Last year we covered the story of how a family lost their home, when the local fire department watched their home burn because they did not pay the $75 extra fee. Who knew that in a few months time, not only did we NOT learn our lesson, we actually trumped this story.
In California, California, the local police and fire departments were forced to stand and watch a man drown.
Police and firemen in Alameda, California watched a man drown on Monday after realizing they did not have proper certifications for water rescue, leaving them open to possible lawsuits if they attempted to save him.
The drowning victim, 53-year-old Raymond Zack, was apparently suicidal, according to a report from the scene. He waded out about 150 yards into cold waters off Crown Beach in Alameda and took about an hour to drown himself.
A crowd of about 75 gathered to watch the bizarre scene, which saw police and firemen just standing at shoreline watching helplessly. After the man had drowned, authorities couldn’t even go into the surf to retrieve the body. They instead recruited a passer-by for the job.
City officials reportedly blamed the incident on budget cuts and said they would have a discussion about why Alameda, an island city, does not have proper authorization to rescue people from the waters surrounding it.
They have since changed the policies, but will still live in shame for their actions.
I get it, Governor Walker keeps telling us we are broke. We can’t afford things like training of our public workers, etc… Besides it is not like there are actual consequences to the public for skimping on things like that. right!?!??!?!
12 thoughts on “Another look into right wing America”
More like a look into left wing America… “leaving them open to possible lawsuits if they attempted to save him.” In the world of John Edwards-type trial attorneys, no good deed goes unpunished.
Yes possible lawsuits because they do not have the correct training.
I think they mean that the city would be open to lawsuits if one of the rescuers drowned in the attempt. Think about it. If an employer sent an employee into a risky situation for which they lacked the proper training, resulting in the employee’s death, wouldn’t you expect a wrongful death lawsuit from the victim’s family?
This also raises the question about whether first responders should risk their lives to prevent a suicide. Everyone always thinks no effort should be spared, but they do not consider the very real risk that another death will result. I do not fault the city for their policy. I do fault them for not providing water rescue training for their first responders.
I’m more or less with Jill on this one. Sure on it’s face, it sounds horrific. And in some ways, it certainly is. Knee-jerk reaction, it seems idiotic.
That said, (what seems like a lifetime ago) I was a certified lifeguard. In general, deep water rescues are very dangerous to the guard. I don’t remember the stats anymore, but the percentage of times a rescuer goes in the water to save some one and himself/herself drowns was pretty frightening. Obviously, for professional, trained personnel, it’s much lower than for a layman, but they also roll the dice with much greater frequency.
A hysterical, drowning person is about equivalent to messing with a cornered wild animal. We did quite a bit of training working with a fantic/combative victim and it was quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do physically. While many of the rescue carries/holds are specifically to address this & help control such a person, the guidance was always very clear: If you feel your own life is in danger and you can’t control the person, you push away, maintain a safe distance & try to talk them down or make it clear that you will not rescue them if they can’t get under control. Now imagine a person who actually wants to drown.
While I don’t know nearly enough about the situation to judge with any certainty, I’m inclined to think that they made the right call in a horrible situation.
Locke on one hand i agree with you if someone wants to take their own life let them. Then again we(collectively) put keovorkian in prison for 8 years for doing just that. Also while I am not a psychologist, how many success stories are out there of people who tried to commit suicide and failed and turned their life around?
I guess what I am trying to say is maybe it isnt our call and if we can save someone we should.
squid poking around not sure where you come up with that.
Here they are specifically
Dont forget this guy either:
Yep, you’re right. They have a Democrat mayor, democrat state reps, democrat US rep. They are in CA, in the Bay area. They must be dirty right-wingers.
“Alameda County is a stronghold of the Democratic Party. It has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1956, when Dwight Eisenhower carried the county. Historically, the county was Republican until the 1958 defeat of William F. Knowland. Even when Ronald Reagan won the national popular vote by an 18.3% margin in 1984, Walter Mondale won Alameda County by a slightly larger margin. In 2004 it voted for John Kerry by a margin of over 50%. Every city and town voted Democratic.”
Please retitle this post as “A Look into Left-Wing America.”
Im sorry squid, I cant hear you over the 26 billion dollar republican arnold schwarzeneggers’ deficit!
Is it the right or the left that is constantly cutting valuable services???
Cutting services had nothing to do with this! The rulebook said they couldn’t save that man! Did Arnold have anything to do with the rules of Alameda, a place run by Democrats? Huh? No, he didn’t. A man had to die for the rules to be changed.
Is it the right or the left that is always writing burdensome regulations?
Burdensome regulations like making sure emergency personnel are trained properly before they do deep water rescue? Those kind of burdensome regulations?
Yup. Did the passer-by that pulled him in have that training?
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