McNeill Fire Department gets new name

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

McNeill’s Volunteer Fire Department now bears the name of their previous fire chief.

Family members of the late Melvin Glidewell said that now the department bears his name, firefighters in McNeill have a lot to live up to.

“Now that they put his name up there it should remind them to do the job as well as he did,” said daughter Rhonda Glidewell.

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Melvin Glidewell served the department for the past 35 years as chief before he passed away in August of 2013 due to cancer.

McNeill Fire Chief Donny Leonard presented Melvin Glidewell’s wife and children with plaques and flowers Sunday afternoon during a dedication ceremony where they unveiled the department’s new name.

A fire truck bearing the name of Melvin Glidewell was also parked in front of the station. Leonard said that fire truck was the last one Melvin Glidewell purchased before retiring as chief last year. Even after he retired as chief, Melvin Glidewell remained active with the department.

Leonard said Melvin Glidewell was like a father to him, and he attributed his long-standing record of avoiding injury while responding to fires to Glidwell’s leadership.

Mavis Glidewell, Melvin Glidewell’s wife, said the department was Melvin Glidewell’s life, and he enjoyed his work.

Melvin Greg Glidewell said his father was at the department 24 hours a day every day of the year.

“Everyone does not realize how much the department meant to him. The fire department made him. It gave him an outlet to do what God called him to do.” Melvin Greg Glidewell said of his father.