From another blog….14-year old boy, a non-swimmer, drowned at a swimming lake in New Jersey. It’s a terrible tragedy. But this astounded me…

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 at 1:46 am

Monday, July 28, 2008
A 14-year old boy, a non-swimmer, drowned at a swimming lake in New Jersey. It’s a terrible tragedy. But this astounded me: Staff at the pool underwent crisis counseling, said police officer Brian Pullman and Village Manager James Ten Hoeve.

Crisis counseling? For lifeguards? Did they ask for this nonsense, or were they forced to endure it? Must every adversity in one’s life be guided by counselors? Is nobody able to navigate life without “expert“ assistance?

For the record, I was in the middle of a failed rescue at the very same facility 30 years ago. We performed CPR on the body for 15-20 minutes, not knowing how long it had been underwater. Additionally, in my youth I had friends or acquintances die of the following causes: drunk driving, suicide, leukemia, rock climbing accident, and drug overdose. Not once were “crisis counselors” sent in, nor were they required.

I imagine these counselors did more to accomodate the politicians need to “do something” than it helped the lifeguards, who knew a tragic drowning is always an eyeblink away.

Meanwhile, while Ridgewood, NJ was sending in counselors over its third drowning in 30 years, New York lifeguards were dealing with four deaths and three disappearances in two days, and 10 people were struck by lightning in the region. The New York area crisis counselors are going to have their hands full.
posted by Kurt at 10:57 PM


  1. Wow, you’re a coldhearted SOB aren’t you? I’m glad you were able to weather all those deaths without the need of counseling (although a little might have been a good idea, judging by your lack of empathy). I personally know two Graydon lifeguards and let me tell you, one of them obviously needed to talk to the counselor and the other was less obvious in his need but said he appreciated knowing the help was there. Your cynical analysis does does nothing for us here in Ridgewood and only shines a light on your issues. Good luck (and good riddance) to you.

  2. Wow, 9.00pm – “SOB, Good riddance “. Your response is so constructive! and helpful!, perhaps you should see a conflict resolution counselor!

    Counselling should be available to those who need it, perhaps ‘lifeguards’ should have it as part of their initial training. I do think the guards do a great job.

  3. What 9:00 said.

    “Must every adversity in one’s life be guided by counselors?”

    Yeah, why don’t our soldiers in Iraq suck it up “like real men”, rather than complain about PTSD.

  4. Who are these counselors anyway and what, pray tell, is their training?

    We even have a “crises counselor” for our school district. Not for the students, of course, but for the administrators and staff. If a student went to the crises C. he may get tagged as a wuss. That might make his problem far worse. My bet is to skip the counselor and get right into therapy.

  5. haha maybe so! I was just so put-off by the guy’s comments. I guess I could have been a little nicer. But still…the point is, there is nothing wrong with making counsellors available to people involved in or witness to a traumatic event..

  6. Trauma is trauma. Just because one persons trauma is worse that anothers does not diminish the need for counseling. Post tramatic stress disorder can effect someone for a life time, so weather someone witnessed a death or multiple deaths – the risk is all the same.

    Good for you , you didn’t need counseling, but don’t insult others who do. You obviously funneled all of your trama into anger. I hope that is working out for you.

  7. Crisis counselors, hmmm.

    Just a wimpy ass response from the left who have infiltrated Ridgewood and brought their nanny state philosophy with them.

    We are so soft. What would happen in a real crisis of per portion? Say on the scale of violence experienced everyday in Israel.

    Once again an example of the government usurping the traditional role of the private sector; clergy, doctors, friends and family.

    Can we assume that these counselors are the ones recently hired by the BOE. If not, what a waste of redundant services.

    Only in Ridgewood.

  8. JP – remove this post…the author must be sub-human…

  9. I hope that counseling was offered to the family of the victim. His little sister will need help dealing with the loss.

  10. I agree with 900 Kurt keep your stupid ass talk to yourself. If Ridgewood did not do that you would have had something to say about that. We have all had our hardships but you dont hear us complaining about it. What the hell is wrong with you and your dumbass remarks. And for you PJ why would you even post something as stupid as this?? I have been noticing that you are leaning away from the news we want to hear and just putting the grumbles up from people who dont have the balls to go to a meeting and talk have to say. More of a lets see who we can attack today. This is not what we want nor what the blog should be about. We want our old blog back…

  11. Actually, counseling services were also provided to the staff and kids of the summer day camp, most of whom were still at the pool after the camp program had ended. In this instance, the day camp counselors themselves are kids in their mid-teens, watching over kids of grade school age. A little professional help was well worth it.

