TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Tempe Fire Assistant Chief Paul Nies remembered his friend and fellow firefighter, Frank Reed, as a man who loved life.
"Everybody was hid friend. He was that guy, it was hard to not like him," Nies said. "It was a shock mixed with knowing who he was. Frank was an adventurer, and I don't mean that in a devil may care, but that was his passion."
Reed was on vacation in Portugal with his girlfriend when we went for a swim earlier this week. Tragically, he never came back to shore.
Reed, a member of the technical rescue team, now leaves behind a station that's hurting and he'll be someone who's tough to replace.
"You knew how to do it and what to do or he'd teach you. The option of leaving wasn't there. Frank insisted you knew how to do the job, and you did it right," Nies said.
Reed worked with the department for nearly two decades. His impact was very apparent in the comments of Facebook friends sharing memories after they heard the news.
"Looking at our Facebook page, there were so many people who went to the gym with Frank, went to hazmat school, did this, did that, ran calls with him and then there were people who were strangers," Nies said.
And even though they're grieving, the Tempe firefighters who knew Reed won't forget the passion he brought every day.
"it shocked us because someone so full of life, we tend to believe they're going to be in our lives forever, but then on the other hand, we knew that Frank was going to live life to the fullest," Nies said.