Hero Down: PA DOC Correctional Officer Mark Gaspich Dies On Duty Of Heart Attack
Lower Allen Township, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Officer Mark Gaspich died in the line of duty on Oct. 10, when he suffered a heart attack inside the prison.
Correctional Officer Gaspich, 44, had just climbed two ladders in order to reach a guard tower observation platform at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Camp Hill when the cardiac event began, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Feeling ill, the correctional officer climbed back down the ladder to get help, but collapsed when he reached the ground level.
“Mark was a true lifetime public servant,” his obituary read. “[He] truly dedicated his life to helping others.
Correctional Officer Gaspich’s law enforcement career began at the Lower Paxton Police Department, where he worked as a community service officer and an emergency medical technician.
Later, he served the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, where he achieved the rank of corporal.
He then joined the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, where he remained until his death.
Correctional Officer Gaspich also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Linglestown Fire Department – a duty he had carried out since the age of 16.
“Mark responded to New York City in the aftermath of the terroristic attacks of September 11, 2001 as a trained Critical Incident Stress Debriefer,” his obituary read. “He was proud of both his service in New York City and helping many other first responders over his lifetime work through the difficulties of their public service.”
He was described as a “true friend” who “lived life to its fullest” and “always shared his infectious laughter,” according to his obituary.
On Oct. 13, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the Commonwealth flag to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen correctional officer.
Correctional Officer Gaspich leaves behind his father, brothers, nephews, nieces, and many friends and extended family members.
He was laid to rest on Oct. 15.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Officer Mark Gaspich, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.