE NURSE GO OUT AND BRING HIS BODY IN. AGAIN, WHILE THE “PROFESSIONALS” STAND AND WATCH.

  • Jj

    @jmoe…give the FD more money???? Are u kidding me?!?! Tell them to stop raping the tax payers and take a pay cut from their 6 figure salaries to fund their own rescue program. I wonder how busy Alameda city is? Not that busy. How many high rise buildings over 5 stories do they have???? How many fires do they have a year???

  • Jj

    Firefighters are not America’s heroes anymore. Its the US MILITARY LIKE THE NAVY SEALs. Thats why FFs are getting butt hurt because the light is not shining on them anymore. ALL FFs NEED TO THANK ALL FDNY FFs FOR THEIR LOSSES BECAUSE IT WAS THEM WHO MADE THE FIRE DEPARTMENTS SHINE.

    • W. Carwitz

      Jj, you don’t know spit about why the fire departments shine. Over 50 % of the fire departments in the U.S.A. are volunteers. No we aren’t heroes, just a bunch of people concerned about people’s safety and property.

  • Chris

    OK, people, for the last time, let’s get over the hero worship of firefighters. They are not “unsung heroes”……..they sing their own praises every day of the week. They are NOT “risking their lives” every day – the hero worship we’ve had since 9/11 is wildly misplaced. And, yes, for the record, only one Alameda firefighter has died in the line of duty in the past 70 years, so please spare me the “risking my life” spiel. Roofers, taxi drivers, convenience store clerks, lumbermen, and commercial fishermen “risk their lives” everyday. Not firefighters. Thanks to better building codes, there aren’t that many fires. “Firefighters” mostly do emergency medical response, which should have included mental health reponse.

  • Jj

    Well said chris. And carwitz, i respect that u were a firefighter. But u have to admit not all FFs have or had the same attutude that u had when u were working. Some choose the career because of the pay and benefits and to be labeled a “hero”. And about the Volunteers, i absolutey respect that but u know damn well they would love the pay and benefits of a paid FF. and did u all know that the starting pay or FDNY is only around $50k??? Why is it here that starting pay is around $80k and up??? Because they somehow were able to tell the public that the job of the FF is so dangerous. Carwitz, admit that the losses in 9/11 helped the image of FFs in the nation. And i know
    FFs were labeled “heroes” before 9/11, but u know after 9/11 it increased a whole lot. Great PR for the FDs, sadly it cost us many FFs, and police officers

  • Jj

    And yes i meant “attitude” not “attutude”-

  • Wild Bill

    Anyone who has worked in Emergency Service must hang their head today! What an embarrassment to have employee’s (real firemen & policemen would have done the job) not get involved in a life saving effort. Many agencies are asking the tax payers for additional funds– are you kidding me? For what? So employee’s can show up and watch a person die! Hey, we can reduce the staff and send anyone to video tape what-ever. Don’t get involved because you might get hurt and that could hamper your 90%-110% pension benefit!! What has happened to fire departments and police departments ? They are, in my opinion, overpaid, and this confirms it! Don’t endanger the first responder, no, don’t count on assistance from those that are raking in the big bucks. Hey, the mud may be like quick sand, no one is trained, we did not have flotation devices, the water was cold, the water was deep, maybe there was a shark in the water, hey I can think of a lot of reasons not to be involved!!! But close a station, lay off employees and people are going to die! Alameda Fire Department you SUCK!

    Guess what? A person did die because of lack of guts, lack of dedication, lack of leadership and worst of all, lack of knowing what the job entails! Courtesy and service is all the fireman has to offer. You produce nothing, you are the hole in the budget that City Managers detest, but when called to duty, you are the person that shows up and saves the day—-well not in Alameda. If layoffs are in the future, start with those pieces of CS that turned away from their duty and said, heh, maybe later if he comes closer to shore, in shallow water but if it is too dangerous to go HELP that person, maybe not.

