Remembering Alumnus and Hotshot Firefighter Zuppiger

July 3, 2013

Garret Zuppiger, a University of Arizona graduate who grew up in the Phoenix area, was one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Crew firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Those who knew Zuppiger, a May 2008 Eller College of Management graduate who lived in Prescott, Ariz., describe him as generous, humble and deeply invested in his work as a firefighter. 

"It was almost like a natural calling. He was pretty new to firefighting, but it was something that he was extremely proud of doing," said Garret Picchioni, a close friend of Zuppiger.

"It was a combination of things – the work, the camaraderie he got working with the other hotshot crew members and being in the environment," Picchioni said.

Picchioni said Zuppiger was attracted to "nitty gritty work" and worked construction after graduating from the UA and, after joining the hotshots crew, during the off season. 

"The impression I had is that firefighting was something he would do for a long while," Picchioni said...

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