SD Rostra

Ed Harris Is a Political Hack

Union hacks don’t miss a chance to try to be relevant.  Political hack Ed Harris, head of the City of San Diego Lifeguard’s Union, sent Texas Governor Abbot and Houston Mayor Turner a passive-aggressive “apology” letter.

Dear Governor Abbott, Mayor Turner and citizens of Houston,

I am sorry to tell you that we are not coming. I am a San Diego Lifeguard Sergeant. We have a River Rescue Team that is nationally recognized. Our guards spent weeks rescuing people during hurricane Katrina. We saw this storm approaching Thursday and packed our bags. The team hooked up the taxpayer funded CAL-OES trailer and boats that have sat in storage for this type of event. They waited for the call to go that would surely come quickly. It did not. On Saturday, our team was informed to unpack and take the boats over to the Fire Department. They will go. Our team stayed packed and readied more boats and asked to go. Sunday came and we listened to your pleas for help; still we are not sent. Today some guards and I asked for time off so that we could drive our own boats and trucks on our own time. We planned to be there by 3 pm Tuesday. This was in response to your cries for anyone with a boat. We were denied vacation to come help you. The Coast Guard reports through CNN that there are thousands in need and the worst is yet to come, still we sit here. We have plenty of staff to send, but we are blocked.

As professional lifeguards, we are saddened that there are moms, grandmas and children that we could rescue if we were only allowed to go help. We are sickened that Chief Brian Fennessy has blocked our response. Former San Diego Fire Deputy Chief Doug Nakama is now Chief of Special Operations, OES for Governor Brown (Cell: 619-381-7800 and Nakama knows that we have ability and numerous resources. He knows that we are self-sustained and could leave with an hours notice. He does not send us. It is with heavy hearts that we send this apology. We can only hope that if our families were in need, someone would come. Attached is a photo of our CAL-OSHA truck packed and sitting in the yard.

What exactly is Ed Harris’ beef?  

The San Diego Lifeguards can’t go to Texas to help out with the tragic flood rescue because members of the San Diego Fire Department are going instead. Keep in mind that we are approaching Labor Day weekend with high temperatures expected; our beaches should be packed. Is Ed Harris some kind of a Baywatch glory hound, looking to get good national TV time for the Lifeguards?

Probably not. This is a turf war with the firefighters and it’s been going on for months:

San Diego City lifeguards and their union are seriously considering getting out from under the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The lifeguard union leader claims that recent changes in dispatching procedures initiated by the new fire chief, Brian Fennessy, now route all water-related 911 calls to the fire department instead of directly to lifeguards- who have historically made all water rescues.

It’s just Ed being Ed. When some kind of tragedy happens, he tries the leverage the grief and public sentiment to arrogate more power for his union. Meanwhile, the “Texas Volunteer Navy” is “saving some lives” (if you watch anything today, watch this).

Ed’s a political hack but…

…you already knew that.

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