Alameda Hires Ex-Fire Marshall To Investigate Drowning Suicide Response

ALAMEDA (KCBS)— The City of Alameda has hired a former state fire marshal to conduct an independent review of the Memorial Day drowning of a suicidal man. The inquiry is expected to be complete by September with the findings and recommendations will then presented at a public meeting of the Alameda City Council.

After 52-year-old Raymond Zack drowned in the frigid waters off Alameda’s Crown Beach it was discovered that police and fire rescuers stood by for an hour after Zack waded into the water. The Fire Department later said crews hadn’t been trained in water rescue.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

City Manager John Russo said Chief Ruben Grijalva a former fire marshal and former director of Cal FIRE was chosen this week to take a detailed look at the incident.

“He will review the more recent history of water-rescue policy in Alameda. There’s a lot of contention about what happened and who’s responsible,” said Russo.

Russo added Grijalva will prepare a minute by minute chronology of all communication in the case with full access to all documents and employees involved.

“He’s going to review Alameda’s current water rescue policies and make recommendations,” said Russo

The recommendations would be in addition to changes already instituted that allow commanders to send in rescuers.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Anna Duckworth
  • Primetime Editorials

    this is so sad
    but why is it being investigated he wanted to die

  • Bill D.

    Stall until it’s out of the newspapers and media… then finally absolve everyone of responsibility and recommend measure that have already been taken. I should be in government!

  • alamedan

    He’s not “independent” – he’s getting paid by the city he’s supposed to be investigating.

  • chubbyone

    A fireman investigating firemen. Hmmm! That is what you call non-partisan.

    • Darwin

      So it is better for a layman who knows absolutely nothing about the matter being investigated to investigate it?

  • joemomma

    In situations of life and death, sometimes you have to throw away the rules and save somebody.

  • If You Rescue Him - You're Fired!

    Take a break, Tom Sawyer…the whitewashing is in good hands!

  • WhatMeWorry

    This says so much about Alameda and its citizens, sorry to say. Where’s the outrage? A special prosecutor should be going after this government, top to bottom. Public debates should be held, demonstrations. I won’t set foot nor wheel there ever again. What an insult to hire this guy. But Alamedans just don’t get it. Have the gov’t they deserve (like the rest of us).

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