Obituary: Douglas Martin
September 9, 1952 – December 4, 2018
The North Tahoe Firefighters Association honors the memory of Firefighter/EMT Doug Martin
Doug served the Tahoe City and North Tahoe Fire Protection Districts as a volunteer and Part-time Paid Firefighter/ EMT for 23 years. He was a Tahoe-Truckee High School graduate, a Homewood ski patroller, a U.S. Army veteran, a commercial diver and a Placer Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue diver.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army fresh out of Truckee high school to achieve his dream of driving tanks. Because of his experience as a ski patroller at Homewood, the Army in its wisdom saw fit to pull him out of his beloved tank and assign him as a ski patroller at a resort for military personnel in Germany. Honorably discharged from the Army, Doug returned home to Tahoe City and joined the Tahoe City Volunteer Fire Department.
He responded to emergency calls in the District and on wild-land fire strike teams all over California and Nevada, receiving several awards from the District.
He also trained as a high altitude-deep water SCUBA diver. In 1990, Doug was one of the Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue dive team that volunteered to recover seven drowning victims from a single incident at Convict Lake.
Four teenage students wandered out on the ice of that alpine lake, three fell through and succumbed. Two camp counselors, a Forest Service firefighter and a local firefighter attempting the rescue were also lost.
Diving in freezing temperatures at 8000 ft. elevation, Doug helped recover the bodies of the seven victims, some of whom he located at a depth of 99 feet.
Doug and other team members were awarded the Placer County Medal of Honor for the effort.
Doug also dove on two plane crashes and a US Army helicopter crash in Lake Tahoe among many other dives.
North Tahoe Firefighter/Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Baumgardner was his dive partner on the Convict Lake dive and many others. As he remembers: “Doug was my dive buddy and in the truest sense, we kept each other alive on many rescue and recovery missions. Doug was a man you could count on.”
We honor Doug for his service to the District and to our community, and for his unyielding effort to bring a lost rescuer home from the depths to his grieving family.
Firefighter Doug Martin has left a significant donation from his estate to the North Tahoe Firefighters Association. His wish was that a facility be built in the District to display our 100 year old antique fire engine, a 1923 Seagrave, which he helped restore.
Since 1952, the North Tahoe Firefighters Association (NTFA) has raised funds to assist the Fire District to purchase needed fire and rescue equipment. We also maintain a fund to assist our firefighters and their families in the event of injury or illness. A registered 501 (c) (4), your donation to NTFA may be tax-deductible.
If you wish to donate to this effort, send a check in any amount to NTFA, Box 6047, Tahoe City, CA. 96145
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