Fire Captain, Paul Vincent Rotondaro, from the CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU), was killed on duty early Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019, in a head-on collision while driving from Gustine Fire Station to Usona Fire Station. Paul began his career as a Firefighter 1 with CAL FIRE at Ahwahnee Firestation in MMU in 2006. He promoted to a Firefighter II in Merced Division in MMU in 2011. In 2012 he promoted to LT Fire Apparatus Engineer (FAE) in MMU then transferred to the Riverside Unit as a permanent FAE in 2015. Paul promoted to an LT Fire Captain in MMU in 2016 and shortly after became a permanent Fire Captain where he was currently assigned.
Paul is survived by the love of his life, Jennifer, his daughter, Kiersten (13 years old) and his son Wyatt Dune (16 months old), his father, Vincent Rotondaro, his parents, Michael and Toni McMillin, his brothers, Kirk (Megan), Kyle (Garyn), and Chase (Kiah), his sister, Shannon Dunch (Jeffrey), his grandparents Tom and Catherine Shippey, his adorable goddaughter Emma Wortman, numerous loving uncles, aunts, cousins, and his family of firefighters.
Paul was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed camping, off-road everything, boating, sand, sand, and more sand, and many more outdoor activities. He loved to read and shared books with his Granddaddy. He grew up in Merced, CA and is an alumnus of Our Lady of Mercy School and Golden Valley High School. He served and trained his siblings as altar servers for St. Patrick’s parish.
In High School, he was active in FFA. For small engines, he placed 1st in the state on his judging team and played high school football as an offensive lineman for the G. V. Cougars. He then graduated from Merced JC with an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science. He was currently working on his bachelor’s degree. He was always motivated to improve his knowledge for himself and for his family.
Working for the fire department, Paul involved himself in many things. Paul actively was a part of the Type 1 Hazardous Materials team in Merced for several years. He was on Cal Fire Incident Management Team 3 in the Finance Section. He was a member of the Merced County Type 2 Rescue team. He oversaw radio tech issues for all of Merced County Fire Department and he had worked as part of the Aircraft Fire Rescue team at Castle Airport.