TRIBUTES have been paid to a “dedicated” firefighter who died suddenly while on duty.

Now a fundraising campaign has been launched to support his devastated family.

Aston Everett suffered a brain aneurysm and collapsed while working for the Urban Search and Rescue station in Lexden on January 2.

Despite the best efforts of the firefighters on duty, the paramedics who responded, and hospital staff, the 54-year-old died three days later.

Aston, who lived in Little Oakley, had been a firefighter for the Essex Fire and Rescue Service for 16 years.

He served at Chelmsford Fire Station, Clacton Fire Station, Dovercourt Fire Station and the USAR Station.

Revered for his high standards, principles and dedication, his heartbroken colleagues have now paid tribute to the popular frontline worker.

Jo Turton, chief fire officer and chief executive, said: “It is with deep sadness we learned of the loss of firefighter Aston Everett.

“He was a true friend and valued colleague to so many, as well as a dedicated and brilliant firefighter.

“The dedication he showed to his role and his community shone through and I hope anyone who knew him takes comfort in the difference he made to so many during his life.

“Our thoughts remain with Aston’s family, friends and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time and we will continue to support them in any way that we can.”

The devoted family man, who took pride in caring for his wife and three children and loved them unconditionally, was soon set to retire and collect his pension.

Aston’s friend and colleague, watch manager Ben Turner, now wants to raise £32,000 to support his family.

“Even knowing retirement was approaching Aston was still setting himself professional challenges, never wanting to take his foot off the accelerator,” said Ben.

“We are looking to collect enough money to support his family, to ensure that his children don’t go without, to remove the financial burden and enable the family to grieve their loss.”

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