By Christina Fan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A funeral service was held Wednesday in Brooklyn for an FDNY probationary firefighter who collapsed during training and died last week.

Vincent Malveaux suffered a medical episode Thursday at the FDNY training academy on Randall’s Island and died the next day.

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As CBS2’s Christina Fan reported, at just 31 years old, Malveaux had already done so much good.

He was training to become one of the New York City’s bravest, after previously serving as one of New York City’s best.

“At the worst of the pandemic last year, the call volume was the higher than it has ever been in New York City, and Vincent was on the front lines of that battle, responding day after day, exuding courage and compassion,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

After working as an EMT for four years, Malveaux enrolled at the FDNY training academy this fall. He was one-third of the way through the training when he died.

His family said, as a kid, he slept with a calendar showing the photo of a firefighter over his head.

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“I believe he used it for inspiration and motivation as a reminder each day as he got out of bed,” brother Edward Malveaux said.

At his funeral at the Christian Cultural Center, the Brooklyn native was remembered for his quiet smile. But friends say, in reality, he was a clever prankster who brought endless laughter.

“He has gift wrapped desks, pens, computers, and at one time he even gift wrapped his co-worker while they were sleeping,” said Christian Marte, a paramedic at Station 19.

His FDNY brothers on Wednesday struggled to find the words to say goodbye.

“When we meet again, we’ll go on another run — lights and sirens, racing into danger to help someone else in need,” probationary firefighter Freddy Mehia-Moscoso said.

Until then, Vincent Malveaux’s spirit will live on through his fellow probies by fighting fires and saving lives, what he always dreamed of doing.

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Malveaux’s family said he first wanted to be a firefighter at the age of 5 and always showed empathy to those who needed help.

Christina Fan