Paul Vincent Rotondaro, Fire Captain

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Captain Rotondaro completed a shift at the Gustine Fire Station and departed to an overtime assignment at the Usona Fire Station.  He was commuting between assignments in his personal vehicle, a 1997 Ford Ranger.  As he drove, Captain Rotondaro encountered a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck that had crossed the center line to pass another vehicle on the 2-lane road.

A collision occurred. Captain Rotondaro was ejected from his vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.  Captain Rotondaro‚Äôs vehicle caught fire after it came to rest.  The driver of the Dodge Ram was also killed in the crash.  The crash occurred at sunrise.


Department information

CAL FIRE, Merced County Fire
686 3RD Avenue
Gustine, California 95322

Chief: Mike Van Loben Sels

Paul Vincent Rotondaro was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 36
Rank: Fire Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: October 2, 2019 07:00
Date of death: October 2, 2019
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Riding Personal Vehicle
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: N/A