Tributes paid to suspended fire chief after sudden death

PUBLISHED: 16:47 06 November 2017

Kevin Pearson died on Saturday. Picture: AF&RS

Kevin Pearson died on Saturday. Picture: AF&RS

Avon Fire & Rescue Service

Tributes have been paid to the UK’s longest-serving fire chief who died on Saturday.

Kevin Pearson, aged 58, dedicated his 37-year career to firefighting but was suspended by Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) in July.

Interim CFO Mick Crennell said: “Although we have been aware for some time Kevin was battling serious illness, his sudden passing has come as a huge shock to all.

“Words are of little comfort at such a terribly sad time, but we hope his partner Erica and his family will be able to take strength that so many at AF&RS have them in their thoughts at this time.

“As the longest-serving chief in the country it truly was a testament to his ability, character and conviction he held the post for so many years.”

Chief Fire Officer Pearson and his deputy Lorraine Houghton were suspended after a Home Office report revealed managerial failings and bullying within AF&RS.

He will receive a full fire and rescue service funeral.

His family issued a statement saying: “Kevin Pearson was a much-loved family man who was adored by us all.

“We, his fiancée, his sons, and devoted step-children, his mother and his two brothers are totally distraught by the unexpected death of our beloved Kevin.

“He was a kind and generous man who was happier than he has ever been and the fact that his life has been so cruelly cut short has left us all so very, very sad.”

A minute’s silence for all AF&RS personnel will be held at 5pm today.

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