Cops, firefighters stand by and watch as California man drowns

posted at 10:00 pm on June 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not just cops and firefighters, either. Spectators watched too, including his elderly stepmother, who was too frail to dive into the water herself.

It took an hour.

Weaver noted that a 2009 policy – revoked this week – prohibited firefighters from participating in water rescues. The policy was implemented after budget cuts ended water-rescue training. OK, I counter, but surely some first responders had been trained before 2009. Weaver’s answer: Yes, but they lacked the right equipment.

Weaver assured me that the firefighters who were on the scene feel horrible about what happened. “Every one of our members who was on that scene wishes that the policy would have allowed them to do something at some point,” he explained.

Any firefighter who broke with policy could have landed in a world of bureaucratic payback. That’s the problem. No government worker in America gets fired for following the rules.

As Russo put it, “We need an approach toward public service that is less rule-bound and more willing to take risk.”

That’s Debra Saunders, wondering whether the PD and FD would have been as respectful of bureaucratic rules if it had been a kid out there drowning. Cops note that there was no way to tell whether Zack was armed and dangerous, but of course that’s true for almost anyone attempting suicide. A guy sitting on a bridge rail is as likely to be concealing a weapon as this guy was, yet police will still try to grab him if they can. The city’s not buying the excuses, in any event: Given the national outcry over what happened, they’ve already decided to relax the policy against water rescues.

Wondering how the body was brought back to shore, incidentally? Turns out … a bystander decided to swim out there and get it, once Zack finally went horizontal in the water and started floating face down. Exit question: Isn’t this story just a darker, more tragic version of this one?

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hawkdriver on June 4, 2011 at 1:05 AM

Well that sucks. Would be good to have them back in my opinion.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:07 AM

And they’d love to have the mission again. But when you deploy every other year, so much of the “dwell-time” year is in preparation for the next deployment. It’s a cycle we’ve been on for a decade now.

hawkdriver on June 4, 2011 at 1:10 AM

But the child would have fought! Or maybe had some pistols in his shorts and starting firing!

Everyone would have died saving the child! See! It’s too dangerous!

12thMonkey on June 4, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Yeah like what if while thrashing around, one of them got poked in the eye with the pacifier? You know how unruly they can get, just better to let them float back to shore.

The Ugly American on June 4, 2011 at 1:04 AM

It must have been pretty shallow, considering it took an hour for him to succumb.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:11 AM

Guess who was the mayor, when the policy was adopted. Would you believe, California’s new Governor Jerry Brown? Guess which city has California’s highest paid Police/Firefighters, yes, Oakland. Guess which city has stated that they will not respond to certain crimes because of budget considerations? Yes, Oakland.

bigmike on June 4, 2011 at 1:12 AM

But the child would have fought! Or maybe had some pistols in his shorts and starting firing!

Everyone would have died saving the child! See! It’s too dangerous!

12thMonkey on June 4, 2011 at 1:06 AM

This is part of the problem. Everything is too difficult and has to be left to the ‘experts’. While they were waiting for those ‘experts’ the guy drowned. Bureaucracy and that good old American ‘can’t do’ attitude can put anyone in the morgue.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 1:13 AM

hawkdriver on June 4, 2011 at 1:10 AM

Ugh. I know they must hate it. They hardly get any down time at all.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:13 AM

That’s what those of us who find this whole thing repulsive are guilty of? Ignorant knee jerk emotionalism?
JellyToast on June 4, 2011 at 1:07 AM

Yeah.

It’s ignorant, knee-jerk emotionalism to think that rescuers on the scene might make an attempt to, like, rescue someone.

Crazy, I tells ya.

12thMonkey on June 4, 2011 at 1:15 AM

single stack on June 4, 2011 at 12:55 AM

I will end with this because I need to get some sleep.
First, thanks you for saving lives. Thank you for being the kind of person who would risk their life for someone else.
My frustration is not with you it is with those people on the beach. But could there be more to the story? Who knows, I am just responding to what I have read and watched here.
But, if all of this is true, it is sickening and cannot be excused or defended.

