Injured Patterson firefighter returns home

Local News

PATTERSON, Calif. (KTXL) — After more than a month in a UC Davis burn unit, volunteer firefighter Richard Gerety was released from the hospital.

Firefighters from the West Stanislaus Fire District escorted Gerety and his family back to their home in Patterson.

West Stanislaus fire chief Jeff Gregory was with Gerety and his family as they left the hospital.

“Today is an important day and it’s a very good day,” Gregory said. “It’s time for him to come home and be with his family and his neighbors and his friends.”

Gerety, who was injured in August, was part of a four-person strike team called out to help battle the Caldor Fire. On the tenth day of their assignment, he suffered second and third-degree burns to 20% of his body, including his hands, arms and legs.

“I had to get hold of his wife which was a tough phone call to make,” Gregory said.

Gregory was impressed with the level of care Gerety received while in the hospital.

“He was in good care, and I can’t thank UC Davis enough for everything they’ve done here, it’s amazing what they’re capable of doing,” Gregory said.

And according to Gregory, Gerety is in good spirits.

“He’s excited about getting out of here,” Gregory said. “He’s not a sitting, sitting there, laying in bed kind of guy.”

Gregory said both his department and the family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

“The community has been outstanding. From everywhere, we’ve received donations from as far away as Australia for him,” Gregory said. “Something like this brings everybody together and nothing else matters but getting Richard home with his wife and son.”

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