Marion Fire Department Captain Andy Weller will retire after 33 years of serving the community. Prior to being hired full-time with MFD, Weller served four years as a Volunteer Firefighter for Center Township. During his first ten years with MFD, Weller took every training opportunity he could to gain knowledge beyond mandatory training. He took courses at the National Fire Academy on three occasions. Weller excelled in hazardous materials training. In 1992, he was selected as the Hazmat Coordinator for Marion and Grant County when the City of Marion became the first department to run its own Hazmat Technician course in Indiana. Weller said, “Right now, in dealing with the coronavirus, we have the gear and the knowledge, and we’re protected.” He noted Hazmat as one of the highlights of his career. “I’ve watched it grow from day one. I’ve been able to teach many firefighters this important aspect of the job.”
For about four years, before Lincoln Elementary School closed, Weller was part of an educational fire prevention program for kindergarteners. “Because of fire prevention education and strict code enforcement, we have less fires, and actually have more medical runs.” Weller has been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) since 1993. He is also a certified instructor of life-saving skills including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). “My EMT training has paid off because for the past ten years, I also work part-time with the paramedics for Marion General Hospital.”
Weller was an integral part of several rescues from house fires throughout his career. “Those saves were truly team efforts. This is certainly a team job. I have been fortunate to work with a great group of guys. I have relied on them, and they have relied on me, and we’ve worked really well together.”
Weller also reflected on his opportunity in 2003 to go with a small group of fellow firefighters to New York City for the memorial service from 9⁄11. “Through community donations, I was one of five Marion Firefighters who were honored to attend the memorial held at Madison Square Garden, and got to sit with Firefighters from Rescue 1 Station in Manhattan.
Fire Chief Paul David stated that Capt. Weller has been a valuable asset to the city as well as the county as a whole. “Capt. Weller has always done an excellent job as a leader as well as a Hazmat coordinator. He always took his role seriously. Capt. Weller always has a positive outlook and has motivated those that he’s worked with. It’s hard to replace a guy who has such vast knowledge of several fields that we work in. From Medical calls, Hazmat calls, CPR instruction, to firefighting, Capt. Weller excelled in all of those fields, and we were fortunate to have him. He will certainly be missed on our department. We wish him luck in his future endeavors.”
Deputy Chief Justin Planck echoed Chief David’s remarks. “I want to thank Capt. Weller for his years of service and dedication to the Marion Fire Department and for always being someone we could count on.”
In retirement, Weller plans to continue working part-time with MGH, while spending more time with his family. Weller is married with one son, one daughter, and six grandchildren.
Capt. Weller’s last day with MFD is April 5th, 2020.