    Maybe it was not in the MOU, maybe those employee’s were on a union break, maybe they did not know what the job entails or why the taxpayer foots the big bill! I think a great many retired firemen are puking about this incident and wondering what has happened to fire service. Key word is service! If you are afraid to do the job you don’t belong in the job! Water rescue, not trained, the guy may have been violent, he may have had a weapon, he may have been saved if the worst responders had the cajones to do their job.
    Ta x payers and citizens, who may need help, must ask how did we get to this place where employees are so well paid and pensioned to NOT DO THE JOB! I have heard BS but this inaction involving a life threatening situation takes the cake. When an official says that one cannot go into harm’s way because they might get hurt, I have to question that leader’s judgment, commitment and knowledge about the Emergency Service!

    I may be “old School” but this incident would never have happened in the “old days” when you had guys that knew what the job entailed and they did the job when ever called upon to do emergency work. Pray for the citizens of Alameda and hope they can make it to Oakland if they really need help! All would be better off if they brown out all the CS’s who refuse to do the job as the opportunity to perform doesn’t happen often any longer. I think they forgot how! But they sure can politic for those raise, pensions and perks! Butt they looked good watching!

  • John

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/57061124/64385-2009-03-16-Fire-Info-Bulletin-1762

    The memo that the fire department used to justify its actions on Memorial Day also contains information – for those that read all the way through to the bottom of it – that contradicts what the department has claimed.

    Specifically, it says that funding has been re-instated, and that re-certification was to begin again in 30 to 45 days – two years before Raymond Zack waded into the water at Crown Beach.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/03/INN11JOD18.DTL#ixzz1OKFdqHNG

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inalameda/detail?entry_id=90073#ixzz1OKe8qxfJ

  • SOMEBODY HELP!

    I’m looking for a clip of the interview that CNN and perhaps others did with the Chief and the Mayor (together) where the Chief had on the button down shirt (horrible). I’m using it as a training tape but can’t seem to find it anywhere. Not even on CNN. This kind of training will save lives in the future. Please post so i can cut and paste… thanks in advance.

  • John

    http://alameda.patch.com/articles/good-samaritan-swimmer-pulls-man-back-to-alameda-beach

    There are many different stories commented on there with links to many videos

    also here
    http://laurendo.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/that-one-saying-about-pictures-and-words/

    Alameda County Fire Department Says it Wasn’t Called To Respond to Drowning in Alameda
    By Eve Pearlman and Jill Replogle| Jun 3, 2011
    . Regional emergency responders, including the Alameda County Fire Department, which, along with the Oakland Fire Department, is the next closest rescue agency…

    http://alameda.patch.com/articles/alameda-names-michael-dorazi-as-new-interim-fire-chief

    http://alameda.patch.com/articles/salary-and-benefits-alameda-employees-in-2010

    http://alameda.patch.com/articles/alameda-firefighters-respond-to-auditor-treasurer

    http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2011/04/island-talkback-treasurer-auditor-respond-to-mayors-editorial/#comment-13532

  • Kris

    I have to say most of you have no Idea what you are saying or talking about and carwitz is a total…..well lets just say idiot! These firefighter and police risk their lives every day, for people like you. These firefighter and police offices have families…..children they are responsible for! It’s not their fault the citizens of the city elect the wrong people that cut all funding for “save the life” equipment and departments!! Let me guess you are one of these uneducated residence that believe cutting public safety is correct but now voice that they should all go…..shame on you!! Shame on all of you!!! If you don’t know all the “true” facts keep your mouth shut! I’m proud of the fire department and police offices and my heart goes out to them for the loss on the call and all the ignorant people who just want to slander them! Oh by the way when did you last risk your life for anyone????

