Firefighter’s death stuns Loyd Star VFD

Published 6:38 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

He was young, he was fit, he was the picture of health. Andfriends and family are baffled at his death.

Loyd Star’s Josh G. Smith, 28, assistant chief of the Loyd StarVolunteer Fire Department, died suddenly while working in a Texasoilfield Tuesday, his body discovered by co-workers some time afterhe was sent on an errand.

An autopsy is being performed but results have not been released,said Loyd Star VFD President Kirk Douglas.

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“They sent him to turn a pump on, and when he hadn’t got back in 30minutes they went to look for him and found him dead, laying on theground,” he said. “That’s all we know. He did not get hurt as faras falling or something blowing up on him.”

Douglas said Smith was in fine health and couldn’t believe he’dsimply fallen dead.

“He worked with me on our days off doing heating and cooling work.He didn’t have any physical problems at all,” he said. “He’s beenthrough the military physicals and everything else.”

Smith was a 10-year veteran of the fire department, having joinedunder its old junior firefighters program while he was still inhigh school at Loyd Star Attendance Center. His ascension toassistant chief at such a young age is a reflection of what kind ofman he was, Douglas said.

“That’s just how good he was,” he said. “You couldn’t ask fornobody better.”

Apparently Smith’s employer, Nabors Drilling, couldn’t have askedfor anyone better, either. He had just been promoted to motormanMonday, making him responsible for the oilrig’s engines.

Smith’s visitation will be held at Riverwood Family Funeral ServiceThursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with funeral services at the samelocation Friday at 10:30 a.m.

An honor guard will be on hand at the funeral and subsequent burialat Riverwood Memorial Park.

Smith and his wife, Bridget S. Smith, were to celebrate theiranniversary Wednesday. He leaves behind one son, Ethan, and onedaughter, Emmalyn.

His death marks the second loss at Loyd Star in three months,following the passing of firefighters “Big John” Bennett inJuly.

“I hate to keep losing people like that,” Chief Mark Porter said.”Josh was about one of the best ones you’d ever want to bearound.”