First Responder Killed in Wreck in Morgan County

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- Authorities in Morgan County responded to a fatal wreck involving an Oden Ridge Fire Rescue volunteer who was killed while on his way to a fire call on Thursday afternoon.

Jantzen Murrell Frazier, 28, was returning to the scene of a fire when the truck he was driving flipped and slammed into power pole, knocking it down. State Troopers are investigating the crash. Friday, they released a brief statement that reveals Frazier was not wearing a seat belt.

Frazier, retired from the U.S. Army, was still a fairly new member of the Oden Ridge Fire Rescue.

He was deployed to Iraq twice, where he received three Purple Hearts for injuries received in combat, according to the Pentagon. Here is more information on Frazier's military service.

According to the Morgan County Sheriff, deputies closed down roads in the area of 200 Wilson Mountain Road while the scene was being investigated and cleared.

Firefighters were still battling the fire the truck was called for later in the evening. Additional units and man power were requested to that fire, approximately a half-mile from the accident. No one was at home when that fire started. The Morgan County fire marshal was called out to the scene of that fire.

Frazier's classmates, who recently had their 10-year class reunion, have re-purposed their reunion page as a memorial fund for his wife and four young daughters. Click here to visit that page.

Powell Fire and Rescue will also donate this weekend's proceeds from the "Nitemare in the Park" haunted trail to the Frazier family. Its located on Highway 35 between Northeast College and Rainsville.

Admission is $7 per person or $5 per person for a group of six or more. Gates open at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Frazier. Visitation is Tuesday night from 5:00 to 9:00 at Peck Funeral Home in Hartselle.

Wednesday, his body will lie in state from noon to 2:00 at First United Methodist Church in Hartselle.

Services will begin at 2:00, with burial to follow at Johnson's Chapel cemetery.


  • Rhonda Freeman

    Lord be with the family give them peace at this trying time in their lives. So sorry for the family’s loss will be praying for them and also for the people that he was on his way to help.

  • Subrina

    I cant believe this happened! this is my old fire department so many great people and young people im glad a lot are okay but prayers for the one that didn’t make it!

  • Amy Oaks

    My heart go’s out for all involved in this horrible accident!!! I am praying for you all!! God be with you…..

  • Jennifer

    praying for his family, friends, and fellow firefighters. These guys go out and risk their lives everyday leaving a family behind to save others. May God be with you all!

  • Martha Edmonson

    Praying for the family who lost their loved one. This is truely tragic. I recall this is the second wreck involving an Oden Ridge fire truck on this same road in a year. The last one ran through soneones house. What kind if training do volunteer fireman go through to “volunteer”? Are they CDL licensed to drive a large firetruck? Again praying for the young mans family and the victims of the house fire.

    • Jimmy fitts


    • Steve

      Volunteer fire fighter go through the same training as career fire fighter. An Emergency Vehicle Operations Course is offered nation wide through any fire training center. CDL’s are only required in some areas of the country due to not everyone can afford to get the CDL licensure. A lot of states have the drivers of fire apparatus exempt from having CDL’s. I hope this helps.

      • Leah

        Rest assured that volunteer training and carer training is NOT the same. I can certainly bet that a member with 90 days experience has not gotten adequate training to be driving a fire apparatus, especially a tanker. Speed kills, this is a prime example.

        Just for arguments sake, AL has an OPTIONAL volunteer (160 hour) class that most dont opt to take. There is MANDATORY minimum standards training (400 + hours) for career firefighters.

        EVOC training is ok, but you still have to have experience and common sense to handle a fire truck. Start with SLOW DOWN and WEAR A SEAT BELT!

        There is no sense in flying to a call, just to end up dead. Then who are you going to help?

      • Roger P.

        My question is… If he had only been a member for 90 days was he qualified to be driving at all. Did they let him drive because he had military license? Much less driving by himself on what looks like a Tanker. Which has a whole different set of driving nuances due to the water loading and a special driving class should have been administered. My hope is he was qualified and had some sort of training under his belt for emergency vehicle driving. Sad day for the Fire Service no matter what the circumstances.
        5-5-5 Bells. Roger P. 30 + yrs vol. and 28yrs paid firefighter.

    • Steve White

      Martha, Each state has different requirements however I find it very odd that he was driving the rig after only 3 months time on the department.Volunteer depts. all have different training methods from poor to excellent. It has been MY experience that some volunteers have a tendency to get a little overly excited, and this can prove to be detrimental in many ways. No paid, professional department that I know of would have a 3 month new firefighter driving to or from a response. One is normally at the level of engineer to have that earned responsibility. New firefighters can drive different apparatus, but normally under training circumstances and closely monitored.All this being said, I mean no disrespect to this well meaning firefighter, and grieve his loss. I believe his death is inexcusable, and hope changes will come for this department and community.I am not privy to all pertinent info on this tragedy, however volunteer L.O.D.D ( line of duty death’s ) are far higher in volunteer departments than trained, paid professional departments. It is a shame, however each community must provide services accordingly to their resources and budgets. God bless this veteran and his family

  • percy smith

    to my fallen brother When I am called to duty, God
    whenever flames may rage,
    Give me the strength to save some life
    Whatever be its age.

    Help me to embrace a little child
    Before it’s too late,
    Or some older person
    from the horror of that fate.

    Enable me to be alert
    And hear the weakest shout,
    And quickly and efficiently
    to put the fire out.

    I want to fill my calling
    and give the best in me,
    To guard my neighbor
    And protect his property.

    And if according to Your will
    I have to lose my life,
    Please bless with Your protecting hand
    My children and my wife

  • Kimmie J.

