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City of Alameda Confirms Dispatch of Second Ambulance to Raymond Zack Incident

The City of Alameda has confirmed that Alameda firefighters requested a second ambulance to be dispatched on May 30th, to help resuscitate Raymond Zack, who ultimately died after standing for over an hour in the waters off of Crown Beach, and then collapsing. Until responding this week to a public records request from Action Alameda News, the City had not released information about the dispatch of this second ambulance.

On June 21st, Action Alameda News obtained copies of 9-1-1 telephone recordings of the May 30th incident from Alameda County; these recordings had not been previously released by either the City of Alameda nor the County. Dispatch of Alameda Fire Department apparatus is handled by the Alameda County Fire Department, through its Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC). The dispatch of the second ambulance is recorded in an incident report provided by the City of Alameda just this week.

The administration office for the Alameda County Fire Department is at the San Leandro City Hall building, on East 14th Street in San Leandro, and the dispatch center itself is located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory site in Livermore.

At the end of the telephone recordings, an exchange can be heard between a dispatcher at ACRECC, and an Alameda Fire Department medic that responded to Crown Beach in the first ambulance:

Dispatcher: “Well, who was the second ambulance for?”

Medic: “…we had run through all our batteries on the AutoPulse….Yea, he’s done. Yea, so we called in to see if we could get the AutoPulse up and working…”

The AutoPulse is an automated chest compression device produced by Zoll Medical Corporation, and it’s used to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation in response to cardiac arrest; some paramedics call the device a “thumper.”

The Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) field manual recommends that emergency responders “use a mechanical compression device whenever possible” for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The field manual also explains that “Effective and uninterrupted compressions are important for survival…Mechanical CPR allows for consistent, quality CPR that enables caregivers to focus on other aspects of resuscitation while maximizing effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.” The AutoPulse is approved by Alameda County EMS for use in Alameda County.

The incident report for the second ambulance notes that it was alerted at 12:47:47, on Monday, May 30th, 2011. The text narrative in the report explains that, “M2 [Medic Van 2] requested by M1 [Medic Van 1] for use of another Auto pulse on Pt [patient] M1 had just transported to Alameda [Hospital] ER. Upon arrival ER MD terminated CPR efforts and M2 released without Pt [patient] contact.”

In parallel with our public records request submitted to the City of Alameda, Action Alameda News also requested records pertaining to the dispatch of the second ambulance from the Alameda County Fire Department. Officials from that agency responded this week to say that they have no evidence of a second ambulance request.

Alameda County Fire Department officials have not yet responded to follow-up questions from Action Alameda News to explain how they could have no record of a second ambulance request in light of the telephone recordings with their dispatcher discussing that request, and in light of the incident report provided by the City of Alameda. Likewise, Action Alameda News contacted Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan’s office for an explanation; Ms. Chan has not yet responded to our inquiry.

6 comments to City of Alameda Confirms Dispatch of Second Ambulance to Raymond Zack Incident

  • Liz

    Add to this the fact that Adam Sisemore, the paramedic on M2 appears to be under sanction from the EMSA. His paramedic license PO 1538 was placed on probation in 2008 for “addiction to the excessive use of alcoholic beverages, narcotics,dangerous drugs or controlled sunstances,”. That’s a direct quote from a record I obtained from the EMSA website when I searched for his last name. According to a source knowledgeable about paramedic probation, this means he must be accompanied by a paramedic III on calls. Yet Bary Beecher, the second firefighter listed on the Incident Report, appears to have an EMT license. As if that weren’t egregious enough, a third firefighter, Justin Hearn, is the one writing the report. Justin is not listed in the report as being on M2. Justin’s paramedic license is current. One can’t help but wonder if that’s why Justin was asked to write the report? It does not seem too much of a stretch to speculate about the reason this incident report was not produced until now and lists no reviewer like all other incident reports. Could it be because the AFD has so very much to cover up?

    This one stinks to high heaven. Thanks for reporting on it, and for persisting in getting to the bottom of this.

  • 94502

    Keep digging.

    Thank you very much.

  • Barb

    Think we should nominate Liz for Fire Chief.
    These last two years,Firefighters have been concerned with getting signatures for a ballot measure to force a broke City to maintain “SAFE LEVELS OF STAFFING”. Or too busy having fun taking pictures of Kaplan at the gas pump to sober up, “refresh” how to swim, or administer their own department. The drinking, or use of drugs is consistent with partying with GILMORE, TAM and BONTA. Highly paid, retirement after 20 years and driving in the parade as if they nothing happened.
    The $20,000 to pay for the upcoming whitewash should not come from our tax dollars but from their union.
    Since they sent two ambulances, are they going to a send a double bill to Zack’s family?

  • Michael

    Keep going. We’ve likely just scratched the surface as to the operation of the fire department.

  • Liz

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Barb. I’m sure I’ll be high on the list, as I have all the necessary qualifications: None.

  • smart voter

    think about running foe City Council.