RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) — Hundreds gathered Monday to honor the life of a local firefighter gone too soon.
Parris Island Firefighter Mark Hummeldorf, 33, died on November 22 in a multi-vehicle accident, at Abercorn Street and Rio Road on the south side of Savannah.
For five years, Hummeldorf served as an Advanced Firefighter for the Savannah Fire Department before continuing his career as a Parris Island Firefighter. He was also a decorated United States Marine Veteran.
His death came as a surprise to family, friends and fellow firefighters.
“You know I think there is a lot of shock. But one of the things the family does and the firefighting community does very well is we circle the wagons, we lean on each other and we come together to know that he won’t be alone and his family won’t be alone. We will always be there for them,” said Robert Milie, President, Savannah Professional Firefighters.
Hummledorf leaves behind his 4-year-old son Chase and his wife Angie, who is expecting a child in the spring.
After the ceremony, firefighters presented his family with an American Flag and played Amazing Grace on bagpipes.
Milie says he can’t speak for the family, but he can speak for those who have worked with Hummeldorf side by side, through the fire.
“He just had this giggly goofy way about him,” Milie says. “But when he got there he exuded professionalism and was the type of person you always want to be crawling down a hallway with or working job with.”
Milie says he was the firefighter everyone strives to be.
He also says the best way for other firefighters to deal with this tragedy is to get back on the truck, fulfill your duty, and never forget.
“We reach out to the family and they reach out to us. Because although their loved one is gone we’re still with them,” Millie says. “We’re still part of the family — and you know what? That only strengthens us and our bond.”
The Savannah Firefighters Union started a GoFundMe page to raise $40,000 for his family. They’ve already exceeded that goal. For more details, visit here.