A 53 year old woman saw Burgess have the seizure and fall into the water. She called the emergency response people and the police arrived within two minutes. But as one officer began removing his shoes to wade into the pond, he was ordered to wait for “trained” specialists. This had been declared a water rescue and the police are not equipped for that.
Then a paramedic arrived. He was told he could not enter the water because he lacked the right “protective” clothing. If he tried to enter the water, he would violate workplace regulations and presumably could lose his job.
Then the fire department arrived, but they lacked the “proper training” for a water rescue. Specifically, they cited a regulation which prevents them from wading into water that is more than ankle-deep without special training. Thus, they called for additional specialists. They also decided that Burgess had to be dead as he had been in the water for 10 minutes, even though people who have been submerged up to 60 minutes have been saved.
At that point, a police officer decided to go into the water. But he was told he would be criminally prosecuted if he proceeded. He was told that the fire department was on scene and engaged in a “body retrieval situation” and that he was not to interfere. The fire department also refused to loan him a lifejacket.
Thirty minutes later, the specialists arrive. By this point, twenty-five rescue personnel were on scene. They finally retrieved the body forty minutes after Burgess first fell into the pond. Mr. Burgess was dead.
Here’s a critical fact: the pond is only 2-3 feet deep. Indeed, the image above shows a Daily Mail reporter who has waded out into the pond.
Think about this entire shameful event and ask yourself where things went wrong? The answer is: generations of liberalism.
Liberalism formalizes human relationships by law and regulation. This is the very nature of liberalism, that the government will protect you from all dangers by establishing rules and regulations which tell everyone precisely how they should act. In so doing, it absolves people of their sense of personal responsibility by replacing the duties we all owe each other as human beings with specific regulations which dictate acceptable and unacceptable. That was what was on display in Gosport.
● The 53 year old woman did exactly what liberals tell you to do when faced with criminals, bullies or emergencies: call the authorities and make no attempt to solve the problem yourself. She made no attempt to pull this man from the water or turn him over even though she saw him pass out and knew the water was shallow.Twenty-five trained “rescue personnel” stood around threatening each other with regulations and criminal prosecution while they let a man die because they were unwilling to wade out into a knee-deep pond. That’s shameful.
● The first police officer decided specialists were needed to wade out 25 feet in knee-deep water because that is what he was told.
● The paramedic chose his job over saving a man’s life and he hid behind the excuse that he lacked the protective clothing needed to wade into a pond.
● The fire department was worse. They let a bogus regulation stop them from saving a man in an obviously harmless situation. Then they declared him dead even though others have been saved who were submerged for up to six times longer and even though they didn’t really know if he had been face down for ten minutes. They did this because it soothed their consciences for choosing to follow the regulations rather than their moral obligations as human beings. Interestingly, they have been criticized because it turns out the regulation only applies to floods. But that misses the point of what went wrong here. The problem wasn’t that the regulation was wrong, the problem was the reliance on regulations over human judgement in the first place.
● Finally, consider the officer who wanted to save the man when he saw the shameful conduct of the others but stopped when he was threatened with criminal prosecution. Would that have stopped you?
It’s also the same behavior you see when a DMV clerk won’t correct a typo, when an IRS agent won’t admit a mistake, when social workers won’t save an abused child because they don’t have all the right forms filled out, etc. This is the result of liberalism: bureaucratic form over human substance.
Now compare this with Ben Patrick, a former tight end for the Arizona Cardinals. He was driving along in Arizona when he came upon a van that had flipped onto its side. The van apparently was leaking gasoline. Yet, a GROUP of people, including Patrick, stopped and helped pull people out of the van even though it could have exploded. Said Patrick:
“My first thought was just to help the people on the inside.”Patrick did what, in my experience, most Americans would do. He saw people in an emergency situation and he went to help. He did this at great personal risk as the van could have exploded or caught fire. He didn’t wait for the trained professionals or worry about protective clothing or consulting regulations. He did what humans are meant to do.
The comparison here is truly apt. When people live in a nanny (i.e. liberal/socialist) state, they lose their sense of right and wrong and their sense of personal responsibility. It happens in small and large ways. And in Gosport you see it writ large. These people let this man die because none of them felt it was their obligation to save him. They felt their obligations were to the system and the rules it put into place. Patrick, on the other hand, showed what happens when people are accountable to themselves and cannot hide behind the excuse, “I was just following orders.”
This is not hyperbole: America is the greatest nation on Earth precisely because its people are free to make their own choices and bear the economic, reputational, and moral consequences of their own actions.
Kudos to Mr. Patrick, you are an honorable and decent human being. Shame on Gosport. And shame on anyone who wants to make America more like Gosport.