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Longtime IFD firefighter who assisted at Ground Zero after 9/11 dies

Chief Mark Rapp was a founding member of Indiana Task Force 1 and traveled to New York City with the unit after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Credit: IFD
IFD Chief Mark W. Rapp Sr.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis firefighter who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City will be laid to rest this week.

Retired IFD Chief Mark Rapp Sr. was a founding member of Indiana Task Force 1 and was in charge of the unit's Search and Rescue Team while it assisted with the recovery efforts after the attacks. Rapp was diagnosed with cancer after his 10-day deployment at the Twin Towers site. 

Rapp told 13News in 2015 that even after his diagnosis, he would have still made the decision to go to Ground Zero and would have become a firefighter.

He died March 4 at the age of 66.

He started his career as a firefighter in Lawrence, before joining IFD in 1979. By the time he retired in 2017, Rapp had served as a firefighter for more than four decades.

According to IFD, Rapp received numerous awards during his firefighting career.

As Rapp's cancer diagnosis was linked to his work during the Ground Zero response, his death is considered a Line of Duty Death. He will receive full honors during his funeral Friday evening at Crown Hill Cemetery. 

Visitation, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 10 from 4-8 p.m. and Friday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Crown Hill Funeral Home. The funeral, which will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, is also open to the public.

RELATED: Read Chief Mark Rapp's obituary

For those unable to attend in person, the memorial service will stream on Crown Hill's Facebook page

A funeral procession and burial will be held starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. 

The procession will start at the Peace Memorial and Mausoleum at Crown Hill, then travel on West 38th Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Street. It will head south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to West Street, then to Ohio Street. 

A Garrison Flag will be located at the 9/11 Memorial near IFD Station 13 as the procession travels east to Delaware Street. It will turn north on Delaware Street to Fort Wayne Avenue, passing under a second Garrison Flag at IFD Station 7. 

Rapp served at both Station 7 and Station 13 during his service with IFD. 

The procession will turn onto East 10th Street to North College Avenue, where it will head north to East 30th Street. It will turn north onto North Illinois Street and continue to West 34th Street to the entrance of Crown Hill Cemetery, passing under a third Garrison Flag at the Heroes of Public Safety Memorial.

Rapp will be laid to rest at the Heroes of Public Safety section of Crown Hill.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered the lowering of flags to half-staff all day Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday, March 12.

(NOTE: This story was updated to reflect Rapp's rank of Chief, to which he was appointed prior to his retirement. There has also been a correction to the procession route after it passes IFD Station 7.)

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