Joshua Schwabenbauer: Lauderhill firefighter dies after diving accident

A Lauderhill firefighter is still saving lives after losing his.

Joshua Schwabenbauer, 26, died early Thursday from injuries suffered in a diving accident at Haulover Beach on Labor Day, said Lauderhill Fire Rescue Lt. Jerry Gonzalez.

Schwabenbauer's organs were harvested for donation, Gonzalez said.

The five-year veteran was off-duty Monday, enjoying a day of boating and swimming with his sister, girlfriend and other relatives.

He suffered critical head and spinal cord injuries after diving into shallow water near a sandbar, Gonzalez said.

A fellow beachgoer found Schwabenbauer in the water and pulled him into a boat. Two off-duty firefighters from Miami-Dade and the Town of Palm Beach happened to be boating in the same area and administered CPR.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue took him to Aventura Medical Center in critical condition. Schwabenbauer was transferred to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, a facility that specializes in traumatic injuries.

He died in the hospital surrounded by family, friends and fellow firefighters, Gonzalez said.

Schwabenbauer was assigned to Fire Station 73. Prior to joining the fire department he was a part-time lifeguard for the City of Lauderhill and continued to be a part-time lifeguard for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.

Funeral arrangements are being made. More than 1,000 firefighters and 60 fire-rescue vehicles were expected to attend, Gonzalez said.

Schwabenbauer is survived by his parents, a sister and a girlfriend, who also is a firefighter.
 

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