Skip to comments.Cops, firefighters stand by and watch as California man drowns
Posted on 06/04/2011 12:46:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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?
CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE VIDEO
Do I understand this story correctly in that the suicide decided to stand in the water until he suffered hypothermia then drowned?
AND FEELING IS HALF THE BATTLE! (GI Jooeee!)
Thank goodness that I know they feel horrible. Now I can sleep nights again.
Kind of harsh statement. Countless stories of people drowning during a rescue attempt.
Yep and it took him an hour to die..
So the firefighters arguing that they did not have their cold water gear is a lame argument.
Especially when a woman swam out and recovered the body.
Even people that want to live can drown the rescuer. He swam out and drowned himself.
Would you rescue someone that put a gun to their head without right equipment?
Lots of people on here are brave and courageous commenting on some event but would pee in their pants when actually called on to be a hero.
I wonder if they thought he’d get tired of freezing his butt off and come out on his own.
The funniest thing is that we have "conservatives" whining about this, when this is what would have happened "in the old days"...and here we have "conservatives" complaining that the public personnel followed proper risk-management guidelines (like in the old days) and didn't do something stupid (like they claim they would have done).
We're talking San Francisco here.
There are times when civil disobedience is the only moral option. Following immoral rules leads to gas chambers. Obviously they did not feel bad enough to do anything to help the man.
Murder charges should be brought against every civil servant who stood by and did nothing and every person who promulgated this murderous policy. Let them justify their actions before a jury. This is civil service that is not worth having.
His mother reported him as suicidal and had been arrested in the past,they could have got a priest a shrink anyone to try and talk to him.
I used to live in Alameda,it is a island accessible by a tunnel and a couple of bridges,to think that they cut water safety lessons for first responders is obscenely stupid..
Would you go in the water to drag a 300# dude out that insists on committing suicide?
The majority of people on the beach saw the fire and police there and thought they had it handled... until the guy drowned.
If you read the local forums for Alameda, many of the witnesses are really angry because they would have done something if they had known about this no water rescue rule.
Everyone was waiting for the Coast Guard, who simply couldn’t get there in time.
It was a monumental FUBAR starting with the city manager and former fire chief cutting the training program to save a measly $40K.
It reminds me of when Air Florida Flight 90 bounced off the 14th Street Bridge into the Potomac in 1982. I was overseas at the time but I remember seeing video on tv of all the DCFD fireman standing there looking at the tail of the plane sticking out of the river while all those people drowned.
I lost a lot of respect for firemen because of that.
Perhaps like Harry Mudd’s androids, they simply are not programmed to respond in that area.
Even the libs have stopped pushing the "someone should have helped him" line in many cases, as they realize that more deaths occur from stupid rescue attempts without proper equipment/training, than occur as original victims.
That's why there are the OSHA rules, and why any officer who went into the water would be leaving his family at risk in case anything happened to him.
If you go up onto a mountain cliff and threaten to jump, do you expect untrained, unequipped personnel to fly a helicopter out to search for you at public expense, and then go try to rescue you in hazardous conditions?
I'm glad you know so much about the courage of FReepers. I'm not a "professional" rescue worker, but if I stood and watched somebody drown, I hope someone would just shoot me.
There's regulations and there is humanity, let alone the concept of being a man. These "males" were long on the former, short on the latter.
I didn’t see anything in the story that stated if anyone was trying to talk to him or not. I’ve been in a few brouhahas and have been thinking about the difficulty in forcing a 300 pounder out of the water when he doesn’t want to go. The only thing I can think of right off hand is pepper spray or tossing a rope around him and dragging him in. I don’t know of too many cowboys in a Calif FD or PD that carry a lariat and are handy with it.
This bureaucratic approach of first responder managment types in rule bound risk free environment is sadly growing. Thus is the mind of the liberal in which there should be 0 risk in life.
In my CERT and MRC training we are repeatedly told that if the situation poses any risk at all, we are to back out to a safe distance. Granted we are not first responders, but if we are there, it's already really bad.
LOL (/snort> Firefighters put their lives on the line several times a day in some places. That being said our duty is not to try to die...
How many dead would have been enough for you to have felt like you got your moneys worth?
But hey those firemen funerals are cool with all the bagpipes and shit.
That is not a fair characterization of what I said.
Nobody diminished what cops and firefighters do.
And I am not for getting a quota on deaths of cops and firefighters.
Debate honestly or not at all. A man who arguably could have been saved was left to drown here. Nobody is blaming you.
People like you are the reason we have "leaders" like Crybaby Boehner. If you don't want any risk, don't get out of bed in the morning and certainly don't go into any type of public safety job. And, by all means, don't expect help from anyone else unless they're properly trained and compensated.
Not what I said nor what happened here. You can make any hypothetical you want, but the facts in this case present a reasonable basis for rescue to have been attempted.
Lunacy from LibLand......they couldn’t just approach him throw a blanket over him and take him out of there? bunch of pansies......and they would have lost their cushy jobs and pensions disobeying the rules. only in CA...land of the liberal loons, could this happen.
Chickens coming home to roost.
Im sure you wold have swam out alone with no floatation devices and wrestled with him till he gave out and let you drag him to shore. (/snort-at-the-dumbass)
I would just like to note that if their firemen couldn’t rescue due to lack of “training” they could not call for mutual aid to get there in time......it was a whole hour!
no one needed to swim as the guy was STANDING in the water.
Start your honest debate there.
I agree handling a 300 pounder on land is bad in water it multiplies the problems..
Possibly it is bad reporting,but from the article i get the opinion they did nothing.
As i said it is a island,thousand of boats around,to say they did not have a boat is a lame excuse,they could have at least got near to him in a boat and had a chat.
"Hey lets wade out and fight this guy to not kill himself!" 'Sounds like a plan chief...but why not just get on the PA first?"
That is why the fire fighters and cops stood by and watched that man die.
The reaction of some here, who claim to be firefighters, causes me to lose respect for their opinions as posters here.
I am not sure if this is the union mentality, as your post implies, or just that their responses regard hypothetical situations and avoid what we know to be the facts in this situation.
Perhaps they are in the wrong line of work.
I am in a fire department, I cannot imagine this happening.
Then he didn't need rescuing ...
Ordinary people don't give a damn about rules when it comes to saving lives. There are a million reasons for not doing something, and it takes overwhelming will power to do the right thing.
Standing on the sidelines for an hour while equivocating about what to do is not prudent reserve, it's bureaucratic cowardice.
In your anecdotal study, how many of those rescues were of a threatening man?
Reminds me of Crocodile Dundee and the jumper on the skyscraper.
the article I clicked on specified waste deep water.....something most cops could handle.
Shows June 1 to 15 for Alameda to have a water temp of 64 degrees. A wet suit works.
Expected Survival Time in 60 to 70 degree water: 2 to 40 hours; exhaustion or unconscious in 1 to 2 hours.