Ottawa firefighter killed in skydiving mishap in Arnprior

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The Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association identified Jeff Dean, a member of Station 12's C Platoon, as the skydiver killed Wednesday in a jump near the Arnprior, Ont., airport.  (Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association - image credit)
The Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association identified Jeff Dean, a member of Station 12's C Platoon, as the skydiver killed Wednesday in a jump near the Arnprior, Ont., airport. (Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association - image credit)

An Ottawa firefighter has died after a skydiving jump gone wrong Wednesday afternoon in Arnprior, Ont.

Emergency crews were called to an area near the Arnprior Airport around 12:45 p.m., according to Renfrew OPP Const. Tina Hunt.

Hunt confirmed one person had died in the "skydiving incident." He was later identified by the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association and Ottawa Fire Services as Jeff Dean, a member of Station 12's C Platoon.

"He passed away today while skydiving, which was one of his passions," wrote association president Doug McLennan in a statement.

"Please keep Jeff's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers, during this developing and difficult time."

Guy Quenneville/CBC
Guy Quenneville/CBC

Was husband, father

The 45-year-old Dean joined Ottawa Fire Services as a volunteer firefighter in 2010 and became a permanent member in 2012, said fire Chief Paul Hutt in an evening media release.

He volunteered with the department's Fire Venturers program, which works with teens aged 14 to 17 who are interested in firefighting, Hutt said.

Dean was also a "loving husband," he added, who leaves behind two children.

According to a statement from the OPP, Dean was from Fitzroy Harbour, a small community in rural west Ottawa.

Injuries were 'significant'

Parachute Ottawa said in a statement Thursday morning Dean was a highly experienced skydiver. The statement said his parachute was working and deployed properly.

"Fatal injuries were sustained during the landing process following an advanced parachute [manoeuvre]," it said.

Michael Nolan, chief of the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service, said the skydiver suffered "significant traumatic injuries" after coming into contact with the ground at "increased speed."

"Despite best resuscitation efforts by both paramedics on scene, the individual has succumbed to their injuries," he added.

Parachute Ottawa said Dean was "a mentor to hundreds of skydivers across the country" and "a positive light to all." It said it's working with the police.

Hunt said Wednesday afternoon that officers are still at the scene and the investigation is ongoing. Ontario's Ministry of Labour has also been notified, OPP said Wednesday evening.

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