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TVF and R loses Beaverton firefighter in climbing accident

by: Submitted photo Nate Turner

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials learned late Sunday night that Nate Turner, one of their own, died as a result of injuries sustained in a climbing accident on Beacon Rock in Washington.

Turner, who joined the fire district's team in September 2007, served as a firefighter-paramedic at Fire Station 67 in downtown Beaverton, which is one of TVF and R's busiest units.

On Sunday at about 5:30 p.m., the 30-year-old Southeast Portland resident and his climbing partner, Michael Aubry of Northeast Portland, were rappelling down the popular south corner route of Beacon Rock, when Turner fell more than 100 feet.

'This is a very unfortunate accident that has taken place,' said Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox, whose department responded to the scene. 'Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family, co-workers and friends of this young man.'

The news of Turner's loss hit the TVF and R family hard, fire district officials reported.

There was an immediate void in the fire station Monday when his crew reported for work, said Karen Eubanks, fire district spokeswoman. Turner's team took time Tuesday to remember their lost brother at a private gathering.

Meanwhile, the community has rallied to offer kind words and condolences to TVF and R in phone calls, emails and posts on the district's Facebook page.

'Nate was an outstanding firefighter and member of the TVF and R family,' said Fire Chief Mike Duyck. 'He served the department and community well.

'He will be greatly missed.'

Prior to his work with TVF and R, Turner worked for the Albany Fire Department and American Medical Response. He served as a reserve firefighter for Sunriver Fire Department while attending paramedic school in Bend in 2003. He also attended Chemekata Community College in 2002.