Former Merrill Fire Chief’s death recognized as line-of-duty death

Chief Adlord Talbot remembered in Line-of-Duty Death Legacy Ceremony

Former Merrill Fire Chief Adlord Talbot died on Oct. 7, 1941. Photo courtesy of Merrill Fire Department.

Merrill Fire Chief Josh Klug recently announced the death of former Merrill Fire Chief Adlord Talbot has officially been recognized as a line-of-duty death.
On the morning of October 7, 1941, 60-year-old Chief Talbot 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 at that time deaths such as Talbots were not considered line-of-duty deaths.
However, 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, 93-year-old Monica Talbot. She 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.
The information was submitted to the Wisconsin Fire and EMS Memorial (WFEM), and after review, 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 were informed of the change in status and on Aug. 15, 2023, a Line-of-Duty Death Legacy Ceremony was held for Chief Adlord Talbot at the Merrill Fire Station. Talbot’s name was added to the memorial at both the Merrill Fire Station and in Wisconsin Rapids at the Wisconsin Fire and EMS Memorial.

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