BIRMINGHAM, Ala, (WIAT)— On Wednesday, fallen firefighter Jordan Melton will be laid to rest. He and another firefighter were shot at Birmingham fire station 9 in the Norwood neighborhood July 12th.
Melton died one week ago Monday. He was 29 years old. This has been a very difficult loss for the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service team.
Chief Cory Moon said this is the first firefighter death in the line of duty of this nature. Other crew members said it’s been an emotional time for their team and they need support from our community now more than ever before.
Remembering firefighter Melton, crew members say he was the life of the party. He was a rookie, only one month on the job, but they said he will always be a part of their family.
Lieutenant Catina Williams said in her 27-year career she would have never thought something of this nature would happen.
“July 12, 2023 was Birmingham Fire and Rescue’s 9/11. So, it will never be the same for me as well as all of my colleagues. So again, we ask that you all keep us in your prayers, keep the families in your prayers because this was a horrific day for us, and it will be forever etched in our minds.”
At a recent vigil, Melton’s mother, Rochelle Gaston Malone, remembered her son, thanking God for his 29 years on earth.
She spoke about the legacy he leaves behind while lighting candles to symbolize the light Melton was and will continue to be in their hearts.
“Jordan, we love you,” said Malone. “You’ll never be apart from us, but always in our hearts, and we thank you. Lord, I thank you for choosing me to be his mother and his guide here on earth, to grow him in the way that you would have him to go, and I release him back to you.”
Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid said the fire service is a brother and sisterhood- one big family that mourns together and supports one another in any way they can.
He said it’s tradition to hold a ceremonial processional for fallen first responders before burial.
On Wednesday, Pelham Fire, alongside other departments, will protect intersections with their vehicles and raise flags on their latter trucks.
“To really show that support, and you know, to honor our fallen as best we can,” said Chief Reid. “And he’ll be on a fire truck, I’m sure, being transported to the cemetery and then there’s a lot of honor and you know tradition that goes on as well at the cemetery.”
A public viewing will be held today from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Faith Chapel (100 Mike Moore Blvd. Birmingham, al 35224). The funeral will begin at 12:17 p.m. – the time he was born according to Captain Orlando Reynolds. Melton will be buried at Elmwood Cemetery after the service.