    • Karli

      Kris: You’re a dumb-shit. You’ve missed the point. I think most of us are proud of the vast majority of fire and police depts across this state and country. Alameda has placed itself in a category all its own. It wasn’t just the fire chief by himself that pulled this. He needed help. This includes help from fellow kiss- ass subordinates and maybe some higher ups as well. This seems to smack of union/managerial politics ( the end goal being $$ for all involved ) getting in the way ( in a grotesque manner ) of performing ones basic duties and obligations. And, perversely, the fire chief, and others attempting to rationalize it. Does one forget what they learned about water rescue/CPR after 2 yrs of not getting formal training? Does one forget how to swim? I’ll bet some of these safety personnel were as fat or fatter than the victim. They probably could have survived in those waters as long or longer. Yet no reasonable attempts were made. The key word here is reasonable. Forget about what the basic tenants of the job are and what Alameda Fire/Police mission are. I hope in the minds of City of Alameda leaders that the promotion of this incident was well worth it to them. They should not only lose their jobs, but also everything that they’ve worked for up to this point in their careers: pensions/retirement benefits, etc.. I really think they’ve committed a serious felony on the job. In my view, their acts were truly felonious. They were willing to risk all of it over this? And, with felony convictions, some will hopefully lose their freedom as well, spending time in the big house to reflect on their accomplishment. Yes, Kris, some of us have risked their lives for others in recent history. What’s your point? There are likely many fire fighters and police officers that are disgusted with what these guys did and didn’t do to save this man in distress in this situation. We all have our bad days. Some worse than others. These people deserve to be helped. Hopefully, once a good number of these people are successfully removed from their jobs and prosecuted, that this will restore the dignity and pride reserved for the vast majority of police/firefighters whom put it on the line every day.

    • Jim F

      Kris – really? Of course people know and appreciate the vast majority of what police and fire do… I did it for years – but standing by and watching a man die under the guise of budget cutbacks is a disgrace. The more people like you continue to defend their poor actions the more public opinion will turn against the whole safety community.

  • Jj

    Wow kris u really told us didnt you? Either you are a firefighter or know someone who is or you watch too many firefighter movies. Police risk their lives more than FFs, ill say that. But for you to say that FFs risk their lives everyday????? Wow! U watch too many movies. When you asked us when we last risked our lives to save anyone, you should of asked a FF. Not all FFs are bad, there are great FFs out there who do good for the community. But dont say they risk their lives everyday. there are more deaths in other professions than a FF. Stop believing those hollywood movies

    • Karli

      JUNE 5, 2011 MERCURY NEWS:

      BJ stated: “I understand that it may have supposed to have been stopped for just 30 to 45 days,” she said. “And that someone may have dropped the ball, that the re-certification did not take place and there wasn’t a follow-up. That’s something we need to find out.”
      WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU HAVE SOMETHING CALLED: CONTINGENCY PLANNING. THIS MEANS YOU BACK-UPS IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENS. BACK-UPS INCLUDE CONSENT DECREES W/SISTER FIRE AGENCIES WHOM WOULD IMMEDIATELY RESPOND TO A SIMILAR WATER BORNE SITUATION. YOU LIVE ON AN ISLAND. WHERE WAS YOUR BRAIN? THE FIRE CHIEFS BRAIN? OR, WAS THE CITY TO EMBARRASSED TO HANG ITS DIRTY LAUNDRY FOR OTHERS TO SEE?

      “The firefighters’ claim that more training and a rescue program might have prevented Zack’s death also follows recent turmoil within the department over budget and contract issues.” BS. A FIREFIGHTER DOESN’T FORGET RESCUE SKILLS FROM JUST 2YRS EARLIER AND BEFORE. DOES ONE JUST FORGET HOW TO SWIM? GIVE BASIC CPR? APPROACH A VICTIM AND TALKING HIM IN? OR HAS EVERYTHING ( ALL THAT KNOWLEDGE ) BEEN TURNED ON ITS HEAD OVER A 2 YR PERIOD? I DOUBT IT. THOSE FIREFIGHTERS WERE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR POLITICAL ASSESS THAN THEY WERE FOR THAT MANS LIFE. THAT MAN DID NOT POSE NEAR THE THREAT AS MANY FIRE FIGHTERS, POLICE OFFICERS ROUTINELY FIND THEMSELVES IN WHERE THE PLAYING FIELD IS MORE LEVEL. IN THIS CASE, THE VICTIM WAS AT A CLEAR DISADVANTAGE.

