Boise Firefighter will have Legacy as Quiet Mentor

Smokejumper Mark T. Urban was remembered Friday as a quiet mentor, someone who carried out his job efficiently without seeking credit, reports the Idaho Statesman.

More than 600 people attended a memorial service for Urban at the National Interagency Fire Center where he was based. Urban, 40, died Sept. 27 near Prairie during an annual proficiency jump when his parachute did not open properly.

Fire trucks circled the lawn in front of the Jack Wilson Building, which was filled with Urban’s family and friends and members of the wildlands and urban firefighting community.

Federal workers on furlough wiped their eyes as Urban’s friends and co-workers told stories of him running rivers, skiing mountains, playing the mandolin and drinking beer in a beat-up trailer at the Great Basin Smokejumpers’ base in Battle Mountain (NV).

Fellow smokejumper Phil Lind, who served as master of ceremonies, described Urban as a man of “tremendous discipline” who “simply got things done.”

“Mark exemplified what it means to be a good man,” Lind said.

Urban was the second Idaho firefighter to die this year, and the 33rd nationwide, the most since 1994.

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