Marshall Burrow leaves a legacy of safety and service |

Marshall Burrow leaves a legacy of safety and service

Former Vail Resorts Mountain Safety Patrol supervisor and Vail Fire and Emergency Services seasonal wildland firefighter Marshall Burrow, center, is lowered down a cliff face by Vail ski patrollers during a "high angle" rescue demonstration. Burrow passed away in May of 2022 and is being remembered through a recent donation to the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund.
Dominique Taylor / Vail Daily

Marshall Burrow was a former Vail Resorts Mountain Safety Patrol supervisor and a Vail Fire and Emergency Services seasonal wildland firefighter who passed away on May 3, 2022. In his memory, Burrow’s family and friends have spearheaded contributions to the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund in his name. Burrow’s loved ones invite the community to do the same.

Since he was young, Marshall Burrow never hesitated to help others, his mother Linda Burrow said. She shared one instance in particular when her son had stood up for a younger friend in high school who was being harassed by a group of boys.

“He just told them to stop,” Burrow said. “There was no fighting or anything like that. Just verbally … That’s the kind of a man he was.”

When Marshall Burrow started going into his career of helping others, his mother said she was not at all surprised.

Burrow was raised in Boulder but started planting roots in Vail following his graduation from the University of Colorado. Burrow really began entering his niche within the valley when he started working for Vail Resorts Mountain Safety Patrol.

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Burrow eventually became supervisor of the Vail Resorts Mountain Safety Patrol and was also named Employee of the Year in 2016. 

Becoming a yellow jacket and working on skis may have also been a long time coming for Burrow, his mother said.

Raising her sons in Boulder, Linda Burrow said when each of the boys had turned 4, she took them out to learn to ski at Eldora Mountain Resort and the tiny ski area in Rocky Mountain National Park. She also said that a young Marshall would regularly ski at Copper Mountain, when anyone in sixth grade and younger rode lifts for free.

“I would fill up my suburban with boys and I would stay in the car and read or take a nap or go in the lodge and they would know to check in with me and they just skied by themselves,” Burrow said. “They were all good enough that they could do that and I loved the free lift ticket.”

When she could still go skiing with her boys, Linda Burrow said Marshall and his brothers would zoom past her backward, always loving to show off. As the youngest of three boys, she said Marshall had to keep up, but that he had no problem doing so.

“Marshall was known for his ability to ski without turning all the way down the mountain,” Linda Burrow said.

Garnering a passion for emergency service and the Eagle County community, Marshall spent his summers volunteering with the Vail Fire and Emergency Services Wildland Firefighter team.

In 2015, Burrow took his passion for emergency service further, said Matthew Medeiros, the president of Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund. Then, Burrow obtained an Emergency Medical Technician certificate from Colorado Mountain College’s Vail Valley Edwards campus.

Burrow had worked to promote the valley’s public safety for 12 years until an accident on New Year’s Eve, 2016.

“He was on duty,” Linda Burrow said. “He somehow fell and caught a log that was hidden under the snow … He fractured his tibial plateau, which kind of ruined his career on skis.”

Unable to work for an extended period and anticipating a long recovery, Burrow moved back to Boulder to live with his parents. 

Because of the passion Burrow had for serving the community through safety services, Medeiros said Burrow’s family and friends wanted to continue that legacy through their Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund donations. 

“His family and loved ones wanted to continue to support people like Marshall who are just trying to support the community in the best way that they can,” Medeiros said. 

The 37-year-old’s family and friends have invited loved ones and community members to also contribute to the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund in Marshall Burrow’s memory.

Not limited to firefighters, police officers and EMTs, the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund collects donations for distribution to emergency service members within the community who may be struggling with financial hardship. So, any type of emergency service professional — including ski patrol — can take advantage of the financial resources the nonprofit provides. 

“Financial hardship doesn’t necessarily have to come with a specific hardship,” Medeiros said. “If it is having an impact on the first responder and their ability to do their job, we want to try to support them in any way we can.”

The work that emergency responders do to help support the community is integral, Medeiros said, and community members who wish to give back to local emergency service professionals can use the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund to do so. 

“We have even assisted families with fallen first responders to everything from not being able to meet living expenses,” Medeiros said. 

Medeiros said it is important for emergency responders to know that the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund is available to them. 

Linda Burrow said she was unsure of whether her son utilized the Eagle County Emergency Responder Fund resources in his time working in Vail. However, she explained that the former yellow jacket and seasonal volunteer wildland firefighter did take advantage of resources available within the valley.

Linda Burrow said that at one point while living in Eagle County, Marshall Burrow and his wife at the time lost most of their belongings due to smoke damage from a fire originating from the apartment below theirs.

“Agencies and places in the valley (helped them) get clothes and, I mean, to restart again,” Burrow said. “These kids don’t make much money.”

To help the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund continue to support those Eagle County community members who work to promote safety throughout the valley, Linda Burrow said she hopes more people will follow suit and contribute to such an important cause.

Contributions to the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund can be made through the website.

Safety workers and first responders in the valley who need financial assistance and wish to utilize Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund services can access an application for resources on the organization’s website. Additionally, emergency responders can access Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund’s financial services by communicating with their chief. 

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