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Santa Barbara Co. Firefighter Paramedic dies in skiing accident

Central Coast agencies are expressing their condolences following the death of a local firefighter paramedic
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Posted at 12:49 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-09 20:58:29-05

Santa Barbara County Fire announced the loss of one of their own over the weekend.

Officials with the fire department say Joseph De Anda, 33, of San Luis Obispo died in a skiing accident Saturday.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff's office, at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday deputies responded to reports of a skiing incident at China Peak Mountain Resort.

The sheriff's office said when first responders arrived on scene they found De Anda in the snow. Deputies say he collided with a tree while heading downhill and died immediately from his injuries.

"He was wearing a helmet, however, his injuries were too significant and he was not able to survive," said the Fresno Co. Sheriff's Office.

Investigators are working to determine what factors may have played a role in the accident.

Joseph, who went by Joey, was passionate about helping others, ultimately leading him to emergency medical services. However, he also expressed a passion for journalism. Joey worked as an intern with KSBY in 2017 and also as an editor for KCOY in 2005.

De Anda worked for more than ten years in emergency medical care. In 2007 he started as a paramedic working for AMR. In 2013 he became a public safety dispatcher for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. He was also a flight paramedic for Mercy Air and REACH Air Medical Services. In January 2020 he started as a firefighter/paramedic for Santa Barbara County Fire.

“Joey will be remembered for his positive attitude and hard work ethic. Joey made lasting relationships with everyone he came in contact with. Joey was the example that if you put your heart and mind into something, you can accomplish anything,” said Captain Daniel Bertucelli, Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

According to the Fresno Bee, this is the first death at China Peak in the past four years.

The Fresno County Coroner’s Office says they are working with personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to make sure De Anda receives proper honors prior to transport back to his home on the Central Coast.