Mass. paramedic/firefighter dies in off-duty medical emergency

Auburn veteran Lt. Paul Wood was known for saying, “Rescue everyone and make it home safely”


Jackson Cote
masslive.com

AUBURN, Mass. — For decades, Auburn Fire Rescue Lt. Paul J. Wood worked as an EMT, paramedic and firefighter in communities across Worcester County. His favorite quote during his career in public service: “Rescue everyone and make it home safely.”

Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Coleman on Friday announced the news that Wood had died. He suffered an off-duty medical emergency while at home. No further details on his death were released to the public.

“Please keep the Wood family and our members in your thoughts. He will be deeply missed by all of his brothers and sisters here and in the central regions fire service,” the Auburn Fire Rescue Department wrote in a Facebook post.

Wood worked for the department for 14 years and was promoted to lieutenant on July 8, 2020. For 11 years, he was an active member of the Massachusetts Fire District 7 Regional Dive Team, a district that encompasses 25 communities in southern Worcester County and serves a population of more than 414,000, according to the department.

A 20-year veteran of the Massachusetts fire service, Wood began his career as a call firefighter in Grafton, where he was assigned to Station 3 and was able to hone his general firefighting skills and experience, his bio on the town of Auburn’s website says.

While pursuing a full-time firefighting career, Wood worked as an EMT in Worcester and some of the neighboring communities. He received his paramedic certification and shortly after was hired as a career firefighter/paramedic in Auburn, according to his bio.

During his career, Wood obtained multiple certifications, including “Firefighter I/II, Hazmat Ops, Fire Instructor I, Fire Officer I and Dive Rescue Tender, including ice and surface rescue,” his bio says.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Fire Fighting Academy Class No. 182, Wood was assigned to Group 1 of the Auburn Fire Rescue Department and worked out of its headquarters. He gave EMS trainings to the group and helped with inspecting and maintaining apparatus and equipment, according to his bio.

Multiple fire departments in Worcester County expressed their condolences on social media in the wake of the news of Wood’s death.

“The Sturbridge Fire Department would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of LT. Wood, and our brothers and sisters in Auburn. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest In Peace, Lieutenant,” the Sturbridge Fire Department said in a Facebook post.

“The members of the Charlton Fire Department are deeply saddened by your loss. Our sincere condolences to the [ Auburn Fire Department] members and Lt. Wood’s family. Rest easy, Lt.,” the Charlton Fire Department wrote in a comment on the Auburn Fire Department’s post.

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