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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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