    So so sad prayers for this heroes family
    And prayers go out for all firefighters you are all heroes…be safe

  • Johnny Burdett

    Thank you for your service in our armed force’s ,and as a fellow firefighter, & brother you gave your life trying to save others , thank you &I salute you, I pray for your family.

  • Donnette Vinzant

    God has this wonderful young man in
    His arms. I know his parents are proud of their son and his dedication to putting others first. God’s blessings and peace be with you. Savor the memories and know you will be together in Heaven. My prayers are with the family and firefighters.

  • David Rawls

    Time after time I’ve seen incidents where tankers are rolled on their way to a call. Never do they end pretty. I don’t care how many baffles are in the tank, the water…approximately 8000 lbs…is still going to go in the direction opposite of the turn you are trying to make. Complacency and over-confidence are deadly companions in a fire engine. As Asst. Chief, I tried to get my firefighters to run with traffic on MVA’s where there were no injuries. I told them about the liabilities of running lights and siren when there was no need. They did not heed my warnings and continued to run as fast and loud as they could to every call. It is ridiculous and dangerous. Just because you have a big red truck with flashing lights and a siren, doesn’t mean you have the right of way. It only means you are ASKING for the right of way. Be safe, think ahead and come home to your family. I am sorry this firefighter and decorated veteran lost his life. It’s a special person who volunteers to help protect someone he doesn’t even know.

  • JR Loughman

    God bless you brother. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Oden Ridge Fire and Rescue, As a fire fighter with Flint Fire, it is very hard to lose a fallen brother but prayers are with you as y’all go through these next days. God bless you. Jantzen Frazier was a friend and classmate to me. God speed Jantzen. Here is a SALUTE to you brother. Class of ’03

  • Louis Hardt

    Don’t worry brother, we got it from here..

    When I am called to duty, God
    whenever flames may rage,
    Give me the strength to save some life
    Whatever be its age.
    Help me to embrace a little child
    Before it’s too late,
    Or some older person
    from the horror of that fate.
    Enable me to be alert
    And hear the weakest shout,
    And quickly and efficiently
    to put the fire out.
    I want to fill my calling
    and give the best in me,
    To guard my neighbor
    And protect his property.
    And if according to Your will
    I have to lose my life,
    Please bless with Your protecting hand
    My children and my wife

  • Joe C

    5 Purple Hearts? That sounds odd. It sucks a fire fighter died and all, but something sounds wrong about this guys info.

  • Steve Jordan

    It’s a shame that he died, but he disgraced his service by wearing and claiming honors that he didn’t earn. He was neither a Ranger nor a sniper…

    “Frazier is now awaiting the results of a Medical Evaluation Board, which will evaluate his injuries to determine if he can continue to serve. Because his back injuries are so extensive, the country boy knows his life as an Army mechanic is probably over. He still hasn’t whittled down his options, but his parents aren’t at all worried.”

    • Da Kulade, YO!

      Retirement isn’t the question. One can be medically retired at any age. The question lies in the uniform. Ranger beret, 101st combat insignia, ridiculous gig line, sad looking bloused shirt and trousers, mismatched awards, (P) after retirement, and where the training was received.

  • Sandy

    A Fireman’s’ Gloves

    A fireman’s gloves hold many things
    From elderly arms to a kids broken swing
    From the hand they shake and the back they pat
    To the tiny claw marks of another treed cat
    At 2am they are filled with chrome
    From the DUI who was on her way home
    And the equipment they use to roll back the dash
    From the family she involved in that crash

    The brush rakes in spring, that wear the palms out
    When the wind does a 90 to fill them with doubt
    The thumb of the glove wipes the sweat from the brow
    Of the face of a fireman who mutters What Now?

    They hold an inch and three quarters flowing one twenty five
    So the ones going in, come back alive
    When the regulators ring; then there isn’t too much
    But the bypass valve they eagerly clutch

    The rescue equipment, the ropes, the C collars
    The lives they saved never measured in dollars
    Are the obvious things a fireman’s gloves hold
    Or so that is what I’ve always been told

    But there are other things those gloves do touch
    Those are the things we all need so much

    The hold back the rage on that 3am call
    They hold in the fear when you’ve lost the wall
    They hold back the pity, agony, sorrow
    They hold in the desire to do it tomorrow.

    A glove, just a glove till it’s on a firefighter
    Who worked all day just to pull an all night’er
    And into the fray they charge without fear
    At the sound of help they think they hear.

    Off comes the gloves when the call is done
    And into the pocket until the next run
    The hands become lonely and cold for a bit
    And even shake just thinking of it
    They’re not so brave now; their hands they can’t hind
    I guess it just means they are human inside

    And though some are paid and others are not
    The gloves feel the same when its cold or its hot
    To someone you’re helping to just get along
    When you fill them with love, you always feel strong

    And so when I go on my final big ride
    I hope to have my gloves close by my side
    To show to St. Peter at the heavenly Gates
    Cause as we all know, Firefighters just don’t wait

  • Jessica Snider

    Questioning his training or qualifications is not appropiate at this time. He was an intelligent man responding to the needs of others, horrible accidents happen and it is a sad and trying tike for his friends and family. Just pray for those left behind.

  • Casey Brooks

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Albertville, Alabama Marshall County

  • Alex Slaten

    He was my neighbor he had twin girls and a little girl named coral and and mother little girl named ariana

  • Major S.

    Jantzen, My prayers are with you and your family. Your service as a Soldier is remembered and I know your fellow brothers will never forget. Your life has touched so many over your few short years.

Comments are closed.

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