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.

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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.