Hundreds pay tribute to fallen firefighter
FRIENDS, family and colleagues touched by the life of Brant Jones formed a guard of honour at a massive send-off for a bloke described as "the most positive man on earth'.
Hundreds of mourners packed into a Gordonvale funeral home today, to pay tribute to the fallen firefighter whose lust for adventure, passion for life and love of family would always be remembered.
Mr Jones died on Saturday after falling and hitting his head at Behana Gorge, south of Cairns.
As the Eagles Life in the Fast Lane played best mate Ross Hodgman stepped up to recall an experience while taking on Queensland's highest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere.
"Over the years Brant has introduced many people to the mountain. At the end of one wet season with leaches in plague proportions he and group of friends tackled the track. And just being a bit competitive it became a race back to the car park," he said.
"Picture this: there is a group of non-English speaking tourists in the car park and all of a sudden they see a group of mad people coming running out of the bush with Brant in a white shirt covered in blood, looking like he had been shot with a shotgun yelling and screaming."
Born in Longreach in 1961, Mr Jones moved back to Cairns to attend Parramatta State School and Trinity Bay State High School before enlisting in the Royal Australian Airforce, aged 17.
His career in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service began in 1995.
Acting QFES station officer Billy Mantgaris remembered a colleague who perhaps didn't do everything by the book but certainly inspired fellow firefighters.
"Today we pause to celebrate the life of one of our own," he said.
"I am not amazed at how many people have been touched by his life. Brant was part of the bedrock of the community and a revered icon in the fire service."
Daughter Stacey Ghietti said her dad lived life to fullest and took full advantage of the natural beauty of Far North Queensland landscape.
"Dad's legacy will live on through me, his walk group but definitely through his three-year-old grandson Max who is a little adrenaline seeker," she said.
"Dad has touched so many with his positive outlook on life … I appreciate you all coming out and I know he would have been honoured by the number of people here today.
"He would tell you all 'I was 58, I had a good innings, who wants to get old anyway?'"
At the end of the service, Mr Jones' family was presented with a bronze helmet on behalf of the firefighters union and a memorial shield depicting the jaws of life.