JellyToast on June 4, 2011 at 1:15 AM

My God this makes me sick to my stomach. Do we even have to ask what would happen if this were an animal in danger? Pathetic. May God have mercy on all their souls.

quiz1 on June 4, 2011 at 1:16 AM

JellyToast on June 4, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Have a good night JellyToast.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:17 AM

This is part of the problem. Everything is too difficult and has to be left to the ‘experts’. While they were waiting for those ‘experts’ the guy drowned. Bureaucracy and that good old American ‘can’t do’ attitude can put anyone in the morgue.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 1:13 AM

I don’t know for a fact, but I’m guessing that if John Adams’ neighbor’s house was on fire, he’d grab a bucket and run over and help.

I don’t think he’d wait on the front lawn, reading up on local policy, to make sure he was within local regulations to fill a bucket up and splash it on the fire.

But times have changed, I guess.

12thMonkey on June 4, 2011 at 1:20 AM

But times have changed, I guess.

12thMonkey on June 4, 2011 at 1:20 AM

They most certainly have. If he had been in a place like Mexico he would probably have been rescued and had his wallet stolen.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 1:30 AM

I doubt a single one of the volunteer firefighters and paramedics in my town would have stood by and watched this. They’re all dead inside in California.

This is like some liberal director’s paranoid delusion to what a truly free market and capitalist society would become, a bunch of people standing around worrying about cost while someone drowns before them. Except it is not a capitalist society over there, this is what a true liberal utopia looks like.

Daemonocracy on June 4, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Except it is not a capitalist society over there, this is what a true liberal utopia looks like.

Daemonocracy on June 4, 2011 at 1:39 AM

We saw the same thing in East Germany, Poland, Romania and in the Soviet Union. The crushing weight of rules tends to create an apathy in those who have to live under it.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 1:43 AM

So I wonder how much money the city wastes on BS such arts, city mailings, overpaying government workers? I know parks and rec centers are nice but they should be further down the list than emergency water training.

tommer74 on June 4, 2011 at 1:43 AM

Headline of the post says omits it all. I nominate AllahPundit to dive into the water and make an attempt to save a grown man hell-bent on suicide the next time it happens in his neck of the woods. Hopefully he’ll have his ducky water wings and life vest flotation device with him so the suicidal subject won’t drag him under and drown him too.

FlatFoot on June 4, 2011 at 1:45 AM

lets just hope there isn’t a plane crash in the same area.

tommer74 on June 4, 2011 at 1:45 AM

FlatFoot on June 4, 2011 at 1:45 AM

So hell-bent on suicide, it took him an hour to die. Those suicide guys sure do fight pretty hard to stay alive. Odd isn’t it?

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:50 AM

DH said he’d knock the guy’s a$$ out if he had to – knowing it took an hour to die he most likely was in a shallow part of the bay, might not be as hard if you had a maglite on your person like maybe some of these “responders”.
Then I reasoned he most likely would have been sued by the survivor and fired by the department……not ever easy to do the right thing but we like to sleep at night.

quiz1 on June 4, 2011 at 1:57 AM

So hell-bent on suicide, it took him an hour to die. Those suicide guys sure do fight pretty hard to stay alive. Odd isn’t it?

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Dude, try to get a grip on your ignorant knee-jerk emotionalism! Pathetic!

/mucho sarc

Gang-of-One on June 4, 2011 at 2:03 AM

The guy was standing in the water, not swimming, and there were a dozen police and fire personnel on hand.

He was floating face down dead in the water and a passerby pulled his body out. Were they afraid his corpse was going to go zombie on them?

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 2:06 AM

Excuse out the freaking window!

Alameda Fire Department Memo Contradicts Department Claims:
http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2011/06/03/alameda-fire-department-memo-contradicts-department-claims/

SgtSVJones on June 4, 2011 at 2:07 AM

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 2:06 AM

By the look at some of those police, that fear should be warranted. “Zombie suicide guy attacks, takes out those that were to heavy to run fast enough. News at 11.”

