San Francisco Fire Department Performs Dramatic Surf Rescue

Norm Rooker reports on an intense surf rescue operation that led four SFFD members to receive top awards from the Firehouse Heroism & Community Service Awards program.


On Feb. 18, 2004, three Canadian men sailed a 30-foot sailboat up the California coast and directly into a confluence of factors, forces and errors that culminated in their craft being broached, capsized and ultimately destroyed off of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. The San Francisco Fire...


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For more information on the U.S. Lifesaving Association's Aquatic Rescue Response Team Program, visit the website at www.usla.org. For more information on the San Francisco Fire Department's surf rescue program, contact Fire Marshal Paul Chin, SFFD Headquarters, 698 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107.

- Norm Rooker


Norm Rooker, a former firefighter/paramedic for the San Francisco Fire Department, is chief paramedic for Ouray County, CO, EMS and has been active in EMS since 1973. He is a member of Station 18 and was on duty the day of the rescue, but had been detailed downtown as Rescue Captain 1. He is also a freelance writer whose articles and columns have appeared in numerous fire, EMS and rescue journals.