Banks, Breaking, Buxton

Longtime Banks Fire District volunteer Captain Mark Hornshuh dies at 61

Captain Mark Hornshuh is presented with the EMS cross in 2019. Photo: Courtesy Banks Fire District

Banks Fire District 13 announced that Captain Mark Hornshuh, a 32-year veteran of the district, died today, Jan. 28 at age 61.

“It is with our deepest sadness that Banks Fire announces the loss of one of our own, Captain Mark Hornshuh,” the district said in a statement.

A volunteer firefighter and paramedic with the district, Hornshuh was was known to be a trainer and mentor in his lengthy history with the District, and also taught fire sciences at Portland Community College, according to Banks Fire Public Information Officer Scott Adams.

In a press release, Adams said that Hornshuh was confirmed to have died Thursday morning, Jan. 28 after district crews were dispatched to his Buxton-area home for a medical call around 9:50 a.m.

As with any unattended death, we are called in to do an investigation,” Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Brian van Kleef said in an email to the Banks Post. “In this case, there was nothing to indicate that foul play or any criminal activity contributed to the death of Capt. Mark Hornshuh.”

The district thanked Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue for aiding in staffing the district during the call.

“The support from all of our Partner Agencies is greatly appreciated and the high level of service we strive to provide our communities will continue uninterrupted throughout our time of grief,” the district said, noting that the Hornshuh family had requested privacy.

At Portland Community College, Hornshuh was an instructor in the college’s Emergency Medical Services program at the Cascade Campus in Portland, where he trained students to become emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

“He was widely liked and admired by just about everybody,” said Abe Proctor, a spokesperson for PCC in an email to the Banks Post. Proctor said that Hornshuh worked off and on for the college since 1995 before joining the faculty full time in 2004.

Hornshuh came from a family known for their service in the district. His parents, Fred and Carol Hornshuh were both staunch supporters of the district, with Fred Hornshuh serving on Banks Fire District Budget Committee.

The captain continued his family’s legacy of service to the district with the agreement to donate land to the district in 2018 in honor of his parents to place the new Buxton fire station on; called Hornshuh Creek Fire Station #14, it opened to use by firefighters three months ago in October 2020.

The bay doors at the new Hornshuh Creek Fire Station in Buxton. Photo: Chas Hundley

Hornshuh received many accolades during his years of service, including the Oregon EMS Cross in 2019, awarded by Oregon’s Emergency Medical Services to members of Oregon’s EMS community that “by act or deed represents the most outstanding achievement in EMS over an extended period of time.”

He’ll be recognized once again by that agency when the Annual Oregon EMS Conference is next held, when he is recognized during the conference awards program “Last Call” ceremony to honor members of the Oregon EMS community who have died.

He was also recognized by the Banks Fire District Board of Directors on January 26, 2019 for his 30 years of service to the district.

“30 years is not something often seen in the realm of volunteer firefighters, and especially 30 years in one department,” the district said at the time. “We thank you for your dedication to the trade, the members of our department, and most importantly to those we serve!”

This story has been updated with a statement from PCC and from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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