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Shock over sudden death of fireman

Dawayne Smith, pictured here with his daughter Dwzjhane (Royal Gazette photo)

A popular fireman, Dawayne Smith, is being mourned after his sudden death while out running.

The married father of three was 42 years old.

Mr Smith, who had worked for the Marriott Castle Harbour and for Butterfield and Vallis before discovering his calling, collapsed on Wednesday morning, according to his uncle, Brownlow Adderley.

“Dawayne was a wonderful man, as attested by so much outpouring of love from his family, friends and his work colleagues,” Mr Adderley said. “The shock of his death is there for real.”

Mr Smith’s uncle described him as a man who was made to serve. His decision to become a fireman had been “a natural progression career move for him”.

“I have always received many compliments about the way he conducted his life,” Mr Adderley said. “Dawayne was friendly by all accounts to whomever he came into contact with.”

He described his nephew, nicknamed Smitty, as a man known for his “Smith-Adderley smile that made an approach to him easy”.

A keen sportsman, Mr Smith had a past affiliation with the Devonshire Cougars football team, and remained a devoted fan of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees.

Mr Adderley requested privacy for the Smith family but gave thanks to Ian Stuart, the operations manager for Team Oracle, who he said had found Mr Smith after his collapse and, along with others, had assisted him while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

Today, Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service paid tribute to Mr Smith’s light spirit and friendly personality.

“He quickly formed friendships that he maintained until his untimely passing,” said the Service in a statement.

The statement said Mr Smith had taken great care in his personal fitness because his job can be so demanding on the body, and had a serious liking for jogging.

It said that earlier this year the Service began transporting patients from the eastern parishes to the hospital via the department’s ambulance.

“Due to Mr Smith’s efficient EMT-I skills and excellent ‘bedside manner’, he was selected as one of the firefighters assigned to the Clearwater Station for the initial launch,” it said.

“Shortly thereafter, he recertified his EMT-I qualification that same month. FF Smith thoroughly enjoyed working for the Service and his passion without a doubt was the EMS side of the Service.

“This was evident as Mr Smith indicated on his last performance appraisal his desire to become a paramedic as one of his objectives/goals for this year. Mr Smith was in the infancy stages of seeking the appropriate schooling to fulfil this dream.

“In summary, Mr Smith was an energetic and easy to work with brother who was well liked and will be sorely missed by his BFRS family.”