Memo contradicts claims in wake of man's suicide

AP News
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Posted: Jun 10, 2011 11:41 AM
Memo contradicts claims in wake of man's suicide

An internal memo about rescue training funds appears to contradict claims by authorities in Northern California who said department policy prevented them from helping a suicidal man in San Francisco Bay.

Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike D'Orazi said after the May suicide that budget cuts forced the department to abandon water rescue training. He said that led to a 2009 policy forbidding firefighters from engaging in water rescues.

A March 19, 2009, memo obtained by the Contra Costa Times shows that the funds were approved for the department. It was written by the fire division's chief, Dale Vogelsang.

Officials declined to comment pending a city review.

Raymond Zack waded into frigid, neck-deep water and stood there until his body went limp as authorities and his stepmother watched from the shore.

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Information from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com