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Imponderable #7: Alameda California

26 Jul

July 26, 2011

Have we gotten to the point where bureaucracy values red tape over human lives? I think we hit that point long ago but here is stark proof.

Had two guys playing volleyball on the beach saw the man in the water and rushed in to save him we’d be applauding them as heroes, but paid rescuers could only stand on the beach and watch the man die. Why? Red tape.

How can these people live with themselves?

When asked by a reporter if he would go in the water to save a child, the Fire Department Chief answered “Well, if I was off-duty I would know what I would do, but I think you’re asking me my on-duty response and I would have to stay within our policies and procedures because that’s what’s required by our department to do.”

In other words, if he was off-duty sure, he’d rescue the baby. No problem! But once he goes on duty and assumes the responsibilities of a first responder, someone who’s very job is to save lives, he’d let the child drown.

This is the world that lawyers have given us.

I remind you that the suicidal man was standing in obviously gentle surf for an entire hour. The police and firemen watched for an hour, and it took an onlooker to retrieve the body.

And the Chief’s final word? “I think the sensibility would be probably that we’re going to evaluate our response protocols.”

There is no “sensibility” here. None at all.

How could police and fire fighters stand on a beach for an entire hour and watch a man die?

How could they suppress every human urge to save a life, a life that could have been saved with minimal danger to themselves?

The question is Imponderable

And disgusting.

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