September 30, 2013

Mark Urban - Firefighter - Idaho

Firefighter Mark Urban, age 40, of Boise, Idaho, died in the line of duty on September 27, 2013, near Smith Prairie Airport, Idaho.

Mark was a member of the Boise Smoke Jumpers of the Bureau of Land Management. He had 10 years of service.

Mark was performing a proficiency parachute jump with a team of skilled Federal firefighters. They were jumping from a plane about 45 miles east of Boise in an exercise designed to maintain their parachuting proficiency.

Mark fell to his death. It is believed that his parachute failed to open properly. An investigation is underway.

Mark was a trainer with the Smoke Jumpers who parachute into remote and rugged terrain to fight fires. The 450 smoke jumpers with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are seasonally required to parachute from planes at least once every two weeks to hone their skills.

Mark had tallied 324 jumps, including 102 into fires, since joining the Great Basin Smoke Jumpers in 2003.

Fire officials stated that the Department is in mourning over this tragic accident. 

Mark is described as a very skilled parachute instructor who worked with a lot of
Saint Florian, Patron
Saint of Firefighters,
pray for Mark

Mark is also described as a very popular and well respected member of the crew. He was incredibly bright, extremely fit and a leader. Mark was a quiet man and when he spoke up, people listened.

Mark is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents, his sister, and his wife, Rebecca.

Thank you for your service to the public, Mark.

Pray for all who die in the line of duty.

Pray for all who die by misadventure. They are with us one moment and gone the next. Amen.

Pray that Mark is in heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

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