Inmate Firefighter Collapses/Dies On Training Hike in Central California

Update: Firefighter inmate identified. According to SanLuisObispo.com his name is Crisanto Leo Lionell, age 54.

San Luis Obispo.com An inmate firefighter assigned to Cuesta Fire Camp, located at the California Men’s Colony, died while taking part in a County/Cal Fire training program at Camp San Luis Obispo.Cal Fire Capt. Jane Schmitz said the inmate collapsed while hiking on the military base shortly after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.
According to Schmitz, the inmate was transported to a local hospital, were he was pronounced dead at 4:42p.m.The California Department of Corrections is reviewing the incident.

Condolences to the family of the inmate. Cal Fire maintains 44 adult inmate fire camps and two juvenile justice camps utilizing the the skills of trained Department of Corrections inmates and California Juvenile Justice System wards of the state.  The program is comprised of over 3,500 inmate firefighters fielding nearly 200 fire crews manning fire lines throughout the state putting life and limb in danger fighting wildland fires. Some go on to become professional firefighters after they serve their time.

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Mike Morales

Retired Cal Fire/CDF Fire Captain

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