'Devastated' Luton councillors pay tribute to former Bedfordshire chief fire officer Paul Fuller
Mr Fuller died last month after a short illness, shortly before he was due to retire
Tributes have been paid to the former Bedfordshire Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller by Luton borough councillors this week
As reported here, Mr Fuller died last month after a brief illness, shortly before he was due to retire.
Labour Farley councillor Sian Timoney told a full council meeting on Tuesday: "I was really saddened to hear of Paul's sudden and very untimely death.
"He was one of those people who everyone liked and who always had time for anyone he met.
"He was a very jovial man. I remember him at Love Luton events cracking jokes and giving a wonderful speech.
"He was well respected not just in the fire and rescue sector, but locally, regionally and nationally by local government colleagues."
She described how he offered support throughout the time she chaired Bedfordshire Fire Authority.
"We became good friends and Paul and his wife, Helen, would have been guests at my wedding this summer," she said.
"So I was really devastated to hear that he'd been taken far too soon, and of course our thoughts are with his family.
"But most of all the residents of the county have been kept safe through his leadership of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service for many years."
Council leader and Labour Lewsey councillor Hazel Simmons explained how she worked closely with Mr Fuller when she was a community worker with Central Bedfordshire Council.
"Sian's absolutely right, his sense of humour and his willingness to work with the community over things in the locality I will always remember.
"It's very sad when someone goes so quickly and I'm sure our thoughts are with his family."
Mr Fuller had been due to retire within two weeks, according to leader of Luton Liberal Democrats and Barnfield councillor David Franks.
"It's a real sadness for me he's not going to have the long, happy and the busy retirement he was looking forward to.
"Another thing about him is the huge amount of charity work that he did and not just for Bedfordshire.
"This was not only for fire service related charities, but for all sorts of others, and in particular children and young people were a great passion of his.
"It's down to him we have a thriving and active cadet team across Bedfordshire, including a successful one based at Studley Road in Luton.
"He will be missed and it's sad he wasn't able to get to the retirement he deserved."