Firefighters shocked at instructor's sudden death

WEST Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service staff have been left "shocked and saddened" by the sudden death of a former Morley instructor at their Birkenshaw HQ.

Tony Wilson, 45, was found dead in an accommodation block at around 1.45am on Wednesday, April 1, after he had attended the 109th annual graduation dinner at the training centre.

Mr Wilson had been a crew manager at Morley Fire Station for several years before being transferred to Birkenshaw. He joined the fire service in 1990 serving as a firefighter at Dewsbury, Pudsey, Bramley and Stanningley before his promotion.

A fire service spokesman said: “Tony loved being a member of the training centre staff, enjoying the camaraderie and the special friendships that developed over time, but above all he was proud of what he achieved as a squad instructor of trainee firefighters.

“Tony’s focus, the values and standards he maintained, and his dedication to work with others, were without question. His legacy will undoubtedly live on in the many firefighters he trained.”

Mr Wilson, from Leeds, was married with two children. His death is not being treated as suspicious but an inquest is due to be opened over the next week.

West Yorkshire chief fire officer Simon Pilling said: “This is a tragic event which has shocked the entire service. Tony was a much-respected and popular member of staff and I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family.”