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Calif. prison firefighters help save 10-year-old’s life

An engine from Chuckawalla Valley State Prison/Ironwood State Prison Fire Station, staffed with two incarcerated firefighters, responded to a child’s cardiac arrest call


From left are Logan’s father, Fire Chief R. Selph, and Logan, along with firefighters Leopoldo Leon and Antonio Alonso.


By Sarah Roebuck

BLYTHE, Calif. — Two incarcerated firefighters are being credited with helping save the life of a 10-year-old boy, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The incident unfolded with a 911 call on Feb. 17. The Chuckawalla Valley State Prison/Ironwood State Prison Fire Station, which assists surrounding areas, responded to the emergency, CDCR said. Reports indicated a cardiac arrest on Interstate 10, prompting a response from prison Fire Engine 7618.

Fire Chief Richard Selph, along with incarcerated firefighters Antonio Alonso and Leopoldo Leon, were aboard the engine. They arrived to find a 10-year-old in severe distress, CDCR said.

The child, Logan, who was traveling with his father, had unexpectedly suffered cardiac arrest. His father quickly pulled over and dialed 911. While waiting for help, he began CPR on Logan, guided by CalFIRE dispatch.

Upon arrival, the team from the prison and CalFIRE took over the lifesaving efforts. Their timely intervention helped Logan regain a pulse, although he was still not breathing on his own, according to CDCR.

The team also established a landing zone for an air ambulance. Mercy Air subsequently transported Logan to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Desert for advanced care.

Following a full recovery, Logan expressed a wish to meet everyone involved in his rescue. This wish was fulfilled on March 30 at a gathering at the CalFIRE station in Desert Center, where he thanked each responder.

Incarcerated firefighter Alonso has been stationed at the prison fire station since September 2023 and firefighter Leon since June 2022, CDCR said.