On the morning of Thursday, February 25th, Shawna Lynn Jones, a 22 year old inmate firefighter suffered a fatal blow to the head from a falling boulder while fighting a brush fire in Malibu. Jones was then airlifted to the UCLA Medical Center where she was considered to be in critical condition. Upon her family’s wishes she was taken off life support and her organs were donated.
Jones, born and raised in Lancaster, was a volunteer for the all women Fire Camp 13 in Malibu, just one of three all female fire camps in California. The firefighter program was established in 1943 and is the nations oldest and largest inmate firefighting program. Jone’s death was just the third death of an inmate in this program and the first woman death.
Shawna was allowed to join this program last year in August of 2015 due to her good behavior during her incarceration in Los Angeles County Jail. The Malibu Search and Rescue had this to say via social media concerning Jones’ passing, “The female inmate firefighters do a tremendous service for our community and their position is coveted and tremendously difficult to qualify for…we hope she is remembered for her service to all.”
Jones leaves behind her mother Diana, two younger siblings, her brother Daniel and sister Ashley. Her father passed away last year from cancer.
Shortly afters news broke about Jones’ tragic passing, there was immediate reaction from the Malibu community to offer support to the family during this unfortunate situation. Shawna’s life was taken protecting our city, it only makes sense to help the family in this time of grief.
In response to the community’s desire to help, The Los Angeles County Fire Department has set up a donation platform via firefamilyfoundation.org. The purpose of this fund is to help the family in this time when financial burdens should be the least of their worries.