San Francisco firefighter-paramedic killed in training accident
Jason Cortez, 42, fell three stories during a company-level training drill, causing severe head injuries
Duty Death: Jason Cortez - [San Francisco, California]
End of Service: 10/07/2020
Oct. 10 Update: San Francisco Fire Department Station 3 has established the Firefighter Jason Cortez Memorial Fund.
Oct. 8, 10:28 a.m. PST Update: The San Francisco Fire Department holds press conference about the line-of-duty death of Jason Cortez.
By Janelle Foskett
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco Fire Department firefighter-paramedic suffered a fatal injury during a company-level training accident on Wednesday morning.
Jason Cortez, 42, fell three stories during a training drill at the department’s Mission District training facility, suffering severe head injuries, reports CBS SF BayArea. Immediate ALS measures were taken, and Cortez was transferred to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.
A 13-year veteran of the SFFD and a son of a retired San Francisco firefighter, Cortez reportedly started as an ambulance paramedic at Station 49, before moving to the SFFD Academy and graduating as a paramedic-firefighter.
Cortez was assigned to Station 3 in the city’s Tenderloin District — the busiest fire station in the nation, according to SFFD spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Baxter.
Baxter added that this was a trying time for the department, as Cortez was very well-liked at the department and served as an advocate for public safety.
1/2 At this difficult time we want to thank the media and the public for being understanding and respectful. We will be escorting our Brother, FF/PM Jason Cortez, to the Medical Examiners Office shortly. You will see fire apparatus along the route paying their respects. pic.twitter.com/xzgoGAclTt— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) October 7, 2020
Family members, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, California Highway Patrol officers, and other emergency responders gathered to salute Cortez as he was transferred from San Francisco General to the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office.
Today we escorted our brother Firefighter Paramedic Jason Cortez, from the Medical Examiner's Office to the Mortuary. We will update plans for a celebration of life when details are confirmed. Thank you to all for your support during this difficult time. @SFFDJCORTEZ pic.twitter.com/IBO0jD5U9q— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) October 9, 2020
The San Francisco Firefighters Union Local 798 Twitter account posted a tribute to Cortez with photos of the firefighter with one of his sons and his father.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of one of our own. This morning, the San Francisco Fire Department lost one of our own in a Line of Duty Death. Jason Cortez was a beloved 13-year veteran with the SFFD who tragically lost his life at the age of 42. (Cont) pic.twitter.com/c8W5yuu6dQ— San Francisco Firefighters 798 (@SFFFLocal798) October 7, 2020
SFFD Station 3 set up a memorial fund to honor Cortez.
This is the Official Firefighter Jason Cortez Memorial Fund for those of you who have askedhttps://t.co/DKsueFd2IL— SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) October 10, 2020
Cal/OSHA is investigating the incident.