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Should we blame someone or some policy

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Understanding the plight of the firefighters

but not understanding the total disregard and lack of empathy by the 75 spectators, presumably civilians who had no restrictions put upon themselves to try to come to the aid of a disturbed person. What if it had been a child who had just wandered out too far and couldn't get back....would the reaction from the 75 been different because it wasn't an adult? Stymied by this.......

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Good point and didn't consider that

I noticed the article said it was a 20 yr old girl volunteer who retrieved his body. Also noted was that the water was cold but not that deep. I drive a lot in my work and other times and have come upon quite a number of recent auto accidents on the freeways. There never seems to be a lack of people who have already stopped to help that any more would just get in the way. Even with "Good Samaritan" laws, I think too many are more worried about what might happen to them if they make a mistake in an effort to be helpful.

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I wouldn't be able to

swim a 150 yards in cold water and know it.

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There are no restrictions

for you to make a direct contribution to your local and state governments debt. Did you know that? Whatever you feel you should have paid more in taxes, feel free to send them a check for that amount.

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And no restrictions on

making contributions to your local fire departments, schools,police or other local entities either.

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I apologize for creating the diversion into politics

instead of tragedies and how to avoid or solve them in this thread.

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I think back

to tragedies here in the USA like 9-11, Katrina, San Francisco earthquake, etc. and picture so many people, civilians and otherwise, helping to save others without a glance backward regarding concern for themselves and am disappointed over this instance. What have we become?

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Nor would I. But there should have been some thought given

by local government for less expensive rescue measures than a Fireboat or helicopter. At the time of the debate over axing the Fireboat, shouldn't somebody have said, what about a smaller boat regular Firefighters or police could operate. It's sort of the Hollywoodization of what we think Police Departments, Fire Departments, Crime Labs and the like are able to accomplish with multi-million dollar budgets independent of the tax payers.

It's my understanding that DNA takes days to process, but on CSI in its various forms, it happens in, maybe not minutes, but it seems like an hour or two. Certainly it seems like the same day. Maybe I'm wrong and technology has surpassed my old understanding, but ....


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How much would an aluminum fishing boat with Oars cost?

I understand that the cost of operating a Fireboat year-round would be an budgetary issue but I'm sure, had they tried, they could have gotten an aluminum boat, oars and a 7 horsepower outboard donated to the Fire Department for local rescue. Any number of local Boating Sales businesses would have been happy to help out.

Ronald Reagan was certainly correct to encourage "volunteerism", not to replace services offered by local and state governments, but to help out and to fill in gaps.

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So what was the 'recommended' procedure

in this situation then?

"The Coast Guard boat was stymied by shallow water and the helicopter was delayed by another call".

That from the article in the link.

So, no helicopter available, the Coastguard, which as stated was the recommended rescue service, was unable to get to him.

What were the procedures laid down in that situation?

Why did no-one decide to take the initiative?


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What we don't know if it could be expected

that someone might try to commit suicide in this water. We should probably have accident contingencies but I can't say we should anticipate and address suicide attempts. It's all part of the whole dilemma.

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I don't think this incident is the biggest problem

Most suicide attempts where the person survives is that they realize it's a bad idea when there is no going back.

The biggest problem that this shows is the person that doesn't want to commit suicide and wants to be rescued would probably have the same outcome because they still weren't trained and certified in the rescue.


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It's a strange one.

But what if it hadn't been a suicide attempt.

Different scenario, a young child is floundering in the shallows, too shallow for the Coast Guard, and the helicopter is elsewhere.

Would the same restrictions on the firefighters apply?

Personally I don't see the difference between suicide attempts and accidental situations. Not to get into the whole philosophy of why anyone would want to commit suicide, I nevertheless consider they should be treated as the same rescue situation.

I seem to remember we had a similar issue here in the UK a while back, but I can't find any reference to it now. It caused a stir at the time because the restrictions were placed by the Health & Safety Board.


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I suspect the restrictions

are to avoid liability claims in the absence of official training to maintain expertise of personnel and proper maintenance and inspection of all equipment that might be used.

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If that is the case

then I have to say it is a sad state of affairs.


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