Gang-of-One on June 4, 2011 at 2:03 AM

Lol. My knee-jerkiness can get the better of me sometime. ;)

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:12 AM

By the look at some of those police, that fear should be warranted. “Zombie suicide guy attacks, takes out those that were to heavy to run fast enough. News at 11.”

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:12 AM


Rule number one… Cardio.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 2:15 AM

SgtSVJones on June 4, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Oh damn, Thanks SgtSVJones for that article. That is so frigin wrong!

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:15 AM

Lol. My knee-jerkiness can get the better of me sometime. ;)

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Well, you ain’t the Lone Ranger on that score. To think that a stinking policy kept the good guys from even attempting a rescue of a suicide is a sad commentary to say the least.

Good night to you fellow knee-jerker! :)

Gang-of-One on June 4, 2011 at 2:23 AM

Excuse out the freaking window!

Alameda Fire Department Memo Contradicts Department Claims:
http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2011/06/03/alameda-fire-department-memo-contradicts-department-claims/

SgtSVJones on June 4, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Also at the link you posted…

http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2011/06/03/rescue-boats-stood-ready-but-alameda-never-requested-them/

According to the Alameda County Fire Department, County rescue boats stand ready in San Leandro, but contrary to an Alameda Police Department press release earlier this week, Alameda public safety officials never asked for them to be dispatched in response to the successful apparent suicide attempt by Raymond Zack at Robert Crown Memorial Beach on Monday. Zack died after wading into, and standing for over an hour in, the cold Bay waters off Crown Memorial Beach.

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Gang-of-One on June 4, 2011 at 2:23 AM

And good night to you friend. :)

sharrukin on June 4, 2011 at 2:25 AM

I really don’t know what to say to that Sharrukin. It’s almost unfathomable really.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:29 AM

Have a wonderful night everyone. I have to get some sleep before this story gives me an aneurysm and then I won’t know who to call.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Nobody thought to go out just out of arm’s reach to see if the fellow could be talked back or whether he was dangerous and/or able to be rescued?

I guess that’s just an emotional idea. Maybe next time.

kim roy on June 4, 2011 at 3:22 AM

Disgusting. Although, if this guy was trying to kill himself, they may not have been able to save him anyway.

But to do nothing at all? Why even show up?

brennan251 on June 4, 2011 at 4:10 AM

So hell-bent on suicide, it took him an hour to die. Those suicide guys sure do fight pretty hard to stay alive. Odd isn’t it?

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Yeah. Hell-bent. He didn’t swim back in did he? If it took him an hour to drown rather than expending the several minutes to swim back in then he was hell-bent on killing himself then wasn’t he.

Rocket science!

FlatFoot on June 4, 2011 at 4:43 AM

First point: NBC News is not a credible source. Something tells me there is more to the story.

Second point: The California Coast is very deceptive. What may appear to be a calm beach one minute is a riptide the next minute.

Third point: Has any of the critics here ever tried to wrestle with a suicidal jackass in the pounding surf? It’s a little harder then they think.

Captain Kirock on June 4, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Not quite as bad as a recent story from the UK- an elderly man collapsed into a park pool and when the police came they had to stand around for around 30 minutes for a specialist water-rescue team to arrive and recover the body. The “lake” was about 3 foot deep.

I’ve actually heard stories here in the UK too of ambulance crews being threatened with dismissal for attempting water rescues, even in shallow water, for which they are not explicitly trained/equipped. In at least one instance, bystanders waded into the water and dragged the person in trouble out so that medics could treat them.

Jay Mac on June 4, 2011 at 6:41 AM

“Firemen Refuse to Enter Burning Building to Save Child: Not Certified to Cross Wet Sidewalk”

Coming soon to a headline near you.

BigAlSouth on June 4, 2011 at 6:57 AM

regulations are not to be ignored. even when someone’s life depends on it. welcome to obama’s america.

sbvft contributor on June 4, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Suicide is a crime.

