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Fort Myers Fire recruit dies following physical fitness test

The Fort Myers Fire Department announced on Wednesday that a recruit has died after completing his physical assessment and evaluation.
Nathaniel Wilcox
FOX 4 was on scene as recruits participated in physical assessments on Tuesday
Fort Myers Fire
Posted at 1:15 PM, Jul 10, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Fort Myers Fire Department announced on Wednesday that a recruit has died
after completing his physical assessment and evaluation.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Tracy McMillion said the department is experiencing "heavy hearts" in response to the loss of Nathaniel Lee Wilcox, 22, from Cutler Bay, Florida.

Chief McMillion says Wilcox's family wants the community to know more about their loved one - sharing that he played college football.

The South Carolina State Bulldogs posted the following on their Facebook page:

Our Fox 4 Community Correspondent Miyoshi Price contacted the university to gain permission to use Wilcox's photos in our coverage and they also shared a statement reflecting on the man Wilcox was while here on earth:

South Carolina State University joins the family of Nathaniel Wilcox in mourning his passing. By all accounts, Nathaniel was an outstanding member of Bulldog Nation who excelled both on the field and in the classroom, having completed his criminal justice degree summa cum laude.

He was an integral part of the SC State football team as a defensive lineman, proudly wearing number 57 and embodying Bulldog tenacity. Nathaniel's dedication to scholarship was recognized with his inclusion on the MEAC All-Academic Team.

Nathaniel was an ambitious and loving leader who was always willing to lend a helping hand. He planned to continue his passion for criminal justice by enrolling in EMT school to become a firefighter.

He was a proud member of the Xi Psi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. His spirit, presence, and contributions have left an indelible mark on many.SC State has reminded those who knew Nathaniel of the services offered by our Counseling and Self-Development Center, both in person and online.

Sam Watson

Director of University Relations

South Carolina State University

Fort Myers Fire says the department will declare Wilcox an honorary firefighter.

The department has shared Wilcox's applicant video with FOX 4.
You can see it below:

Fort Myers Fire shares applicant's video following his death

FOX 4's Fort Myers Community Correspondent Miyoshi Price attended the department's physical assessments on Tuesday.

In addition, his family will receive a helmet and jacket.

Wilcox's family has requested an autopsy.

This is a developing story.