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Volunteer Firefighter Passes Out During Medical Call

MADERA COUNTY — A volunteer firefighter, or PCF (Paid Call Firefighter) became the patient rather than the rescuer, when he lost consciousness while responding to a medical aid call in Chowchilla last night.

Madera County Fire Engine 2, staffed with one PCF, responded to a 911 call for an in-home medical emergency at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

The engine arrived on scene along with Pistoresi Ambulance to provide patient care. While assessing the patient, the PCF passed out and fell face first onto the hard surface floor, according to Battalion Chief Matt Watson.

The firefighter had facial and head trauma and was transported to Madera Community Hospital via the on-scene ambulance for treatment. The original patient’s family member elected to self-transport that patient to the hospital in their own private vehicle.

The firefighter was treated for lacerations to his mouth and forehead, and dehydration. He was released about six-and-a-half hours after arriving at the hospital. Both the original patient and firefighter are doing well.

The on-duty battalion chief made contact with a local off-duty career firefighter to secure the engine and drive it back to the Volunteer Fire Station serving the Chowchilla/Dairyland/ Fairmead area.

The engine out of Station 2 will be unavailable for response by the PCF until the middle of next week when he is scheduled to be medically cleared to return to available status. This particular PCF responds to the majority of calls, and is one of only two driver/operators available out of Company 2.


  1. I feel you are using scare tactics to try and pass Measure L. Fire personnel have accidents all the time and don’t make headlines.If a lot of the statements about the manning of fire stations not increasing with population growth is true, then the supervisors should be held responsible. Not the tax payer.

    • This is news because this firefighter is currently the only one licensed at Station 2 to drive this engine, according to Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson. That engine is now out of commission, because there is no one to drive it. There is a 27-mile stretch of the county near Chowchilla that has no coverage whatsoever, and now that area has grown ever larger with the injury to their firefighter. You are correct that the supervisors over the years are responsible for the lack of funding of the fire department. This particular board says they are trying to correct years of neglect and make it a priority, and nothing can be fixed overnight, that is certain.

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