Aiding and abetting a crime in progress by doing nothing? That is what these people did. If the guy really wanted to die, you could never have even stopped him for he would have chosen a clean, quick and assured way to go.

Something public like this is not a suicide unless you do nothing to stop it. Then it starts to sound a bit more like conspiracy during the fact of an ongoing crime, and at least making yourself an accomplice to it through inaction. Of course that then goes from suicide to that other, quite nastier word: murder. Since it took an hour… with intent to kill.

ajacksonian on June 4, 2011 at 7:34 AM

The fireman are making excuses for their own lack of humanity. They are moral cowards.

zoyclem on June 4, 2011 at 8:01 AM

This reminds me of the Muslims who locked the doors of a burning school building and allowed the girls inside to burn to death because they weren’t properly attired to be outside. Our Religion of Bureaucracy is just as criminal, just as immoral, and just as insane as their Religion of Peace.

Bugler on June 4, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Clearly we have a lot of Baywatch fans on HA. Real life ain’t TV.

Look, if you’re in trouble and need rescuing through no fault of your own, you absolutely have every right to expect first responders to risk their lives to rescue you.

If you end up getting hurt and need rescuing because you were doing something stupid, but never intended to get in that predicament, you absolutely have every right to expect first responders to risk their lives to rescue you. An example of this would be the idiot at a scenic overlook who jumps the fence so he can get a better view and ends up tumbling off of a cliff.

If you are hurt and need rescuing because of the actions of others and through no fault of your own, you have every right to expect first responders to risk their lives to rescue you and you should expect that they would rescue or treat you first before getting to the person who caused the situation in the first place.

But if you go out with the intent to harm yourself and intentionally put yourself in harm’s way, then sorry Charlie, you’re on your own. Water rescues are no joke, even when the person wants to be saved. If you have so little respect for your own life that you are trying to end it, how likely are you to have any hesitation in ending mine?

No suicidal person is worth my life (or yours), if for no other reason than the fact that even if you save them this time, they will most likely keep trying until they get it right. You think the prisons have revolving doors? Well, the loonie bins, for all practical purposes, have no doors at all.

If a rescue of a suicidal person can be attempted in a manner that doesn’t put anyone else in danger, that’s cool. This was not that situation, IMO.

Dukeboy01 on June 4, 2011 at 8:07 AM

So many metaphors, so little time…

your article is that the first-responders were justified in not attempting a rescue without a buoy, “cold water suit”, or special training.
Now square that with the fact that the bystander successfully retrieved the body without any of that.
Splashman on June 3, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Different situation. It is very dangerous to rescue a drowning person. They tend to pull their rescuers under with them. A person who is already dead can’t do that.

But clearly, if not for union rules, it shouldn’t cost much to train people and supply them with fracking buoys. To supply everyone with a wetsuit would be expensive, but do lifeguards use wetsuits? Also, inflatable boats can access “shallow water” and should be standard equipment, not just for ocean rescues but during floods and so forth.

I’d say that the solution is probably to have more lifeguards instead of making it the responsibility of firemen/police, but didn’t I read recently that lifeguards in California make 6 figures?

Buy Danish on June 4, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Why did the first responders bother showing up if they weren’t going to do anything anyway?

redfoxbluestate on June 4, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Unions kill!

Bevan on June 4, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Unbelievable. It took him an hour to drown himself. However, if someone is going to commit suicide they will find some way to do it. I have lived long enough to know that horrid fact.

I remember years ago as a teenager being trained to rescue someone who is drowning. Even in a situation like that you have to be careful that the person who is drowning doesn’t take you down with him.

SC.Charlie on June 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

If a rescue of a suicidal person can be attempted in a manner that doesn’t put anyone else in danger, that’s cool. This was not that situation, IMO. – Dukeboy01 on June 4, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I totally agree with your post.

SC.Charlie on June 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Dukeboy01 on June 4, 2011 at 8:07 AM

You’re shockingly ignorant about the dynamics of suicide.

