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Saunders: morality tale in Alameda drowning

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chronicle columnist Debra K. Saunders takes a turn slicing into Alameda fire and police personnel for watching without doing anything last week as Raymond Zack, 53, drowned off Crown Memorial State Beach. So far, what we’ve heard is that the would-be first responders didn’t act because of a 2009 city policy prohibiting water rescues. Instead, they called the Coast Guard, which took 20 minutes to get there from San Francisco. An excerpt:
As for the Alameda firefighters and cops who just stood on the shore and didn’t get their feet wet while a man drowned, they have to live with that call for the rest of their lives. They can blame policy or cutbacks or the thankless grind of rescuing unstable individuals who probably will never get their act together—but in the end, they didn’t care enough to do the right thing.
Add: The story isn’t likely to die soon. Alameda’s city council is to take up the matter when it meets Tuesday.
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