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Murrieta fire chief released from hospital

Saturday, July 5th, 2014
Issue 27, Volume 18.
Michelle Mears-Gerst

Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert was released from the hospital July 4, after being hit in the face by a rock during a brush clearing operation. Shobert was discharged Friday night from Loma Linda University Medical Center where he underwent a four to six-hour operation on Wednesday.

Fire officials called the incident a "freak accident" involving a large mowing machine at the Bear Creek gate community in Murrieta.

"He has a long road ahead," Murrieta Fire Capt. Matt Corelli said of Shobert. Shobert was reported to be alert, lucid and recovering at home.

"He's made a quick turn-around," Corelli said.

The veteran firefighter was appointed Murrieta fire chief in 2011. He will be placed on indefinite administrative leave. A battalion chief is expected take the helm at the fire department during the interim, Corelli said. Shobert was not available for comment today.

Shobert was standing about 100 feet away from a Advertisement
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machine clearing brush operated by a maintenance person on a slope. The fire chief and the other Murrieta firefighters were on hand to oversee the job in clearing out the dried brush, Corelli said. The machine apparently struck a rock, which was flung into Shubert’s face. At first, Shobert thought he had been wounded by gunfire, which prompted him to get in his vehicle and drive about 50 feet away from the site. Shobert pulled over to make a distress call, Corelli said.

Paramedics took the injured fire chief to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar and he was later flown out to Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, where he was initially listed in critical condition upon his arrival, a hospital representative said. Corelli could not recall another time when something like this ever happened during his time with the Murrieta Fire Department.



Comment Profile ImageLocal Hospitals?
Comment #1 | Sunday, Jul 6, 2014 at 1:45 am
So the local hospitals are apparently for evaluation before sending a patient to a hospital out of the area for qualified treatment. UHS has 3 hospitals in Southwest Riverside that seem capable of only providing limited services. That is not very reassuring.
Comment Profile ImageThats Everywhere
Comment #2 | Monday, Jul 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm
Most emergency rooms in California Provide Basic Emergency Care. Read the sign next time you drive by one. They provide patient stabilization until they can be transported to a trauma center which has 24 hr Surgical Teams, Operating Room Staff and advanced equipment that not every hospital can afford. This is also true with Cardiac and Stroke Centers. The first level is the 911 First Responder, followed by the basic emergency room and then your Specialty Centers.
Comment Profile ImageLocal Hospitals?
Comment #3 | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 at 8:49 pm
Had Temecula officials brought in a competitor after UHS delayed the Temecula hospital, there might be a healthy competition to provide specialized services, but when you have a hospital monopoly you serve the bottom line more than the public need. A fire chief gets top level treatment while the peasants in the area get the luck of the draw.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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