Thank you to Robert Childs for this Letter. Everyone needs to read this and question the Mayor, City Council Members, City Manager Russo and Interim Fire Chief D’Orazi on why they are not doing the right thing here; why do the firefighters voices, and concern therefor, outrank concern for us and our voices?
I am a decorated firefighter with 38 years’ experience, 31 with San Francisco. I have worked in small and large fire departments.
Many are calling for a blue-ribbon panel staffed by doctors, psychologists and ministers. I agree that Ruben Grijalva is a poor choice to investigate this incident; he’s an administrative chief for the most part and receiving a handsome fee, which I feel will slant his report to lessen the city’s liability.
My suggestion is to create a panel of firefighters from the busier companies of San Francisco and Oakland, none to be above the rank of battalion chief.
We firefighters are paid well by the citizens of our respective cities for the risks we sometimes take to preserve lives and property. This incident did not even present a risk as displayed by the women who waded into the water to prove their point.
I have to assume there is a serious problem with the administration of the Alameda Fire Department. Crews on scene at this incident should be facing charges of dereliction of duty. The incident commander and all company officers should be reduced in rank plus given unpaid suspensions. Firefighters also should be suspended.
The taxpayers expect us to take the risks when necessary; they depend on us! These firefighters did not do the job and they have dishonored the badge. Raymond Zack should have been given another chance at life.
Reprinted from InsideBayArea Alameda Letters to the Editor. Original publication here.