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Over 1,000 gather to mourn longtime Mont. firefighter

Firefighter John Raisler suffered a heart attack during a practice pack test


John Norris Raisler.

Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home.

By Bill Carey

MILES CITY, Mont. — Firefighters from across the state of Montana gathered to attend the funeral service of veteran firefighter John Raisler.

Raisler suffered a heart attack on April 16 while preparing for the pack test, as reported by the United States Fire Administration. He was 59 years old.

Raisler had mentored many young firefighters from around the state, and many of them attended Raisler’s funeral on April 20, including Erick Hartse, KTVQ reported.

“Anytime you lose a friend, anytime you lose somebody like that, it’s tough,” Hartse said. “Trying to sum up John in a few words is almost impossible.”

“A lot of firefighters received training from him,” Montana State Forester Shawn Thomas said. “He provided that mentoring to them so they were safe to do their job of fighting wildlife fires around the state.”

More than 1,000 people gathered to remember Raisler, KTVQ reported. He is survived by his wife, four children and mother.