53-year-old Mississippi firefighter loses battle with COVID-19

Published 8:31 am Thursday, September 2, 2021

Emergency responders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are mourning the loss of a local firefighter who served more than 20 years with the Gulfport Fire Department.

Mark Hilley, 53, died Wednesday night from COVID-19, according to a post by Gulfport Fire Department.

The news of Hilley’s death comes three days after the death of Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy Cpl. Robert Verzal, who died on Aug. 29.

Hilley was a battalion chief for Harrison County Fire Rescue.and was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Mark Hilley is the epitome of a firefighter’s firefighter… He devoted his life to public service,” said a post from Harrison County Fire Rescue.