Firefighters pay tribute to ‘brother and great friend’ who died in Ashurst Wood crash

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Firefighters have paid tribute to their ‘brave’ and ‘dedicated’ colleague who died in a crash in Ashurst Wood on Saturday (August 1).

Paul Keenor was responding, in his own car, to a 999 call alert when he crashed in Wall Hill Road just before midnight.

Chief Fire Officer and CE 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.”

Paul, 23, joined East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service as a Retained Duty System firefighter in June 2011.

His fellow firefighters 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.”

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