Tributes have been paid to Firefighter Josh Gardener, from the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who was tragically killed during a training exercise on Tuesday 17th September.
In a tribute published on a ‘GoFundMe’ page that has been set up for the Firefighters family, a close friend of Josh said:
“This page was created in Memory of Josh Gardner, who tragically passed away in an accident while on exercise with the fire service, on 17th September.
“A job he always wanted to do, and loved to the fullest, in the same way he lived the rest of his life.
“Josh left behind two beautiful young children, Jack and Naimh, and while no one can help ease their loss, we would like to do what we can to help support them through an unspeakably painful time, and their future.
“Josh was a little guy with a big heart, an outstanding friend, and above all, and a devoted father.
“The tattoo on his arm read ‘forever watch over Jack and Niamh’….a pledge we would like to honour in his absence”.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“On Tuesday 17th September 2019, at approximately 11.30 am, an incident took place involving two Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service boats in the Neyland Marina area of Milford Haven.
“It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that the incident has resulted in the death of a Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Firefighter.
“An investigation is now underway involving Dyfed-Powys Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Board.
“At this incredibly difficult time, our sympathy and thoughts are with our colleague’s family.
“The welfare of our crews is also paramount, and we are ensuring that appropriate support is in place for all those involved in and affected by this tragic incident.
“At this stage, I am unable to release any further information due to the ongoing investigation”.
Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said:
“The thoughts of all FBU members will be with the family, friends and colleagues of Brother Gardener.
“FBU officials at local and national level are liaising to ensure all necessary steps are taken to provide support to family and colleagues and to make preparations to commence an investigation into the incident.
“Further information will follow when available”.
A spokesperson for the Firefighters Charity said:
“Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, as well as with all those affected by [the] tragic incident at Neyland Marina”.
Emergency Services News has set up a Memorial Group on Facebook to honour the memory of FF Gardener.