LAST WEEK our city argued in court last week the our public safety services (police and fire) did not have a duty to rescue Mr. Raymond Zack (who did not know how to swim) when he was despondent and standing in 4 to 5 feet of extremely calm water at Crown Beach while his elderly mother stood on the shore begging for action.
TODAY the judge ruled for immunity of firefighters over duty. And the judge finds further that: “under the circumstances presented there was no moral blame attendant to the conduct of responding officers and firefighters.”
I have been told that this ruling impacts all cities in the state of California, not just the City of Alameda.
I’m wondering why our fire and police are some of the highest paid in the SF Bay Area . . . I’ve argued for years that because the fire procedures and protocols are so exceedingly substandard for the industry of firefighting (and I’ve shown this), that the fire staff cannot be held to any performance standards. Hell, our city has worked multiple times, year after year, to cover up fire failures . . . rather than address agency failures, team and individual failed performance. We have sustained one significant failure after another at the hand of the AFD: the 2009 FISC fire blanketed our homes with friable asbestos and the AFD mishandled the toxic fire exacerbating our exposure instead of controlling and minimizing it, the my 2010 discovery of recurring illicit crude oil transfers and spills that were polluting our waterways and air for years (BAAQMD slapped on the biggest fines they could), refusal to rescue Mr. Zack. And each time, the city covers it up. What’s next? When is this going to end?
I fear it will not end until we replace the current city charter with something that is appropriate (that works) for a contemporary city.