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Ottawa firefighter died after 'advanced parachute maneuver' while skydiving, company says


An Ottawa firefighter who died in a skydiving accident in Arnprior, Ont. suffered fatal injuries "during the landing process following an advanced parachute maneuver," according to the skydiving company.

Jeff Dean, 45, of Fitzroy Harbour died at the Arnprior Airport Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, Parachute Ottawa said Dean’s parachute deployed properly during the jump.

"The parachute was fully functioning and working correctly," Parachute Ottawa said on Thursday morning. "Fatal injuries were sustained during the landing process following an advanced parachute maneuver."

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating, and Ontario's Ministry of Labour has been notified.

Parachute Ottawa says Dean was a highly experienced skydiver with more than 4,000 dives.

"Jeff Dean is a beloved member of the Parachute Ottawa family and a leader in the Canadian Skydiving community," the company said. "As a mentor to hundreds of skydivers throughout the community our community is in shock by this loss. The Canadian skydiving community collectively mourns the loss of our friend and fellow jumper who was a positive light to all."

Dean was a husband and father of two. He joined the Ottawa Fire Service as a volunteer in 2010, and became a full-time member of the service in 2012. Dean was located at Station 12 on Fifth Avenue in the Glebe.

"Jeff passed doing something he loved, skydiving," said Ottawa Fire Chief Paul Hutt in a message sent to the Ottawa Fire Service.

"He was an amazing person, firefighter and the lead of our Fire Ventures Program. The news of his passing is difficult for the entire fire service family."

Ottawa firefighter Jeff Dean was killed in a skydiving incident at the Arnprior Airport on Wednesday. Dean was chair of the Ottawa Fire Ventures Program committee.

Skydive Ratings Canada issued a statement on the death of Dean, calling him an "icon in our sport."

"Jeff wasn’t just a skydiver, he was much more than that, he was a friend to many, started as a professional tradesman, rigger then legal aid, and a pilot. He was an avid rock climber, motorcycle enthusiast, mountain biker and a staple of the Ottawa community," said a statement from Dan and the SRC Team.

"He was a firefighter, firefighter instructor, and the lead for a youth program called Fire Ventures enabling young members of our community to gain experience in the craft of firefighting. This man was a true hero in our community!"

The Skydive Ratings Canada statement says Dean met his wife skydiving, and his two girls have all experienced body flight.

Parachute Ottawa says it is working with Ontario Provincial Police with their investigation.

The Ministry of Labour says Dean was self employed, operating under the name "Skydive Ratings Canada."

An inspector attended the scene on Wednesday, and the investigation continues.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Natalie van Rooy Top Stories

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