None of us are safe…

Lisa Goldman is our city manager until July 13. Her phone should be ringing off the hook today folks. Here’s her number:  (510) 747-4700. And here’s her email: LGoldman@ci.alameda.ca.us

Oh, and last week apparently, Mike Dorazi was put into place as our new *interim* fire chief. But I cannot find any news about this!  And there’s no press release on the city website regarding this.  Regardless, call the AFD and leave a message with admin (510-337-2100 or call his direct line at: (510) 337-2102. And his email is: mdorazi@ci.alameda.ca.us

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The APD explains it in today’s news…

“Petty Officer Erik Swanson tells the Tribune that a U.S. Coast Guard boat dispatched to the scene could not reach the man because the water was too shallow. By the time a helicopter spotted him, the woman swimmer already was pulling him toward the beach.”  And oh, btw, “him” was a dead body by then.

Let’s see.  We have extremely well-paid highly skilled police and fire first responders and….

1. the victim is in the water so they need a boat, then

2. the water is too shallow so they need a helicopter…seriously?!

What kind of clusterfuck is this?!  Deadly.

The victim dies waiting for an psyche rescue while standing in cold water just offshore….

HUH?!  No one thought to simply WALK out there and rescue this fellow?!  Hell, the victim walked out there and stood there.  For 90 minutes.  Not one first-responder was fit enough to do the same?!  Where’s the common sense?  What, too many bright shiny tools have to used in order to do a job?!  No, get a boat! No, get a helicopter! No wait, shit, he died! Let the civilian bring him the body in. WHAT THE F***?!

The AFD couldn’t walk out there and do a water rescue, swimming the guy back to shore on his back? You KNOW that some of the AFD used to be on the water rescue team; some of them do have training. Even without that training, this was not a shallow water situation. Yet they all stood on the shore unable to do a thing. WHY?

So our AFD is so incompetent that it cannot follow rules (because they do not know them [toxic fires] or are in cahoots with the polluters [crude oil spill] and assist their coverup) and I’ll assume here (because they disbanded the water rescue unit) that when the rules/policies need breaking in order to do their jobs, they can’t do that either. It might put their pensions and life-time healthcare at risk (sarcasm intended).

EVERYONE IN ALAMEDA SHOULD BE ON THIS, UPSET, AND DEMANDING A CHANGE.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF OUR CITY TO BEST PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?

WOULD YOU LET THE AFD CONTINUE BUSINESS AS USUAL?! I don’t think so.

WILL CITY MANAGER RUSSO ENOUGH HERE? This really is the very very last straw.  The illnesses we all will suffer from the pollution from friable asbestos and crude oil in our lungs and landscapes will be very real but hard to correlate to the AFD failures. But this, this is black and white. As was the failure to meet contemporary toxic fire and crude oil spill response standards. Go ask Russo what’s he’d going to do. It’s got to be big and real. We cannot let him continue our relationship with the AFD as is; we will not forget Memorial Day 2011 and we cannot let him think we might.  We cannot give up on changing what’s wrong with the AFD.

The AFD has been underperforming for far too long and yesterday’s unnecessary death is evidence thereof. This is someone’s son. What if it were your son? And yes, this comes under the heading of contracts, procedures and training, and it is under the purview of the city manager…it is his responsibility to fix this for us.  The chief of police and the chief of fire serve the city manager, not the mayor.  Russo needs to come out today and say something effective, stronge, and most importantly, believable. Something that makes sense to us!  We need to know what he has planned to do about the AFD that will ENSURE that this type of thing never happens again.

None of us are safe if our first responders cannot and will not do their jobs of rescuing and protecting us.

As far as I can tell, County Fire does just fine. When a fire is toxic, they evacuate people, call in the regional and state agencies to help protect us and pay for the cleanup.  When someone is in the water, they freaking go in and rescue them.  Let’s move the AFD to county. It would mean we’d have first responders who do their job in and out of the water AND it would save our city 10% (which is millions, by the way).  How difficult is it to make THAT decision?

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About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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