According to county officials, a volunteer recruit with the Santa Cruz County Fire Department passed away while participating in a training exercise on Sunday, February 20, 2023.
Following a county press release, Santa Cruz resident Daniel Lamothe, 38, experienced “medical distress” while participating in a joint firefighter academy training exercise at the Ben Lomond Training Center.
Personnel at the training site provided him with prompt medical care, but efforts to revive him were ineffective. The precise cause of death is kept private. Everyone, including his friends and family, is mourning his loss and sharing tributes and sympathies on social media.
According to the press release, County Fire Chief Nate Armstrong remarked, “We mourn the passing of one of our brethren.” “Daniel wanted to work as a firefighter to give back to the neighbourhood where he was born and raised. His dedication to public service serves as an example for all of us. We lament this awful and unexpected passing with his friends and family.
Lamothe was engaged in a rescue training exercise that Armstrong described to the Sentinel as being “moderately demanding” when he passed away. As of Tuesday, an autopsy was being performed to determine the cause of death.
Santa Cruz County has a contract with Cal Fire to provide fire prevention and emergency medical services for the county’s unincorporated areas. Armstrong serves as the Santa Cruz County fire chief and the fire chief for Cal Fire’s San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit.
Five volunteer fire companies comprise County Fire, which offers local community fire protection and emergency response services. Armstrong claims that 68 active volunteer firefighters are in the county and that no volunteer has ever died while participating in a training exercise or reacting to an emergency.
Information on funeral services may be released at a later time.