A RETAINED Fire Fighter was killed following a collision while responding to a 999 call, which subsequently turned out to be a false alarm. The tragedy occurred just before midnight on Saturday 1st August on Wall Hill Road, Ashurst Wood in Sussex, in the UK.
Paul Keenor, aged 23, a fire fighter with East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) was responding to the fire station in his own car, a Toyota Celica when it collided with a wall at approximately 11.55pm. F.F. Keenor was stationed at Forest Row fire station since 2001.
Sussex Police have said no other vehicle was involved in the crash.
In a statement, East Sussex Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “We are deeply saddened. Paul was a dedicated and lively member of Forest Row Community Fire Station. He was committed and always ready to serve his community. We send our heartfelt sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues at Forest Row. This is an incredibly difficult time for them. We ask that their privacy is respected.”
Floral tributes were placed at the scene of the crash, including one from Paul’s father, which read “The world will never be the same without you.”
His fellow fire-fighters at Forest Row paid this tribute: “His family must be so proud, knowing that he was a brave, dedicated and professional firefighter and also a very successful and respected builder and business owner. Paul had achieved so much and done more than most people do in a lifetime despite his tender age. The crew at Forest Row have lost a brother and a great friend. Paul’s personality was huge, and his kind nature and brilliant sense of humour will be missed enormously.”
“Paul was always our go to guy, always there whether you needed a chat a shoulder to cry on. We all looked to him for advice or support at some point. It was often very easy to forget that he was so young because in a lot of ways he was mature past his years. In May of this year Paul passed his incident command assessment allowing him to be in charge of a crew. He only had a chance to do this a few times but he did this to a very high standard as he did with everything he put his mind to. Paul had a bright and long career in front of him.”
Fire-fighter Paul Keenor was a father of two boys, aged 3 and 17 months.
Emergency Times extends its sympathy to Paul’s family, friends and fire crew members on their loss.