Utah firefighters honor a fallen brother

Local News

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) Memorial services for Murray Battalion Chief Matt Burchett will be Monday at the Maverick Center in West Valley City. 

Firefighters from across the country will attend the funeral for the man who died fighting a California wildfire. 

A private brotherhood has become public while paying tribute to the fallen firefighter. 

First responders describe it as a deep love for the job and the people who live it, a promise to take care of one another and their families, come what may. 

“You’re together all the time. You’re seeing these traumatic things. You’re going through these hardships and you have to trust each other with your life. That becomes a big deal,” Unified Fire Spokesperson Keith Garner said. 

Burchett volunteered to fight the California wildfire. Now, strangers volunteer to stand silently beside his body during two and four-hour shifts. 

“It’s amazing. Once other honor guards come, they will start to participate as well. They will be posted on the door, maybe the house and rotate in just to be part of this and show respect for the family,” Garner said. 

Garner said firefighters plan to take care of Burchett’s widow. They’ll also be there to watch his young son grow up in the years and decades to come.

Burchett’s wife said she’s thankful for the outpouring of support, advising everyone to hold those they love a little tighter.

The last line of duty death for the department was back in 1973.

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