The fireman who died trying to rescue a drowning schoolboy last week was a model worker, civil servants were told yesterday. Joseph Wong Wing-ping, Secretary for Civil Service, sent a letter to all civil servants praising the effort of Chiu Shun-on, 49, who tried to save a 15-year-old boy drowning off Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung, on August 28. The body of Wong Wing-nam was washed up the same day, but the body of Chiu, who was off-duty, was only found after a two-day air, land and sea search. He is survived by his widow and 13-year-old son. Mr Wong said in his letter: 'Off-duty though he was, he did not forget his duty to help those in distress. He even sacrificed his life in fulfilling it. His brave and selfless act is the very exemplification of the best of civil servants. All of us should look up to him as a shining example of wholehearted devotion to serving the community.' Chiu's funeral will be held this morning at the Universal Funeral Parlour in Hunghom with the SAR flag covering his coffin. The fireman will be buried at Gallant Garden, Wo Hop Shek - the burial ground normally reserved for civil servants who die in the line of duty. All policy bureaus and department heads have been invited to attend the funeral. Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa will either attend or send a representative. Mr Wong also praised Principal Firemen Cheng Kam-wah and Choi Yu-shing, firemen Hui Chi-leung, Pang Yuk-wah and To Chi-ming, and shopkeeper Cheung Yat-ming, who also took part in the rescue attempt. Chiu joined the Fire Services Department in 1974 and was promoted to principal fireman last month. He was serving at Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station.