TALK BACK: Alameda man drowns while emergency crews watch; Who’s at fault?
Alameda city officials promised an in-depth review of emergency procedures after a 52 year-old suicidal man took his own life at Crown Memorial Beach on Monday while police and firefighters stood at the shore and watched him sink into the shallow bay waters and drown to death.
The city’s fire department blamed deep budget cuts that eliminated its water rescue training program in 2009 as the primary reason why its firefighters did not go into the water to save the man.
The firefighters at the scene lacked the adequate training on how to perform water rescues, the city claimed. The Police Department said it was concerned that the man may have been violent and could have harmed officers if they went into the water.
Nearby citizens and beach goers eventually went into the water and brought the man’s body back to shore. He was later identified as Raymond Zack.
Alameda residents have sounded-off pretty loudly over the inaction by the city’s first responders and the revelation that a lifesaving program to train firefighters in land/ water rescues was nixed as part of Alameda’s savings plan — despite the fact that the city is an island.
Outraged? Then what needs to be done to give our brave first responders the necessary skills and tools to save lives? Is this another example of the deep effects of budget cuts on our public services, or a bureaucratic blunder that could have prevented Zack’s death?
Sound off below.