SAN LUIS OBISPO – A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) inmate firefighter assigned to Cuesta Fire Camp at the California Men’s Colony died of presumed natural causes Wednesday afternoon during a training exercise with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE).
The inmate, Crisanto Leo Lionell, 54, was participating in a training exercise at the California National Guard’s Camp San Luis when he lost consciousness. Emergency personnel transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 4:45 p.m.
Lionell was received by CDCR on February 10, 2010, to serve an 11-year sentence for transportation and possession for sale of controlled substances in Tulare County.
CDCR and CAL FIRE will conduct a review of the incident.
CDCR currently operates 44 adult and two Division of Juvenile Justice Conservation Camps in California. CDCR jointly manages 39 adult and juvenile camps with CAL FIRE and five adult camps with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Nearly 4,000 offenders participate in the Conservation Camp Program (CCP), which has approximately 200 fire crews.
Since 1946, the CCP has provided the State’s cooperative agencies with an able-bodied, trained workforce for fire suppression and other emergencies, such as floods and earthquakes. Fire crews also work on conservation projects on public lands and provide labor for local community service projects. Only minimum-custody inmates may participate in the CCP.
For more information about CDCR’s Conservation Camps visit CDCR’s webpage: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Conservation_Camps/
(805) 547-7900 ext. 7948