MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Local first responders are mourning the loss of Murrells Inlet-Garden City firefighter, 31-year-old Rob Shubert, who died in an off-duty motorcycle crash late Friday night.
While Rob fought fires and saved lives for a living, friends say he was a United States Marine first.
“Rob really, really loved the Marine Corps. When the Marine Corps birthday would come and they would have the ball here, it wasn’t weird to see Rob Shubert walk in (wearing) his dress blues,” Chad Caton, a former firefighter for Horry County Fire Rescue, and a public safety advocate said.
After returning home from serving in Iraq, Rob became a firefighter and EMT, ultimately working for three local fire departments- Georgetown County, Murrells Inlet-Garden City, and volunteering for Horry County Fire Rescue.
“He loved everything about the Corps, and I think that’s why he became a fireman. That’s why I became a fireman, and at the end of the day, it’s about that brotherhood, and Rob was definitely a brother,” Caton said.
First responders say Rob was incredibly loyal, and would never think twice about putting his life on the line if it meant helping others, both while abroad and in his own community.
“We say it all the time in the fire service, it’s not a job. Like Rob would say with the Marines- once a Marine, always a Marine. It’s something that’s in you,” Caton said.
According to Caton, firefighters spend a third of their lives together working long shifts, so they quickly become a family.
Even though Rob and Caton worked for different departments, he says Rob’s death is impacting the entire firefighter community who are now mourning the loss of their brother.
“They live with these guys; they come to work every day and answer that bell; a third of your life, so when we lose one, it hurts. It hurts a lot,” Caton.
“There’s nobody that Rob wouldn’t help, and I ask the community to pray for all the first responders. It’s like I said, they live together for a third of their life. We don’t call them brothers and sisters because it’s a cool thing to say. They are brothers and sisters.”
Memorial services for Shubert will be held Wednesday from 2 – 4 p.m. and Thursday 5 – 9 p.m. at the Goldfinch Funeral Home in Garden City. His funeral will be held Friday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church located at 542 Cypress Ave in Murrells Inlet.