Retired Lt. Ken Merrell passed away this past weekend with family in St. Louis after battling lung cancer. Ken was invited to be our first retired AFD member on our Fire Museum board in 2004. He served for that first year and was involved in many of the decisions that led up to the creation of the Austin Fire Museum in 2005. He had to resign from his position due to his cancer diagnosis and subsequent move to St. Louis. We asked Ken to be a part of the first museum board because he had a love for the job and the traditions of the Austin Fire Department.
Lt. Merrell served for 32 years from 1970 to 2002, most of which were spent as Engine 22 B-Shift Lieutenant. Ken had a devoted crew that worked with him for many years. During Ken’s career at Station 22 he was first in at many fires in “Apartment City”. Due to the nature of the apartment complexes in Engine 22′s territory, the dispatch address from a 911 caller doesn’t always match up with the correct address of the fire building. In his final fire before retirement, Ken’s knowledge of his territory proved vital as an apartment fire was raging. Due to the nature of the call, Ken decided to deviate from the dispatch address and lead his crew to the correct building on fire. This experience allowed his crew to confine the fire to the apartment of origin and prevent the destruction of the remaining building units.
- Station 18 (1971-1974)
- Station 6 (1974-1978)
- Dispatch (1978-79)
- Station 22 (1979-2002)
Memorial services for Retired Lt. Ken Merrell will be Saturday August 16, 2008 at 1400 hours at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 205 West Pecan, Lockhart, Texas. AFD Honor Guard and Bag Pipes have been requested.