      A union representative declined to comment on the Memorial Day drowning. I WONDER WHYTF WHY?? THE UNION PROBABLY DOESN’T CARE. HELL, THE UNION PROBABLY ADVISED FIRE AND POLICE TO ACT IN THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY DID. THE PROBLEM HERE, IF THIS IS TRUE, IS THAT THE ALAMEDA FIRE AND POLICE GUYS DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE THE UNIONS’ ADVICE. IT’S NOT THE UNION THAT’S GOING TO BE IN HOT WATER. YOU THINK THE UNION GOING TO PROTECT ANY OF THESE PEOPLE FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS, IF IT GETS TO THAT?

      “Interim fire Chief Mike D’Orazi” — who started the job a week before Zack died and has strong union support — called the drowning “very regrettable.” I DON’T THINK HE WAS REFERRING TO FORFEITING HIS CAREER OR SUSTAINING POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES..

      D’Orazi: “He told the council the day after Zack’s death that budget constraints led to the loss of the department’s water rescue ability. “We just did not have the money available to do what we would like to do,” he said.” I WONDER IF THAT PERSON, FACING A SIMILAR LIFE CRISIS, HAD IT BEEN HIS WIFE, CHILD, MOTHER, SISTER, BROTHER, BEST FRIEND…. WOULD HAVE REACTED SIMILARLY, HAD THEY BEEN IN THAT FRIGID WATER FOR AN HOUR, CLAIMING TO WANT TO KILL THEMSELVES. YOU KNOW, THIS VICTIM WAS SOMEONES SON, BROTHER, ETC.. “BUT, HE WAS A NOBODY, WITH A HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS, OBESE, MIDDLE AGED MALE, ETC…” PERFECT PERSON W/THE PERFECT TIMING TO DRIVE THE DEPTS POINT HOME!

      “After Zack’s death, D’Orazi said he made an immediate policy change that would allow a senior firefighter at an emergency scene discretion on whether to carry out a water rescue. He also said he aims to have 16 firefighters certified soon as rescue swimmers. It is expected to cost $20,000, which will come out of the department’s current budget.” REALLY?? IS WAS THAT EASY TO CHANGE IT? JUST LIKE THAT? WELL, IT ONLY COST THE GUY HIS LIFE, THAT’S ALL. AND THE UNION AND FIREFIGHTERS GOT TO MAKE THEIR POINT. YEAA!! UM… I THINK IT’S A LIIIIIIITTLE TO LATE FOR THAT.

      Meanwhile, Mayor Marie Gilmore has pledged that she will carry out a transparent investigation into what occurred on the beach that fateful day. ALSO TOO LATE. COM’ON..LIVIN ON AN ISLAND CITY, AND APPARENTLY ASLEEP ON THE WHEEL ON THIS ONE? RIIIGHT. THE DA NEEDS TO TAKE OVER AS WELL AS THE FEDS. SOMETHINGS TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THE CITY OF ALAMEDA. IT JUST HAPPENED TO REAR ITS HEAD WITH THIS INCIDENT. IF I’M LIVING IN A NEARBY CITY AND MY CITY REQUESTS THE ASSISTANCE OF THE ALAMEDA FIRE/POLICE DEPT…I’D BE VERY FEARFUL OF WHAT THEY MIGHT DO/NOT DO TO ENSURE MY WELFARE/SAFETY.

  • MK1983

    Two comments:
    1. gender thing: I guess if the person is a female, then the firemen may be jumping in to help sooner. Just a gut feeling.
    2. By the end of the week, they probably will join the funeral parade of the two dead firemen. While I respect the sacrifices of these firemen, but I can never understand why there are always thousands of firemen attending the funeral parade. Don’t they have better things to do?

  • http://JuryUninformed.blogspot.com Incompetence

    Don’t expect answers from public officials… We’re still waiting for countless answers in response to our formal complaint against the Pleasant Hill Police Department following the release–from incarceration–of the son of a former P-Hill mayor/retired Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy following his arrest for an attempted carjacking, attempted robbery, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon (knife)–doing great bodily injury. After being named by his own friend in an anonymous call to the PHPD, having been positively identified by the hospitalized victim, and having blood found on his clothing (which was or was not ever tested by CSI?) this young man was released with NO CHARGES FILED. Less than 5 months later he stabbed again. See JuryUninformed.blogspot.com for many more details. ..