Young CA Paramedic/Firefighter Drowns

A California first responder died unexpectedly while on vacation near Parker, Arizona, on Saturday, according to the San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Union.

Matthew Bashaw, 27, was vacationing with friends at the Colorado River in Arizona when he died, according to a Facebook post from the union. He was the son of Local 935 member and County Fire Department Captain Sam Bashaw of Station 14 in Wrightwood.

According to reports, the victim was attempting to retrieve a boat anchor that was stuck in the mud. He was pulled unresponsive from the water and initiated CPR. Through resuscitation efforts he regained a pulse; however, he ultimately did not survive his injuries.

Bashaw was a recent graduate of Victor Valley College’s Paramedic Academy.

Paramedic program officials said: “In the past three weeks alone, he graduated paramedic school, successfully passed his (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) exam and had already landed his first job as a paramedic.”

Bashaw completed his field internship with Local 935 member and county firefighter/paramedic John Marini at Station 71 in Fontana and began his fire service career as an explorer assigned to the Phelan post under the direction of County Fire Captain Bob Kittleman, union officials said.

Bashaw then served as a paid-call firefighter for the county before becoming one of the original members of the Old Cajon Crew 6, union officials said. This all-risk hand crew is stationed at the fire camp in Devore, where Bashaw held the position of sawyer.