I'm sorry to only now seek out this community under our current tragic circumstances, but I need to be able to send my condolences to the family of an Emergency Medical Technician who was killed in San Diego yesterday morning.
Esteban Behena was only 24 years old and he was working as an Emergency Medical Technician on an ambulance for San Diego Medical Enterprises. He happened to come upon a car crash yesterday morning while returning from another call. It was a busy and rainy morning commute near downtown and a few cars had slid out and collided with each other. Though as an EMT working for a private ambulance company Esteban's unit was not dispatched to this call, he could not just pass it by. He and his partner parked their ambulance behind the accident to render aid to the injured victims of the crash. As Esteban was placing flares (or traffic warning cones) to protect the scene of the accident another car struck him at a high rate of speed. The San Diego City Fire Department Rescue 4 arrived quickly on scene and their crew tried valiantly to revive him, but his injuries proved too severe. He was quickly transported to the local trauma unit very close by, but he eventually succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
The San Diego City Firefighters are trying to contact his family, but I heard on the news this morning that the authorities believe they live in Mexico and this might take some time.
I am the Secretary for the San Diego County Council of Firefighters, an organization composed of all the Labor Groups of the 31 professional Firefighting agencies in San Diego County. We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss to our Fire and Emergency Medical Services family. I wanted to send a card to Esteban's family to express our deepest condolences for their incredible loss, but if they live in Mexico I thought it best to put it in Spanish. My Spanish is extremely limited and I do not want my words to come across as amusing or an embarrassment for Esteban's family during this very difficult time.
I will post my question in (I hope) the proper Forum, but I wanted to introduce myself here first so you had some context for the initial request. I sincerely hope I never need this group's services for anything like this in the future, but ours is a very dangerous business and it is very comforting to know you are here. Just today it was announced that there are at least four firefighters known dead and a few more still missing in a fire in the Mid-West. In fact, well over 100 firefighters and EMT's are killed every year in the U.S. in the line of duty. For many of my Brothers and Sisters in San Diego County Spanish is their primary language and I would like to be able to give them our support and some solace in a language most comfortable to them during a very trying and emotional time.
Thank you all in advance for your assistance.
Jamie Edmonds, Secretary
The San Diego County Council of Firefighters