Bugler on June 4, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Political correctness taken to its logical extreme. And yep, unions kill. I almost drowned in a pool during an underwater “how long you can hold your breath swim” at a resort hotel. It was a game and I passed out underwater. Admittedly stupid. Luckily there were hotel personnel and not union paid government rescuers there to save me.

Also to Captain Kirock, this beach was not on the CA coast but inland on the calm waters of the SF Bay. Easy rescue for non-cowards.

JeffB. on June 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Here in the Florida panhandle – each year we lose about 2-5 people in drowning accidents.

The majority are those trying to help save people – namely with a rip tide.

So the common tourist can risk their lives for someone – yet a “professionsl rescuer” can’t be bothered, due to policy and union rules…

Got it.

Odie1941 on June 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Exit question: Isn’t this story just a darker, more tragic version of this one?

dude. it’s the same story.

moochy on June 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I’m the son of a retired California firefighter, and cannot conceive of any of the lifesavers I grew up around doing what this bunch did.

The heroes of my youth understood that their life was always in play for the safety of the citizenry they served. It didn’t matter what the circumstances or conditions were. Rare was the firefighter of those days who wasn’t an exceptionally fit, usually very strong physical specimen. And to a man, human life trumped “rules” every day of the week. Even if the person in question was known to be violent and suicidal, as soon as more than two of them were present they would have gone after him, would have knocked him out if necessary, and pulled his LIVING body in to shore. Sanctity of life used to matter, ahead of all else.

These sad excuses for humans in the Bay Area need to face the guilt and shame of what they allowed, every day for the rest of their lives. Never permit yourself to be in a potentially harmful situation in their territory, their rules of engagement will get in the way of your welfare.

Freelancer on June 4, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Political Correctness, fed by personal corruption of politicians, union leaders, and other ideals from the left kill.

MSGTAS on June 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM

in the end, they didn’t care enough to do the right thing. Surely they became firefighters because they wanted to be heroes. But somehow, in some sad way, they turned into bureaucrats.

Excellent observation. Keeping their jobs was more important than doing their jobs. And the purpose of those jobs — to help people — has become incidental.

“Government isn’t the solution to our problem, government IS the problem”
– Ronald Reagan

infidel4life on June 4, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Let’s see. Red tape mess on the one hand. Saving a human life. Not a hard decision. We are all doomed.

watson007 on June 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Why did the first responders bother showing up if they weren’t going to do anything anyway?

redfoxbluestate on June 4, 2011 at 8:34 AM

That was my first thought.

Let’s see. Red tape mess on the one hand. Saving a human life. Not a hard decision. We are all doomed.

watson007 on June 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Already in your hospital room but soon to the nth degree.

CW on June 4, 2011 at 10:26 AM

If those are Alameda’s bravest, then the citizens are doomed.

lacerta on June 4, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Sorry that my lack of empathy in this situation puts me on the same team as some firemen following an unpopular public policy, but we cannot stop all bad things from happening. I wouldn’t have gone in after this guy, and I won’t blame the cops for following policy, either.

Jaibones on June 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Why is that unsurprising?

Solaratov on June 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I wouldn’t have gone in after this guy, and I won’t blame the cops for following policy, either.

Jaibones on June 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM

And your view would remain the same if the “guy” happened to be your son or your sister or your mother, right?

Bugler on June 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM

he heroes of my youth understood that their life was always in play for the safety of the citizenry they served. It didn’t matter what the circumstances or conditions were. Rare was the firefighter of those days who wasn’t an exceptionally fit, usually very strong physical specimen.

Yeah, looking at the photos of those so called rescuers, physical fitness doesn’t seem to be to important.
But today, it’s not about actually producing anything. It’s about the perception. They are rescue personnel because they took the course, wear the uniform get the pay check. They are the expert. Who am I? I’m not an expert on water rescue, I couldn’t possibly understand how dangerous this situation was and all the stress they were under. I don’t have the government training.
And fireman and police, of course, couldn’t possibly understand the complexities of government policies. They are not experts on creating budgets and policies, the government bureaucrats above them are the experts on creating those. They have to defer to them and when they receive the memo stating no more water rescue then they just follow it like sheep. They follow their orders like good sheep do.

