A GAP has been left in Sutherland Shire Rural Fire Service after the death of 30-year member David Lavis.
Mr Lavis, 62, was the captain of Kurnell RFS for 17 years and will be farewelled at a service tomorrow after losing his battle with cancer.
Superintendent of Sutherland Shire RFS Andrew Pinfold said the service had lost a true gentleman with irreplacable knowledge and experience.
"The support he provided to new and old brigade members is legendary within the local community and the RFS organisation," Superintendent Pinfold said.
"It was a privilege to have the opportunity to not only work with him but be able to class him as a friend as well."
In his 30 years with the RFS Mr Lavis, of Kurnell, was involved in all major incidents in Sutherland Shire, including fires in 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Daughter Rebecca Hinshelwood said her father was everyone's friend and enjoyed playing golf — but the 19th hole even more so.
"His biggest was love was the fire brigade," Mrs Hinshelwood said.
He held many positions with the Kurnell RFS, including as treasurer and deputy-captain, in between working as a truck driver.
He was the dearly loved husband of Carolyn, much loved father and father-in-law of Matthew and Jennifer, Rebecca and David, Rachael and Paul, and the cherished "poppy" of eight grandchildren.