Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and Rancho Santa Fe Professional Firefighters, Local 4349 are saddened to announce the loss of one of their own.
Fire Captain W. Chris Mertz, 54, passed away on January 20, 2021 from complications of COVID-19.
Brother Mertz had a distinguished career during his 30 years with Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District. He also served on the Laguna Hot Shots and was a member of San Diego Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force 8. His commitment to service extended beyond his community as he answered the call to provide aid after the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina.
Brother Mertz is survived by his wife and three children.
A private celebration of life will be hosted on February 6, 2021 at North Coast Church, 2405 N. Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA 92084. The service will begin at 12:00pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating will be limited to immediate family, formally invited guests, and only to other fire agencies or fire members.
Donations in memory of Captain Mertz may be sent to the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Foundation at rsf-firefoundation.org.