(Press Release) On Friday, August 10, 2012, the San Jose Fire Department lost one of its own to an aggressive cancer. Captain Jose Martinez was diagnosed with a very rare cancer (Synovial Sarcoma) on June 19, 2012, after being hospitalized on June 6th. Jose had been proudly serving the people of San Jose through May 31st when he worked his last shift at Fire Station 12 in South San Jose.
Jose served the residents of this great city with honor and pride. Everyday he treated the people around him with respect and kindness, and he took great pride in helping others in their time of need.
San Jose Fire Captain Jose Martinez will be honored by his family and the Fire Department with a Class 1 (Line of Duty Death) Funeral Service in Fresno.
Jose Martinez was born in Tulare, California, on April 23, 1971. He graduated in 1990 from Tulare Union High School where he played football and wrestled. He attended California State University, Fresno, and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Community Health. During his college years he worked various jobs and always sent his earned money to his parents, Rueben and Maria Martinez. One of his longest jobs during college was at the Kennel Bookstore where he met his wife, Melissa, in the fall of 1992.
After college, Jose attended Butte College Fire Academy in Oroville. He began his fire career in 1997 at the age of 26 with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the Fresno County Ranger Unit. He worked as a seasonal firefighter and a Limited Term Engineer, and his last assignment at CDF was at the Piedra Fire Station near Sanger. He continued to work for CDF until he joined the San Jose Fire Department in September 2001. Jose worked as a firefighter from 2001- 2004, was promoted to Fire Engineer in 2004, and promoted again to Fire Captain in June 2011.
On the joyous day of November 10, 2001, Jose and Melissa were married, and their son, Jonah Miguel, was born in January 2004.
Jose wore badge number 633 with distinction as he served his San Jose career at Engines 5, 26, 35, and most recently Engine 12.
Jose and Melissa’s twin girls, Sophia Maria and Olivia Eleanor, were born on July 24, 2012. Jose was happy to spend time with his wife, son, and new daughters before his passing on August 10th at the age of 41.