By Mic Porte
San Diego hosts many people. We advertise our world famous beaches, attractions and weather to the world. We invite people to come. We pay fancy advertising campaigns on the billboards of Times Square in New York City at New Year’s.
The police, fire-rescue, lifeguards and Coast Guard cannot patrol every inch of coastline, border, road, etc. It is a tribute to the Good Samaritans among us that there are not more tragedies along the coast, on the roads and in other public places.
We hear this on the local news a lot—the “Good Samaritan” including our volunteer fire squads around the county, saved the person who fell off the cliff, was stuck in the seaweed, or from the overturned boat in the bay, or in the crashed car, or the house on fire, or flood. The incidents are regular, and a quick overview of accident/rescue articles in the press reveals the frequency of the Good Samaritan intervention.
To act in an emergency is natural for many (adrenaline and a good heart), and by-standers who have called 911 and jumped in the water to save someone often shrug off their heroism, and so does the press, but I don’t think the City of San Diego should shrug it off. Nor the press, for that matter.
We should see the names and faces of these daily heroes on the news in big type, instead of just calling them “a Good Samaritan.”
The story of my fellow citizens and how they act when others are in danger is interesting to me. They are real heroes as much as any trained operative—more even. They should be encouraged and honored.
The press and rescue units should send names of local heroes from the accident scene to the City, and the City should give them a medal of honor in a yearly ceremony—like the State of the City address—for forestalling tragedy in our busy tourist city, by their presence and action in an emergency.
This would be the kind of resolution I would like to support for a San Diego community in the spirit of “semper vigilans”—always vigilant—our motto, our heroes.
Micaela Shafer Porte, born and bred in Pacific Beach, class of Mission Bay High School ’77, artist-activist-mother. “No good living with bad design”