NIFRS chief pays tribute to ‘dedicated firefighter’ John Winton

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A council worker who died after being struck by a bin lorry in Limavady earlier today was also an on-call firefighter in the Co Londonderry town, it has been revealed.

Expressing his sadness at the tragic death of John Winton, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Gary Thompson said the 51-year-old was a “dedicated firefighter” who had served in his home town with distinction.

“Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is devastated to learn of the death of our colleague firefighter John Winton, who died this morning in an off-duty incident,” Mr Thompson said.

“On behalf of NIFRS, I extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to John’s family – his mother Margaret and his children Lisa and Gavin – at this difficult time.

“John was a retained firefighter at Limavady Fire Station, having joined NIFRS almost two years ago on 19 November 2016.

“His untimely death at the age of 51 will be greatly felt by all who knew and worked with him.

“John was a dedicated firefighter serving his home town with distinction and he was extremely popular amongst his colleagues. His death will be felt across the entire service and the NIFRS family.”

Mr Thompson added: “John’s colleagues from Limavady Fire Station and neighbouring stations of Dungiven and Crescent Link attended the incident this morning which happened on Mount Eden, Limavady at 7.36am.

“NIFRS is offering support to John’s family and his colleagues at this difficult time.”

Police have confirmed that an investigation is under way into the circumstances surrounding Mr Winton’s death.

It’s understood the council cleansing operative had been working on the bin lorry when the tragic incident occurred.

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