Ottawa firefighter, 45, dies in Arnprior skydiving mishap, crash 'followed advance parachute' manoeuvre, company says
Ottawa Citizen
 
An Ottawa firefighter and father of two died Wednesday in what police have described as a “skydiving accident” at the Arnprior airport.
 
In an update Thursday, Parachute Ottawa said that the victim’s parachute had deployed properly before the crash.

The “parachute was fully functioning and working correctly,” the company said.

“Fatal injuries were sustained during the landing process following an ‘advanced parachute maneouvre,” the company said.

The company offered condolences to the victim and his family.

Paramedics were called to the Parachute Ottawa site at the airport shortly before 1 p.m., Renfrew Paramedic Service Chief Mike Nolan said.

When paramedics arrived, they found workers and other people attempting resuscitation. They took over, but it became clear the patient wasn’t responding and the patient was declared deceased at the scene.

Police had also been called to the scene, and officers could be seen Wednesday afternoon in a field adjacent to the Parachute Ottawa skydiving centre. Police tape surrounded the facility.

“In terms of what transpired to cause the accident, that is still under investigation,” Const. Brianna Roberge, spokesperson for the Renfrew detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, told this newspaper Wednesday evening.

Renfrew and Arnprior OPP detachments, Renfrew OPP crime unit, OPP forensics identification unit and provincial ministry of labour were all investigating Wednesday.

Ottawa Fire Services Chief Paul Hutt released a statement about the death of firefighter Jeffrey Dean on Wednesday evening. This newspaper confirmed Dean was the person who died in the skydiving incident, and an OPP media release identified him as a 45-year-old resident of Fitzroy Harbor.

Dean worked at Station 12 at Fifth Avenue and O’Connor Street. He joined Ottawa Fire Services as a volunteer firefighter in 2010 and became a full-time member of the service two years later.

In addition to his firefighting work, Hutt said Dean was “a dedicated volunteer” with an OFS program for teenagers interested in firefighting as well as a “loving husband and a father of two children.”

“I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family, friends and his fire family during this difficult time,” Hutt said.

Parachute Ottawa had not responded to requests for comment at deadline, but the company website says its drop zone is located at the Arnprior airport and the landing area covers nearly 400,000 square feet.

Incorporated in 2018, the company advertises a team of instructors with more than 185,000 jumps of combined experience and “expertise that includes first jumps (tandems), civilian freefall, canopy coaching, and military training,” the website said.

 

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