Friends and family raise money for fallen San Francisco firefighter
SAN FRANCISCO - Friends and relatives began raising money for the family of a fallen firefighter paramedic, who died earlier this week during a training accident.
Jason Cortez, 42, was working on Engine 3 at Station 3 in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, the day he died. It's unclear exactly how he died, and Cal-OSHA said the agency was investigating. Fire officials only said he fell from an elevated platform during a training exercise.
"Jay was an outstanding man, husband, father, son, brother and friend," the GoFundMe stated. "Jason was a compassionate paramedic and a skilled firefighter. He was especially known for always conducting himself with professionalism and integrity. He worked hard, was respected by his colleagues and loved by all."
Cortez joined the SFFD in June 2007. He first worked as an EMT and paramedic on the ambulance out of Station 49.
In 2015, he was hired into the 118th Fire Academy Recruit class, where he received his training in fire suppression. After completing his probationary year, he was assigned to engine company 25 in the Bayview district, not far from Potrero Hill, where he grew up.
Last January, Cortez was assigned to Station 3. His friends remember him as a phenomenal cook, noting he was the only person at the firehouse who knew what a "Bearnaise" sauce was and how to make it from scratch.
As a youth, Cortez attended Grace Cathedral and graduated from Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. He then attended St. Mary's in Moraga, where he played D1 basketball.
His friends are hoping to raise money to benefit his widow, Patricia, and sons, Jackson and Greyson.
Cortez is also survived by his father, Gil, and his wife, Nellie, his mother, Sonya, his brother, Greg and extended family.
If you're interested in donating to his family, click here.