Monday, January 5, 2009
GGNRA Allows Elderly Woman To Die
Never at a loss of resources when it comes to harassing and ticketing people for having their dogs off-leash, the GGNRA made its priorities very clear yesterday when it acted with reckeless disregard for the life of an elderly woman.
Elderly Woman Found Dying On Beach Didn't Make It To Hospital
(Sunday, January 4, 2009 – updated: 6:39 pm PST January 4, 2009 - KTVU News)
"SAUSALITO, CAlif. -- As law enforcement investigates the death of an elderly woman found Sunday on Rodeo beach, firefighters are saying budget cuts may have cost her life.
"Firefighter Paul Sandigo arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. Sunday morning on Sausalito's Rodeo Beach to find an elderly woman just a few hundred yards away from Presidio Fire Station 2.
"'She was kinda mumbling to me, kind of clenching down on her teeth a little bit and kind of opening her eyes a little back and forth and taking like gasping respirations', said Sandigo. 'She was kinda waving a little bit when we showed up. Got there, started trying to work on her, figure out what was going wrong. About two minutes into it, that's when she coded and that's when we started working her up.'
"Sandigo says the woman was suffering hypothermia and was unable to describe how she ended up in the sand. The 71-year-old victim then went into cardiac arrest and firefighters summoned an ambulance.
"But instead of using this one in their own station across the street, they had to summon one from the Presidio five miles away and across the Golden Gate Bridge.
"Budget cuts enforced by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) last spring cost Station 2 the use of their ambulance.
"'Could it have made the difference between life and death today for this woman? In my opinion, yes', said Brandon Treat, a Presidio firefighter and paramedic.
"Treat says this Presidio ambulance took 15 minutes to reach the beach, travelling through a one-lane tunnel that often delays vehicles for five minutes at a time. Treat says it took another 22 minutes to reach San Francisco's California Pacific Hospital, where the victim was pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m.
"The Presidio Firefighters Local Union is currently in arbitration with the GGNRA over cuts the union says have affected response times and public safety in the Marin Headlands.
"'We would like to see ourselves on-scene in four to six minutes, be on the scene for no more than ten, and on our way to the trauma center so we can get that person the care that they need'", said Treat.
GGNRA Spokesman Michael Feinstein said staffing Station 2's ambulance might not have saved the victim.
"'Medical CPR was delivered within minutes. So I don't know much difference it would've made. I don't believe it's an issue', said Feinstein.
"Firefighters at Station 2 disagree. 'It hinders us', said Sandigo.
"Investigators later towed a car from nearby where the body was found, which may've belonged to the victim. Investigators are treating Rodeo Beach as a crime scene -- though they say there are other likely scenarios.
"'There's a possibility of a fall. There's a 15 or 20 foot cliff area, embankment, down to the beach', said Sam Eddy, a national park service law enforcement ranger.
"The San Francisco County Coroner's Office says it has not positively identified the victim, but investigators say the woman may've been laying on the beach overnight-- when temperatures dipped as low as 29 degrees. An autopsy is expected to be completed by Tuesday."
The criminals who run the GGNRA (headed by Brian O'Neill) have no care for life; human or otherwise. Their goal is the elimination of everyone and everything from a National Park established first and foremost for recreation. This woman's death, like the annual deaths of swimmers and body-surfers at Ocean Beach, could and should have been avoided. But as Feinstein's callous remarks demonstrate, the GGNRA doesn't care. According to him, a 37-minute faster response time would have made no difference to a woman who was alive and responsive when initially attended to and just a couple of minutes away from an ambulance that should have been used. Thank you, Dr. Feinstein. Ironically, the GGNRA continues to muster the resources to constantly harass and ticket those engaged in off-leash recreation, a perfectly legal act. (See http://www.ggnranews.blogspot.com.) We've said it once and will say it again: if we ever see one of them drowning in the water, we'll make sure we stay on leash.