Mark Staveley recently made a special presentation at Seattle’s Fire Station 37, and he invited us to share a copy of his speech.  Mark (FHG 1655) was a member of the Guard in the 1990s, and last October, he had a sudden cardiac arrest while walking between Amazon buildings in downtown Seattle.  His story is quite remarkable, and we’re so happy that Mark is doing well and wanted to share this with members of the Guard Club.

Mark Staveley presents an FHG challenge coin to Firefighter Jay Roughton.  Photo:  Firedog Photos

Good morning members of Seattle Fire.  Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Mark Staveley and I am a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor.  I was saved by members of Seattle Fire on October 24th 2023 who responded to the 911 call that was made on my behalf, as I collapsed in the street walking between Amazon buildings at the close of my workday.

Firefighter Jay Roughton was the first on the scene, and he quickly realized that the initial call diagnosis of head injury and possible overdose was incorrect.  I was agonal breathing and life-saving CPR was initiated – upgrading my call to a MED7.

I am here speaking with you today in part as a sudden cardiac arrest survivor, but also as a former member of the Fort Henry Guard.  Founded in 1938, the Fort Henry Guard is a ceremonial guard unit that is based out of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. 

The Guard is renowned for how they bring to life the military drill and tactics of the mid-1800’s.  The Guard has performed at numerous events and ceremonies in Canada and abroad since its founding, most notably the Royal Tournament in England, and with the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the Commandant’s Own Drum and Bugle Corps, and Battle Color Detachment at Marine Barracks 8th and I in Washington D.C. 

The cross-border military friendship between the Fort Henry Guard and the United States Marine Corps started in 1954 as both units were brought together to honor the Ogdensburg agreement that was signed in 1940. The Ogdensburg Agreement was a document signed in 1940 by President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, binding Canada and the United States committing to the joint defense of North America. 

Since then, the special friendship between the Fort Henry Guard and the United States Marine Corps has grown.  There are regular cross-border trips between Fort Henry and Marine Barracks Washington D.C. where these two units parade together. 

One of my most significant memories of my time in the Guard was being on parade and inspected by General Mundy who was the 30th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. 

You may not realize this, but I’m not the only one here today with a connection to the United States Marine Corps.  Firefighter Jay Roughton was a Sgt with the United States Marine Corps, 1st Marine Division.

I was kind of blown away when I found this out, as a former member of the Fort Henry Guard and knowing the special bond that we have with the United States Marine Corps, and to then to have my life saved by a Marine was an extra level of connection and significance that wasn’t lost on me.

Like many different military units, the Fort Henry Guard has various traditions.  One of these traditions is to issue a Fort Henry Guard Challenge Coin to each member of the Fort Henry Guard.  On one side is the Fort Henry Guard regimental crest, and on the other side is the person’s Guard Number. 

Normally, the only way to get one of these coins is to be a member of the Fort Henry Guard.  However, I talked to the Fort Henry Guard Club about my story.  Explaining how my life was saved by Jay and his connection to the United States Marine Corps.  An exception was made, and a second Fort Henry Guard coin was issued with my Guard number on it for Firefighter Roughton. 

On behalf of the Fort Henry Guard, and the Fort Henry Guard Club I would like to present this coin to Firefighter Roughton, and extend to you their sincerest and most heart-felt appreciation for saving my life.

Photo: Firedog Photos