JellyToast on June 4, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Incompetent nutless wonders.

Cowardly serfs to a rule-book and union policy.

Everything else is just excuses, rationalization and gross bullsh!t.

Solaratov on June 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM

They blame budget cuts but wouldn’t it be more accurate to state that the city/county had prioritized other spending over this program?

PackerBronco on June 4, 2011 at 11:45 AM

All those people and no one was even moved to try?

Esthier on June 4, 2011 at 11:59 AM

He must have thought, she added, “they’re not even trying to help me. Doesn’t anyone care about me?”

Just an aside… he was trying to commit suicide. I realize that many suicides and attempts are based on “look at me!” or “I’ll teach them a lesson!” but in the act I don’t think he’d be thinking as the article suggests.

As for the budget cuts, how did that stop 12 human beings from going in the water and at least trying to save him?

mankai on June 4, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I wouldn’t have gone in after this guy, and I won’t blame the cops for following policy, either.

Jaibones on June 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM

There is a famous quote about that attitude. How does it go? Oh yeah, “They came for the Jews and I wasn’t a Jew….”
Enjoy the rest of whatever life you have.

chemman on June 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Looked at the picture closely but it is heard to tell.

Which one is the steward?

enginemike on June 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Sad and disgusting, that these people had to have the government tell them it was ok to save someones life! Like what happened to their brains and free will? They could have thrown their badges down and took their lunch break…if they had wanted to save him they would have..scum.

tinkerthinker on June 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Has anyone here ever TRIED to save a drowning man? If you don’t have the right equipment, he will pull you under with him. This wasn’t some guy who fell off a boat. He was trying to die. I can’t blame someone for not swimming out there if they don’t know the right technique. Is the city to blame for cutting the program? Of course. But I would NOT blame the first responders.

Rainsford on June 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Has anyone here ever TRIED to save a drowning man?

I was going to smack the guys standing around but you’re right. Been there. It’s hard handling someone who wants to be saved let alone a big guy who’s determined to die.

If they had a bullhorn they could have suggested he swim to shore and do it in his tub. Warmer water too!

rcl on June 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Our culture has changed. Remember 1983[I think]when Air Florida went into the Potomac right after take-off out of National[Reagan now]. It was a bystander who finally dove into the frigid water to assist a flight attendant who was still alive and struggling. I was in DC at the time and remember it vividly. First responders standing around and he went in after her.

retiredeagle on June 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Cops; they can’t help you.

yubley on June 4, 2011 at 1:19 PM

This is another reason that I carry concealed and keep guns in the house. If I make a 911 call, it will be that shots are fired and once a responder gets there I will be in the front yard standing with my hands mt and will tell them where the body is.

retiredeagle on June 4, 2011 at 1:28 PM

This is why you need to be very careful when attempting suicide. Otherwise you might kill yourself.

pc on June 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM

How in the world does an island community stop water rescue training. That would be like Aspen cutting snow rescue training. I lived there for several years and I can say the primary focus of The City of Alameda is keeping Oakland residents out.

Zaire67 on June 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM

This is why you need to be very careful when attempting suicide. Otherwise you might kill yourself.

pc on June 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Yes that is the point of the article. /

But I would NOT blame the first responders.

Rainsford on June 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Oh please. They have very likely been trained in the past to save a drowning man. Secondly did they throw away their humanity when they signed up as firemen and EMTs?

CW on June 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I am sure California has lots of money to spend on “diversity indoctrination” and helping people get high!!??

