Firefighter honored with procession |

Firefighter honored with procession

Firefighters from around Lake Tahoe and beyond converged upon the South Shore Monday to honor Mark Van Mierlow, their 42-year-old colleague who died last week of cancer.

More than 50 trucks from as far away as Carson City and the Placerville area formed a procession that drove through town at silent Code Three – lights, no sirens.

The procession stopped briefly at Sierra Community Church on Sierra Boulevard to present an American flag to Van Mierlow’s widow, Pam. The presentation came at the end of a memorial service in honor of the deceased firefighter.

“For the fire services, in general, we’re all brothers,” said Brian Eakin, battalion chief for the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, which had two engines in the procession. “When something like this happens, it makes you realize that there is a brotherhood. We really get together and stand by each other and support each other.”

Crews from Tahoe City and the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District helped staff South Lake Tahoe’s fire stations during the service and procession.

The procession included trucks from most fire prevention and rescue agencies around Lake Tahoe, including the U.S. Forest Service and Lake Tahoe Ambulance.

Van Mierlow, 42, was a 16-year veteran of the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and is credited for helping set up rescue programs. He also served in the Seabee branch of the U.S. Navy and was active in search-and-rescue organizations in Southern California.

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