RUN THE RACE: Firefighter and Pastor Talks About Bravery, Being Fit and Church

RUN THE RACE: Firefighter and Pastor Talks About Bravery, Being Fit and Church
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:25 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As a firefighter for 36 years, he remembers how it hit so hard on September 11, twenty years ago, watching his fellow first responders give up their lives to save others.

Battalion Chief Mark Burnett, who’s spent nearly four decades with Columbus (GA) Fire &EMS, opened up on our “Run The Race” podcast about his strong feelings on 9-11.

“A little bit of anger, and very prideful that my brothers and sisters in another state are doing what they signed up to do – help people,” Burnett said. “That day was a day that you really saw the heart of what a firefighter, paramedic, EMT, police officer really is, it’s about taking care and saving other people’s lives, with disregard for your own. It was a wrenching day for sure.”

Burnett is also an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, answering questions about why God would “allow” such evil to happen. Along with preaching and responding to emergencies in the Fountain City, he juggles the roles of husband, father, and having 7 grandkids too.

This Battalion Chief also talks on our podcast about being an outspoken Christian in a fire department, which provides opportunities and challenges. Burnett also gives us the 4 foundational things for you to do, in order to have an impact on other people’s lives, from right where you are at.

Being in great shape at age 55, Burnett details his early morning fitness routine, nutrition goals and the importance of being fit as a firefighter. His passion is triathlons, having done a half Ironman so far.

With the COVID-19 virus still raging, Pastor Mark calls the local church the “hope of the world” and points to lessons learned from the pandemic.

Tell your friends about the #RunTheRace podcast. To listen to this firefighter’s story or any of our previous 80 episodes, go to

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