Oakland Still Unprepared to Respond to Protest Injuries

As Occupy Oakland moves forward with its call for a general strike Wednesday, the city is still unprepared to respond in a swift, coordinated manner if altercations between protesters and police result in injuries, an Alameda County official in charge of medical preparedness said.

During a conflict with police Oct. 25, riot officers and medical personnel stood by as activist Scott Olsen, 24, bled from his head after being hit with a projectile. Olsen received treatment only after fellow protesters took him to a hospital.

In defense of the city workers’ failure to assist Olsen, Oakland Fire Chief Mark Hoffman said he did not expect public servants under his command to go to the aid of the wounded in the middle of a “riot.”


The Bay Citizen:

Jim Morrissey, the county’s terrorism and disaster preparedness coordinator, said Tuesday he was still trying to contact Oakland police officials to help them work with emergency medical personnel. Morrissey said the coordination is particularly urgent because Alameda County switched to a new ambulance provider this week.

“The Oakland Police Department is a great law enforcement agency. But I haven’t seen any plan, and I am the medical health operational coordinator,” said Morrissey, who lectures nationally on the subject of collaboration between police and emergency-services agencies. “I need to see what they’re going to do so we can offer services to them.”

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