Dan Foster made history last week when he officially became the last Ceres firefighter – ever.
He had served the city of Ceres for 22 years and 5 months.
On August 15 the fire captain switched over as a Ceres fire employee to the Modesto Fire Department. He was unable to follow his fellow Ceres firefighters when they left the employment of the city of Ceres to become employees of Modesto Fire Department in the August 2022 switchover. That’s because Fire Captain Foster on medical leave after contracting COVID-19 during an overtime shift in November 2020.
Foster’s severe case of COVID worsened and turned into double pneumonia. After struggling for several weeks to get over the virus, doctors told him that his lungs had significant damage.
The following year and a half was filled with appointments with pulmonologists, cardiologists, neurologists and a battery of tests, scans and bloodwork.
Foster was put in the Long-Hauler Covid category and told that he would likely need to medically retire because his lungs were not healthy enough to use the breathing apparatus essential in firefighting.
However after months of being on a medication to heal his lungs, more tests were performed and in March his pulmonologist told him that his lungs had healed substantially and that he would be able to return back to the job he loves.
Foster was hired by the city of Ceres in March 2000. After serving in the Navy and Army National Guard, he followed his dream of being a firefighter. He started as a volunteer for Ceres Fire, then after graduating the fire academy, was hired as a full time firefighter. He was promoted to captain in August 2007.