Injured fire chief returns home


NIXON — Members of the community were thrilled to welcome home Fire Chief Mark Mendez on Thursday. Mendez, who had been hospitalized for nearly two months after being electrocuted while fighting a fire in Wilson County, was met at his home by a parade of firefighters, police, EMS and other first responders from Nixon as well as neighboring communities.

On Aug. 11, Mendez, along with members of Nixon and Wilson County Fire Departments, was dispatched to an electrical fire off Highway 87. It was reported that an electrical line was down and was touching a fence, and that when Mendez (unknowing of this) touched the fence he was electrocuted and rendered unconscious.

Mendez was airlifted to SAMC in San Antonio, where he was reported to be in critical but stable condition. Mendez eventually made a full recovery and returned to his Nixon home on Thursday.

“We were so excited to have him come home,” Mayor Gladyne Finch said. “It was a neat homecoming for him, and he was happy to be back.”

The parade started in Stockdale before making its way through downtown Nixon, finally arriving at Mendez’s house. There he was met with open arms by his fellow first responders, friends and family.

Finch did not speculate on whether Mendez has plans to return to work in the immediate future, but said she and the Nixon community wish him a speedy recovery.

“He was kind of shaky and weak, just getting out of the hospital,” Finch said. “So I just went over to him and gave him a great big hug. This was an answer to our prayers.”