1941 passing of Merrill Fire Chief Adlord Talbot recognized as line-of-duty death

For the Tomahawk Leader

MERRILL – On Tuesday, April 4, Merrill Fire Department Chief Josh Klug announced that the death of a former Merrill Fire Chief has now officially been recognized as a line-of-duty death (LODD).

Talbot. Photo courtesy of the Merrill Fire Department.

On the morning of Oct. 7, 1941, Chief Adlord Talbot, age 60, failed to join his crew for morning shift change at the now former number one fire station, which still stands at 701 E. First St. in Merrill When his fellow firefighters went to check on him, they found Talbot dead in his bed of an apparent heart attack.

Klug noted that, at that time, deaths such as Talbot’s were not considered line-of-duty deaths.

While doing research on another matter, local historian Michael Caylor came across Talbot’s death record and noted the place of death was listed as the fire station. Caylor spoke with Talbot’s daughter, Monica Talbot, 93, who confirmed the details of her father’s death with precise memories from that fateful morning.

Caylor was able to produce Talbot’s death certificate and obtain copies of the activities of Talbot on the day before his death from the historical records of the Merrill Fire Department. Those records, which are preserved at the Merrill Historical Society, included a fire call and, according to his daughter’s memory, doing fire inspections.

That information was submitted to the Wisconsin Fire and EMS Memorial (WFEM), and after reviewing it, the WFEM President James Luty informed Chief Klug that he had declared Talbot’s death as having occurred in the line of duty.

Talbot’s daughter and extended family have been informed of the change in status and are looking forward to the addition of Talbot’s name to the memorial, both at the Merrill fire station and in Wisconsin Rapids at the WFEM.

More details about a dedication will be announced once plans are finalized.

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