Show Down on Lifeguard Distress Calls at the OB Town Council Meeting: Wed. April 26th

by on April 24, 2017 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

San Diego Lifeguard cliff rescue, Feb. 18, 2017

Panel Discussion on Recent Policy Change with Ed Harris and Fire Dept Chief

From OBTC:

The Ocean Beach Town Council has invited San Diego Fire Department Chief Brian Fennessy and Ed Harris, leader of the San Diego Lifeguard Union, to the April 26th OB Town Council Meeting to speak on a recent policy change in the way that water distress calls are handled by the City.

Jeff Hatfield, former Lifeguard President, longtime Ocean Beach resident, and Lifeguard dispatcher will also sit on the panel.

As we head into the summer months, the goal of all public agencies is to keep residents and visitors safe at San Diego beaches, bays, and waterways.  The new controversial emergency procedure will route water distress calls not directly to the lifeguards, but first through 911 dispatch, and then to fire dispatch, before being transferred to the lifeguard unit. San Diego Lifeguards contend that the change adds an unnecessary step, slowing down the lifeguards’ emergency response time.

The next OB Town Council public meeting, held Wednesday, April 26th, at 7:00 pm, will be dedicated in part to fostering a dialogue in regards to this important public safety issue. The meeting is to be held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92107.

Here’s the official OBTC agenda for Wednesday, April 26, 2017:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Muir Avenue Ale April 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Hm. Love the idea of Fennessy & Harris appearing jointly, but extending an invitation does not guarantee an appearance. Did everyone RSVP? And even if they did, we’ve seen speakers pull no-shows in the past, even after getting prominent billing and wow-wee build-up. (Anyone remember the Scott Peters-Brian Bilbray congressional “debate” that turned out to be a Peters monologue?)


Muir Avenue Ale April 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

It seems there’s a report on ( indicating the Town Council knew in advance Fennessey couldn’t make it, didn’t appreciate them neglecting to update its agenda, and felt compelled to address the “misinformation.” C’mon, guys!


Frank Gormlie April 27, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Here is the comment I just left at that KUSI article:

“Okay, but you didn’t address the fact that Fennessy held a 45 minute press conference refuting the union’s charges, called their move “politically-motiviated” and dissed Ed Harris individually.”


Muir Avenue Ale April 27, 2017 at 11:13 pm

Fennessy needs to be held to account, and the Town Council deserves credit to that end. However, my point is about the integrity of the agenda. I received my email touting the joint Fennessy-Harris appearance on the 25th — the day before the meeting. If the email was sent after Fennessy had already bowed out, that’s just plain wrong.


Frank Gormlie April 28, 2017 at 10:53 am

Are you addressing this issue to the OB Rag or the OB Town Council? IF the OBTC, please go to their website (see Link on the nav bar) and leave them a comment. It’s almost thought that you’re expecting too much of a small community organization. Did you end up going to the meeting and being disappointed? Take this issue up with the Mayor – call his office and complain of the continued lack of city response to the OBTC.


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