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CDF Registry Record


Welcome to my CDF/Cal Fire Registry History Page. My name is Roy   Sprague , and this is a short Historical perspective of my time with the organization.  My Training, Assignments, Calls, Incidents and Adventures that I recall as vivid memories.   My co-workers and friends often called me .

My First Assignment with CDF began in : 1974.    I Retired in :   2007

Assigned Work Locations :  

Butte RU 5/74-10/74

Sta. 42

Orange RU 10/74-6/80

Sta 2, Sta 17, Sta 23

Butte RU 7/80-6/89

Transfer Point, Forest Ranch, Butte

Meadows Inter-agency, ECC, Robinson


Sonoma RU (later Sonoma Lake Napa RU)

Glen Ellen BC

Santa Rosa BC

Sonoma (later Sonoma Lake Napa)RU



Favorite Assignments :  

I liked every job I had. probably the best by far was Battalion Chief. The most exciting, day in and day out was Paramedic, and the most rewarding was working with firefighters as a Station Captain


Most Interesting Calls :  

A number stand out. Among them, in no particular order:

A winter time traffic accident on the Main Divide Truck Trail in the Cleveland National Forest. We were dispatched at about 0600 to a vehicle over the side. After about a 45 minute response we arrived to find a pickup about 300 feet down a very steep embankment. My partner stayed with the van to treat a victim that had been ejected from the pickup and crawled up to the road and establish communications with the hospital. I went down about 200 feet to where another victim was located. Volunteers at the scene told me that the pickup was another 100+ feet down and the person inside was dead. He had catastrophic injuries and I was pretty sure he would die any minute. He was hypothermic and when I put my hand on his chest it was the same temperature as the ground, which had an inch of snow. We requested the Marine SAR helicopter from El Torro and began packaging the patient. When they arrived they lowered their Corpsman down to us. Then I went up in the horsecollar to the helicopter. This entailed me being pulled up about 150 feet on the winch line. while doing this they moved out from the mountain side. I don’t know how far it was to the ground, but when I looked down I saw a car that looked less than an inch long. I didn’t look down again. on the way to the hospital our patient arrested and myself and the Marine Crew Chief did CPR. Thank to some very quick action by the hospital staff the patient was resuscitated and left the hospital 5 or 6 weeks later. I understand that this was the first documented resuscitation of a prehospital cardiac arrest due to hypothermia. It was written up is several medical journals.

A traffic accident in Orange. We crested a hill we saw a puff of smoke and then 2 cars welded together in the middle of the road only about 50′ from us, beginning to burn. No time to mentally prepare or even think, just rely on instinct and training.

A number of cardiac arrests that we converted and the patient recovered.

A fire in the middle of the night in the mountains on the Butte Tehema County line. We (FC +2) arrived to find a fire along the edge of Deer Creek (on the other side of course) moving up hill into heavy fuel. We wadded waist deep ice cold water to get to the fire and went to work with hand tools. We did this for a half hour or more until the second and third engines arrived with a pump. 3 engines and a hand crew later we contained the fire at about 5 acres. This would have been a major fire if we had not caught it. Not bad for a Captain in his first year off the Paramedic unit and 2 first year seasonal firefighters.

Many many more floods and fires that all were memorable in their own way.


My thoughts about my time with CDF and some Comments for those considering  joining  CDF/Cal Fire :  

I have been both a structural and wildland firefighter, a Paramedic, a station Captain, a Peace officer, and a Battalion Chief, among other things. I never got tired of my job, never wanted to do anything else, and enjoyed every day at work (some days less than others). I had good assignments and a couple not so good. The same with supervisors.

I think beyond anything else the best part of the job

Over all this is the best Career I could ever imagine. And now that I’m retired that’s pretty good to.

The picture is myself and my son John who is now a BC in ButteRU