Fire Department Log

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday August 20, 2009 - 11:12:00 AM

Saved [in] the Bay 

After Berkeley’s Finest spotted a man in the water off Golden Gate Fields Monday evening, they turned to Berkeley’s Bravest to make the rescue. 

Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong said police called the Fire Department at 7:37 p.m., reporting “a man in the bay in need of assistance.” 

Firefighters arrived with two engines, a truck and a paramedic unit. The crew included three specially trained swimmers from the department’s new Water Rescue Team, making their first-ever rescue since the team was trained and equipped last year thanks to a $48,000 grant from Fireman’s Fund insurance company. 

“We’ve made recoveries before, said the deputy chief, “but this was our first rescue.”  

“Recovery” is 911-worker-speak for retrieving dead bodies, and “rescue” is the word for live ones. 

The 38-year-old man was alive and alert at the time of his rescue, when he was brought ashore and taken to an emergency room for treatment of hypothermia and hypoglycemia—too much cold and too little blood sugar. 

Deputy Chief Dong said there had been reports earlier in the day of an apparently homeless man who had kept trying to wade out into the bay. 



Four very tired Berkeley firefighters were due home Thursday, Aug. 20, after spending a week with the engine, fighting to save the homes of Bonny Doon during the just-contained Lockheed Fire in Santa Cruz County, said the deputy chief. 

The engine company headed south at 8 a.m. on Aug. 13 as part of the Alameda County contingent of firefighters. “They spent the first five days protecting structures and the last two days doing mopping up and overhaul,” he said. “After seven straight days of hard work, they’re ready for a break.”