'Ethan proudly served our community with bravery and commitment for many years, always putting the safety and well-being of others before his own.'
The community in Volusia County lost a valuable member. Ethan Wilson, a local firefighter, died after he was found unresponsive while surfing last week. Despite his passing away, he managed to do an act of service to the community by donating his organs so that others could live. The City of Ormond Beach announced Ethan Wilson's death on Monday on Facebook. They wrote, "It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Firefighter/Paramedic Ethan Wilson, a dedicated member of the Ormond Beach Fire Department, loving father and husband and friend to all who knew him."
He was reportedly found unresponsive at New Smyrna Beach on February 1 and passed away on Saturday "surrounded by family, friends, and his fellow firefighters from all over Volusia County." The city leaders said, "Ethan proudly served our community with bravery and commitment for many years, always putting the safety and well-being of others before his own." They mentioned that his death is a "tremendous loss" for their department and the entire Ormond Beach community. "He will be deeply missed, and his selfless spirit will live on in the lives he touched."
"On behalf of the City of Ormond Beach, we extend our deepest condolences to Ethan's family, friends and fellow firefighters. We will always remember and honor his sacrifices and his unwavering commitment to serving and protecting our community," read the Facebook post.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood also tweeted his condolences to Wilson's family, stating that he not only was a firefighter but also lent a hand at the sheriff's office in the 911 Communications Center. "His last act of service was donating his organs so others can live," tweeted Chitwood.
Firefighter/Paramedic Ethan Wilson was surfing when he became unresponsive and ended up in ICU. Sadly, this 33-year-old husband and father never made the recovery his many friends and loved ones were hoping for. His last act of service was donating his organs so others can live. pic.twitter.com/ZU6UzCJ6fJ— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) February 5, 2023
Moreover, Wilson's brother-in-law Bryon White organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe and has raised more than $103,000. "I have known Ethan since he was 14. To know him is to love him. Those who know Ethan know he is the most kind and gentle soul one could ever hope to meet," White wrote on the platform. "Aside from being an avid outdoorsman, a surfer and a fisherman, Ethan has a beautiful family - his wife, Ashley and his infant son, Coast.
He updated the post and invited people to a public memorial. "Thank you all for your continued donations, support and love since Ethan's passing. It has been an invaluable comfort to see the community rallying around our family in this difficult time. It makes a huge difference," wrote White. "There will be a public memorial celebrating Ethan's life this Saturday, February 11th, 2023, at 3:00 pm, at the Flagler Avenue Boardwalk in New Smyrna Beach." He added, "Whether you know him from the brewery, CrossFit, the beach, or the firehouse - he’s probably put a smile on your face."
White mentioned earlier that Ethan's injuries were serious and "his family will incur significant stress, financial burdens and other hardships as they work to bring Ethan home." He said, "If you can donate to help defray these costs, we would be very grateful. All funds raised here will go directly to Ethan's family."