COLLEAGUES have paid tribute to a former firefighter with a "beautiful soul" who has died suddenly.

Erin Fairhead died last Wednesday (May 27) following a "long battle with depression and mental health", according to a post on Williton Fire Station's Facebook page.

A statement said: "She will always be remembered for having the most beautiful soul.

"She brought joy and compassion to the station and was a ray of sunshine to everyone who knew and met her.

"As a firefighter she showed dedication professionalism and strength of character.

"She went above and beyond giving her time and effort to the local community.

"She was a Swimsafe coach which was an initiative set up by the Fire Service teaching kids how to swim and crucial life saving skills.

"She must have helped hundreds of children gain these skills over the years she worked with this programme."

Erin enjoyed fundraising and ran the London Marathon in full fire fighting kit raising money and setting a Guinness World Record.

She volunteered in her own time to teach children fire safety tips and show them around the fire station.

The post added: "She will be greatly missed by us all at Williton Fire Station and will always be part of the fire service family.

"If anyone reading this feels low please speak to those around you or one of the amazing mental health charities.

“It’s ok not to be OK."

There is support at hand for people who feel they need it:

The Samaritans can be contacted on the free national number 116123, or e-mail or alternatively contact Somerset CRUSE bereavement on 01458-898211 or e-mail

PHOTOS: Williton Fire Station.