Date Published : November 12th, 2015 Published By : admin‘Jonni was a really lovely gentleman to be around.He joined the fire cadets when he was 12 and decided then that he wanted to be a firefighter.’
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have said their last farewell to one of their much loved colleagues and friend when they carried his remains to the church on an Hydraulic Platform.
Firefighter Jonathan Hughes, aged 26 and better known to many as Jonni died on October 16th from an extremely rare form of non lymphoma blood cancer. He died a week after marrying his girlfriend Natalie.
Photo: (The late Jonathan Hughes)
Stationed at Widnes fire station, Jonathan joined the fire cadets when he was 12 years old and at that early age he knew he wanted to be a fire fighter.
Hundreds of fire fighters from many stations across the greater region attended his funeral. His coffin, draped in the Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service standard and his cap was carried into St. Michael’s Catholic Church by his colleagues at ‘Red Watch’, at Widnes.
Photo: (Red Watch Manager Jason Fletcher carries Jonni’s fire helmet)
Around 700 people attended his requiem mass which was celebrated by Fr. Matthew Nunes, while there was standing room only for many others.
Cheshire Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock led a eulogy as relatives paid personal tributes and read poems.
Station Manager Jason Fletcher said “Jonni was an exceptional, passionate firefighter. He was never happier than when red watch were in the thick of it, saving lives and property.” He recalled how Jonni and his team were awarded a star award for their courageous action rescuing a man from a flat fire in Widnes.
Station Commander Tony O’Dwyer said: “Red watch were in close contact with Jonni and his family during his fight with cancer and rallied round helping where they could include holding a boxing fundraising event. The service are proud of their firefighters and the role they play in the community and we wanted to show how proud we were of Jonni.”
Photo: (A fire engine floral tribute)
SC O’ Dwyer said “Jonni was a really lovely gentleman to be around.He joined the fire cadets when he was 12 and decided then that he wanted to be a firefighter.This is phenomenal. It takes a lot of commitment to be so dedicated at such a young age”
Hundreds of messages have been left in a book of condolence. Christopher Waterworth said: ‘The town of Widnes would like to thank you for your pride, passion and dedication towards keeping our community safe’ while Joe Conway added: ‘A true hero.’
Jonni’s family invited donations for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research and The Fire Fighters Charity.
A guard of honour was formed by firefighters and many hundreds lined the streets of Widnes as the cortege made its way to Widnes cemetery.
Photo Credits: (Runcorn and Widnes World)