    The Swim Team and parents were also present and received professional counseling later in the week.

    Like it or not, there is quite a bit of research on how to respond to tragedies of this nature. The pros know it and can use it to help people that need it.

  12. Kurt – Whoever you are, you sound like a really insensitive jerk.

  13. I agree completely. We’ve become such a society of wimps. I put it down to the gradual feminization of our culture.

  14. 6:42 PM,

    I agree with your analysis about the feminization of our culture.

    I’ll bet almost all the detractors of the original post are women.

    The rest are girlie men.

  15. Kurt asks the question, “Is nobody able to navigate life without “expert“ assistance?”

    According to the mental health “experts”, the answer is no.

    This is a cottage industry leaching off the misfortunes of others, peddling their trade to the gullible.

    How did humanity survive the past 5000 years without their wisdom and council?

  16. The best part of this commentary is the fact that half of you are responding on this blog to the poster “kurt”…when the headline of the post says “FROM ANOTHER BLOG…”

  17. Just for the record:

    1. I did not post this on your blog, you guys did. I posted it on MY blog.

    2. I grew up in Ridgewood and lived there for 25 years. I was a Graydon guard for many years, and my father has the head lifeguard for 20 years. In fact, I gave CPR to the guy we pulled out some 30 years ago; we didn’t know he had gone down over night, so we gave it our very best try. I have some experience in this area.

    3. Observing that life is full of adversity makes me neither sub-human nor monstrous. Indeed, I have seen my fare share over the last several years, losing my father, wife, and mother in the space of less than 2 years.

    I called nobody a name, nor did I cast aspersions on any individuals. I made an observation about society in general. That this has drawn such personal venom says more about the commenters than it says about me.

    Let me conclude by observing that while I write under my own name, most of those calling me such awful things do so anonymously.


  18. 7:57- You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Yes, we have a crisis counselor, actually TWO of them. I know, I am a school employee. And NO they are not for the employees/admins/teachers, although I suppose we could sit down with them to get assistance in our own lives. They are for the STUDENTS.
    It really bothers me when people shoot their mouths off and they don’t even have the facts.

  19. Well congratulations on all the incredible hardships you’ve had to endure throughout your life. Maybe the counseling will save these lifeguards from a pointless life of internet blogging?

  20. 9:09 PM, don’t be snarky.

  21. kurt.. I like the blog, do not get me wrong, but i feel the overwhelming amount of self righteous overly conservative BS artists that subscribe are nauseating. Having lived in ridgewood and the surrounding area most of my life, I did, at times share similar views. Once I left the bubble of Northern Bergen county and moved to Queens, I experienced reality. I realized one thing, yes there are tragedies everywhere, and yes, different people take things different ways, but no one has the right to criticize someone for their emotions and reactions in such a situation. Are some people soft and use certaing things as a crutch? Of Course! But that is american society, get the most for the least. Simply, stop crying about other people and how they act, when you are worse for criticizing them for being vulnerable. If you want someone to comiserate with, head south and seek out the clan you ignorant people…

  22. OK, 10:37 AM, that made a lot of sense.

  23. 10:37 AM –

    “…Are some people soft and use certaing things as a crutch? Of Course! But that is american society, get the most for the least….”

    That may be your mush-headed understanding of “American society”, and I’m sure it’s what you believe and how you live your life as a leech on the productive individuals in America.

    The true American society is one of independence and opportunity. It is also one of kindness generosity and compassion. It is one that rewards the individual who works hard, is self-reliant, pushes forward in the face of adversity and makes personal sacrifices to better himself.

    Leeches like you are a huge drag on the America’s prosperity and greatness and you are dragging the country down. “Get the most for the least”… sounds like the talk of a looser or a criminal.

    If you are truly in need, America’s kindness and generosity is there to help. It would be nice if you took this assistance when you needed it and when you got your self together again, you gave something back, rather than looking to scheme the system. America DOES NOT demand nor require that you give something back (and that may be a character flaw), but a decent person would give something back. Only a selfish leech like you would not WANT to return the favor and would try to “get the most for the least”

  24. 10:37 –
    Re: “no one has the right to criticize someone for their emotions and reactions in such a situation.”

    You may not like it; It may not even be nice, but everyone has this right… Its’ called Freedom of speech.

    Have they done away with it in Queens?

    Oh and BTW, the “self righteous overly conservative BS artists” (as you like to put it) are the ones who are always fighting for your free speech right. It’s you fascists (masquerading as liberals) who are into restricting speech banning words, labeling things and controlling peoples thoughts and actions.

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