This is a post that I knew I'd be writing at some point, but it is also the post that I didn't want to write.
Last night, after a long battle with illness, one of our station crew died. He was 43.
We came into work this morning to hear the news, and even though it has been expected it still shocked us, a few eyes filled with tears, and the normal jovial attitude that we have has been dampened. Thankfully the day has been very busy, so we haven't had any chance to sit down and think about it.
We all knew that the end was near, we had seen him become progressively more unwell, every day we heard from visitors how his health was getting worse.
To their credit, the firm had helped him out as much as possible, they kept him employed until the very end of his life, so that his wife will get a full pension payout, rather than the much smaller amount she would get if they had passed him 'unfit'. In the last few weeks, when he was in hospital, our Control would let crews run over to the hospital to visit him, even letting us go 'off the road', to do so.
A while ago we had a benefit night, which raised a couple of thousand pounds for him, and just before his final stay in hospital, he and his family had a holiday, thanks to the LAS benevolent society.
We deal with death regularly, but it is very different when it is one of your own. I would imagine that we will get back to normal after the funeral, but until then the mood on station is one of quiet reflection.