MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The Camp Pendleton Firefighters held a luncheon to recognize Kaden Rivera as an honorary Camp Pendleton Firefighter, and honor the fire crews who responded to Kaden’s life threatening emergency at Fire Station 8 on Camp Pendleton, Aug. 18.
On July 5, 2012, 6-year-old Kaden was bitten by a Mojave Green rattlesnake while camping with his family at the San Mateo campground.
“It was such a scary and nerve-wracking situation to experience,” said Ken Rivera, Kaden’s father, a longshoreman with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. “Kaden wasn’t looking so well after the snake bit him.”
Within a matter of minutes, the firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene to administer aid and transport Kaden to the hospital.
“When we arrived, we saw he had the signs of an allergic reaction to the bite and gave him medication and fluids,” said Matt Rios, a firefighter paramedic with Station 7. “We were worried he wasn’t going to make it to the hospital for the antivenom.”
Kaden was transported to Mission Hospital where he was admitted for a week, Ken said.
“Getting a call like this is always difficult because it was a child,” said Mario Moreno, a firefighter paramedic with Station 7. “It’s hard to treat them and not see our own kids in them.”
At the luncheon, Kaden and his family were able to tour the station, the vehicles on display and eat hotdogs and hamburgers with the firefighters.
“It is very rare to see a 6-year-old experience something so severe as this and see him pull through,” said Capt. Carlos Camarena, the fire captain with Fire and Emergency Services. “This luncheon is to show him we did not forget about him and how much we care.”
Chief Thomas Thompson, the fire chief for Fire and Emergency Division, presented Kaden with a certificate to recognize him as an honorary Camp Pendleton Firefighter and honored the fire crews who responded to the call to help Kaden’s crisis.
“It’s amazing for a child his size with so much venom in him to be able to pull through,” said Thompson. “For him to come back and thank us just shows the impact we had on him and his family.”
Along with the luncheon, Kaden was able to ride in one of the fire trucks and spray water out of the fire hose.
“Any parents’ best wish is for their child to be able to live their life,” said Ken. “Everyone has been so nice and I am very appreciative for all they have done. I want to thank the (MCB) Camp Pendleton Fire Department and everyone who has helped us.”