Co-workers Remember Fallen Firefighter
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
Firefighters along with family and friends are remembering Christopher Douglas. Douglas died morning after an on-duty accident on I-0. He is survived by his pregnant wife Amy and their two year old son, Sammy. "He shared that he was in love with his son, Sammy. It was good to see. He had a great wife and a great family,” says Cal Fire Deputy Chief Dorian Cooley. "What a wonderful person he was to be around. How enthusiastic he was about his career as not only a paramedic but a firefighter too,” says Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson.
Douglas was responding to a traffic accident on I-10 when the fire truck unit he was in pulled over on the Monterey on-ramp going eastbound.For unknown reasons, Douglas stepped out of the car and was struck by an oncoming motorist. He was rushed to Desert Regional Hospitalwhere he was later pronounced dead. Cooley remembers when he got the call something horrible had happened. "Your mind is racing who it is. And as you start to realize what is actually happening. And as you start to think about your guy it just starts to hit home. It becomes a little overwhelming, a little crushing,” says Cooley. They say the family is doing as good as can be expected. They spent time remembering him for the man he was during a procession . "I spent some time with his wife last night, chatting with her, and she kept saying how proud she was even though she was dealing with this amazing loss; how proud she was of him being a firefighter,” says Hutchinson. "He just was such a likeable guy. If you ever had a friend that everyone likes and everyone wants to be around then you would understand the type of person Chris was,” says Cooley.
It serves as a reminder that even behind, what firefighters call big red, firefighters aren't invincible. "We put ourselves at risk every time we go to a call and we've had that wake-up call and it's tough on our people right now heading to calls and doing things while we're out. We're making sure people have their head on straight and that they're not so distressed that they can't go to calls,” says Hutchinson. The crew says they will never forget Douglas-- or his family. "Our goal is going to be looking after her, making sure she has lot’s of love and support from his fellow firefighters,” says Hutchinson.
Cards can be sent to the family in care of:
CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department
c/o Douglas Family
210 W. San Jacinto Ave.
Perris, CA, 92570