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San Francisco firefighter dies during training exercise

Site of training accident
(Los Angeles Times)

A firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Department has died during a training exercise, officials said.

Department spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter identified the firefighter as Jason Cortez, a father of two in his early 40s.

Cortez, of Station No. 3 in the Tenderloin, was injured around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning and taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died less than an hour later.

Cortez started as a paramedic in 2007 before recently graduating from the fire academy as a firefighter-paramedic assigned to “the busiest station in America,” Baxter said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

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“Jason is not only a fellow firefighter-paramedic. He’s a friend to all,” Baxter said. “He’s an advocate for public safety, a father of two children, a husband to an amazing wife and a child of a retired San Francisco firefighter.”

By Wednesday afternoon, several of Cortez’s colleagues had gathered in front of the hospital, where they were planning a procession. Baxter said Cortez was born in 1978, making him about 42 years old.

“We are trying to make sure that his family is the number one priority and that they are given all the time necessary to mourn this, along with all his brothers and sisters at the San Francisco Fire Department,” Baxter said.


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