Mark David “BO” Boulanger was far more than the title firefighter. Bo, as his friends affectionately called him, was an American Hero. Born February 9, 1961, in Rochester, New Hampshire, to Richard Henry and Anne Marie Boulanger, the family made their way west in search of the American Dream. Settling in Scottsdale, Arizona, Mark lived that American Dream growing up. Riding bulls and developing a devout passion for hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors, it was also where his character of quiet strength and strong integrity was formed.
Honor bound at a young age, Mark enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1981 and served six years. Shortly after the guard tour, Mark fell in love with firefighting and landed his first job with Sun Lakes Fire Department in Arizona. Career bound, he took every course and read every book to constantly stay ahead of the learning curve. He served as a firefighter, engineer, and captain with the City of Chandler from 1992 until his passing in 2018. During his tenure at Chandler he also volunteered for many special assignments, ranging from wildland firefighting to SWAT team paramedic with the Chandler Police Department. Bo always wanted to be where he could do the most good protecting his community and fellow firefighters. He preferred the city’s busiest stations, and Chandler Station 2 was his home for most of his career. Bo was honored as Fire Fighter of the Year for 2018.
If ever a man stood tall in character, it was Mark. Aside from the abbreviation of his last name as Bo, he was endeared the “Honey Badger” by his fellow firefighters. He showed a ferocious determination in all that he did. He took saving lives seriously, and that meant being the best that he could be. He trained hard and mentored numerous young firefighters. Public service was his life’s work. Even on his off time he enjoyed helping others, volunteering with the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and leading hunts with the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation for children with terminal illnesses.
Mark fought a very difficult battle with lung cancer. His family, friends and firefighters stood by his side until the very end, as he would have done for each of them. Mark made an impact on every life he touched. He left behind countless friends, family, firefighters, and Susie, his wife of 22 years. He carried all the titles from husband to grandfather, brother to son, but most of all he carried the title American Hero.