The Malta Independent 20 April 2024, Saturday
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Tributes pour in for 48-year-old firefighter Joseph Zammit, who died after grass fire

Monday, 18 September 2023, 12:10 Last update: about 8 months ago

Tributes have poured in in the last few hours for 48-year-old firefighter Joseph Zammit, who died after helping put out a grass fire in Pembroke.

Emergency physicians, firefighting colleagues, politicians and the Birżebbuġa community expressed their shock at the news of Zammit’s death, extending condolences.

Zammit, a husband and a father of two, was taken to hospital in a critical condition early Sunday evening, where he lost his life soon after. He was helping put out a fire which had been caused by rubbish left in the area, police said.

Emergency physicians Jonathan Joslin and Michael Spiteri bid farewell to Zammit, speaking about his uplifting personality. Spiteri said that many people owe their lives to Zammit’s work.

The Civil Protection Department described Zammit as an “exemplary officer who served for many years,” adding that the department will do all it can in support of his family.

The Birzebbuga parish also took to social media to mourn the loss of “a brother and one of our volunteers in our parish.”

Zammit’s relatives and friends recalled memories of their childhood years, whilst thanking him for all he did for humanity during his time at the CPD.

He was also a member of the Socjeta Filarmonika San Pietru Band Club, who also mourned Zammit, who was a member of the band club and a statue bearer.

The Birżebbuġa's local council also described Zammit as “an exemplary and active resident.”

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech extended his condolences to his family and colleagues, saying that he knew Zammit as a childhood friend, describing him as an “exemplary and dedicated man.”

PN MP Toni Bezzina said that the firefighter’s death was a “tragedy” for his family and all those who knew him.

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri took to Facebook to extend his condolences to Zammit’s family, as well as pledged government’s support to his colleagues and relatives in this difficult time.

The Civil Protection Union, K9 Search and Rescue Malta and PN offered their condolences to Zammit's family.

Zammit had developed medical problems after the fire he was helping put out was controlled and fainted. He was given first aid by his colleagues until an ambulance took him to hospital, where he lost his life soon after.

A magisterial inquiry is being held.

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