Vigil held for San Francisco FF-medic killed in training accident

Mutual-aid companies supplemented response efforts to give SFFD members the opportunity to attend the vigil

WATCH LIVE: Celebration of life ceremony for fallen San Francisco Firefighter-Paramedic Jason Cortez from SFGovTV.

By Janelle Foskett

SAN FRANCISCO — A private vigil was held Monday for San Francisco Firefighter-Paramedic Jason Cortez, who died earlier this month from injuries he sustained during a training drill.

An honor salute by members of the San Francisco Fire Department immediately followed the services, which were held at the St. Ignatius Church.

The San Francisco Sheriff's Office Honor Guard joined the vigil as well.

Mutual-aid companies from the Bay Area supplemented response efforts during the memorial service, giving SFFD members the opportunity to attend the vigil.

A private celebration of Cortez’s life is planned for Tuesday morning at Oracle Park. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube.

Cortez, 42, fell three stories during a training drill at the department’s Mission District training facility. He was knocked off a fire escape when water shot out of a valve he accidentally opened during a drill, according to a report released by the SFFD. 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.

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