Glenn Merritt Named February Firefighter of the Month

Firefighter of the Month

Firefighter Glen Merritt began his career with Mobile Fire-Rescue in 1991. Throughout his career, Firefighter Merritt has been described as dependable, motivated, and a true asset to MFRD. These descriptions all came into play on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at a multi-alarm warehouse fire, which lasted for days.


In the early morning hours of Tuesday February 16, 2021 (2nd Shift), a fire alarm was reported at 1201 Paper Mill Rd. Units responded to find an approximately 800’ x 400’ warehouse (320,000 sq. ft. or 7.35 acres) containing 8,000 tons of various products, primarily shredded paper bails and stacks of wood. Incident Command was initiated by units on duty. Command was passed and assumed at 0630 hours by the oncoming shift (3rd shift).


Based on an interior reconnaissance report from Engine 3 and Truck 4, information was obtained as to the extent of the fire incident, which was progressing rapidly. Previously requested assets began to arrive at the scene. Two large front-end loaders were already on the sceneInitially, the option to utilize this equipment in the smoke-filled conditions was not possible, as the equipment would not have continued to function properly.


Once conditions improved, the need for an operator with training, knowledge, and experience in a high risk environment was evident. District Chief T.B. Smith requested Firefighter Glen Merritt, who was experienced in operating the equipment and heavy machinery. Firefighter Merritt was already on a forklift, inside the warehouse, attempting to make headway in mitigating the massive amount of burning materials.


With the approval of the operator, who could not be asked to assume the same risks as trained firefighters, Firefighter Merritt immediately began the operation of removing burning and smoldering products. His decision and speedy action became a critical component in allowing for successful extinguishment and overall scene mitigation. Firefighter Merritt continued this vital task for several hours, without recess or relief, until approximately 1530 hours, at which time he was ordered to turn the equipment over to the operator following improved conditions.


Therefore, on behalf of all the citizens of Mobile and with our sincere thanks, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department is pleased to recognize Firefighter Glenn Merritt as FIREFIGHTER OF THE MONTH for February 2021.