Irenaeus on June 4, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I life guarded at a small lake for a couple summers… Even someone who wants to be rescued can be dangerous (that was stressed during training). If they are panicked enough they can drown the rescuer.
-
That said… I like to think that I would have gathered 2 or 3 other good swimmers (were they willing), and sent the word into those houses near by that we needed flotation; small boats… surf/body boards… or even very solid rafts.
-
Then the group could have attempted to subdue and rescue. He may have surrender fairly easy. Remember that many suicides are cries for attention. If that was the case here, he drowned while waiting for ‘rescue’… which never came.
-
Now the downside with my idea… If the guys still drowns and the rescuers are touching him as he goes under … would a man-slaughter trial ensue? I would think not… so long as one of the first responders at the site took the lead in the attempted rescue. But we all know that some lawyer would take the case if they were asked.
-
Lack of true leadership and guts seems to be the bottom line. Even with the policy‘s stupidity…
-

RalphyBoy on June 4, 2011 at 2:46 PM

My only thought…. “Dear God, what the hell is wrong with these people?”

Write me up.
Suspend me.
Fire me.
Sue me.
I’m jumping in that water to at least try and save the guy.

StompUDead on June 4, 2011 at 2:56 PM

scope of training,” Brewster said.

The water that Zack, who weighed about 280 pounds, waded into off Crown Memorial State Beach was approximately 54 degrees. It was too shallow for a boat to enter, according to the Coast Guard. A Coast Guard helicopter was not immediately available.

Wow…not even jet skis. That will hang on in their collective consciousness till they die. After that, Jesus Himself will show them what they did not do…ask them why, and judge them on their inactions.

I’ve seen dead people by accident, murdered, not drowned. I almost drowned as a kid. California will either go back go Mexico, or sink.

Despicable. No wonder people are fleeing the state.

ProudPalinFan on June 4, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Liberalism.

Killing us inside and outside of the womb.

Hawkins1701 on June 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

But if a whale beached itself…

29Victor on June 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM

It takes a lot of time and money to train firefighters and police officers. They look great in parades, and their unions give politicians lots and lots of money. We can’t have them out there doing dangerous stuff. They might get hurt!

GalosGann on June 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Enjoy the rest of whatever life you have.

chemman on June 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I have been away enjoying life for the past 12 hours. In the meantime, whoever you think you are has deteriorated into a nitwit whose only argument involves Nazis.

Head on over to DailyKos, DU, or HuffHo, where the Nazi analogies live happily, you fuc*king nitwit.

Jaibones on June 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Obviously those of you in support of bureaucracy didn’t read the article posted by SgtSVJones. They LIED about not being allowed to go out and save this man. So it’s ok for us to leave it up to first responders as to whom they do and don’t feel like saving? It’s kind of uncomfortable to watch some of you twist yourselves into knots trying to excuse bad behavior. I guess you are doing it out of some sick sense of of loyalty to police and firefighters.

Jesse on June 4, 2011 at 6:23 PM

This story is actually about the moral values of many of the people in the San Francisco bay area.

Freddy on June 4, 2011 at 11:17 PM

I hate Unions, I hate politicians. I hate what this country is becoming!!!

oped01 on June 5, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Any firefighter who broke with policy could have landed in a world of bureaucratic payback.

There should be a lot more payback for standing there watching a citizen die.

Every single one of those “public servants” that stood by and watched a citizen die should have their name published on the front page of the paper in large type.

Maybe we can give them a little old fashioned cultural “payback”. I think I could suffer the bureaucratic payback if I knew in my heart that I did the right thing. Maybe it is time to humiliate them in front of their neighbors and friends. Give them a different kind of “payback” for valuing their regulations more than a human life.

So you are telling me that they need to read the rule book first before saving a life?

Boy Scouts have shown more bravery than these people did.

crosspatch on June 5, 2011 at 3:23 AM

wondering whether the PD and FD would have been as respectful of bureaucratic rules if it had been a kid out there drowning.

I don’t think that there’s any doubt that if it was a suicidal cop or fireman, the PD and FD would have used every resource they had to save the guy.

Cops will save their own while they let you bleed to death out of fear for their safety.

rokemronnie on June 5, 2011 at 11:06 AM

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