Jason Andrew Cortez was born on September 16, 1978, in San Francisco to Gilbert and Sonia Cortez. A third-generation San Franciscan, he grew up in Potrero Hill. He attended Grace Cathedral School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, where he loved to play basketball, before heading to St. Mary’s College.
Jason was a huge Bay Area sports fan and loved watching SF Giants baseball and Warriors basketball. He loved family time on Sundays and grew up watching the 49ers with his dad, a tradition he continued with his sons. He was extremely knowledgeable about local sports trivia and shared that with friends. Jason had many passions, including boxing, paddle boarding, Jiu-Jitsu, and anything physical that helped him stay prepared for his job.
Jason loved tradition and followed in his father’s footsteps to become a firefighter. In 2007, he was in the first EMT class for the San Francisco Fire Department. In 2009, Jason advanced to paramedic on the ambulance and completed eight years there, serving the city he loved. In 2015, he was recognized for his service as a paramedic at the 62nd Gala Celebration and Awards dinner and received the Community Award. He was also recognized by the SF Hispanic Lions Club. Jason was in the 118th Academy Class for the SF Fire Department, achieving his dreams of becoming a firefighter paramedic.
He soon found a permanent home working at the busiest engine company in the United States, Station 3. He loved the tradition, the strong family bond of brotherhood that working at this station gave him. He took his job seriously and never stopped learning to better himself. He also took great pride in preparing good meals for his station, mastering recipes and cooking techniques and showing them off to his firehouse family. The days working at the fire station were sometimes long and tough, but he always had a big smile on his face and would end the day saying, “I love my job.”
Jason and Pattie met in their early 20s and married in 2010 in Mexico. They soon started their family and had two beautiful sons, Jackson and Greyson. Jason lived for the time he spent with his family and enjoyed taking them on new adventures and creating new traditions. Jason lived by the model “Family is everything.” He put his family above all else.
Jason was working at Station 3 on October 7, 2020, where he tragically lost his life in a training accident at the fire department training facility. Jason is terribly missed by all who knew and loved him.