Shawnee firefighters honor John B. Glaser on 10-year anniversary of his death

Firefighters honor their fallen colleague John B. Glaser during a ceremony Friday morning. Glaser was 33 years old when he died after responding to a house fire on May 22, 2010. Photo credit Mike Frizzell. 

Shawnee firefighters gathered this morning for a short tribute to one of their own who was lost in the line of duty ten years ago.

On May 22, 2010, at 8:52 p.m., John Glaser and his crew were called to a nearly 6,000-square-foot-home near Pflumm Road and Blackfish Parkway to investigate a fire alarm. As they responded, dispatchers received multiple 911 calls reporting heavy smoke. Once on the scene, neighbors told firefighters that there was possibly an elderly couple and a dog inside.

Firefighter Glaser and his partner forced their way inside the home to begin searching. They located and rescued a dog from the house and then returned to search for anyone else who may be inside. During their search, Glaser and his partner became separated.

Additional firefighters entered the house to help in the search for Glaser. Crews located him a few minutes later and carried him out of the home to a waiting ambulance. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital.

Ten years later, the department’s honor guard raised the flag at the memorial in front of the station, which now bears Glaser’s name at 6501 Quivira Road. Fire Chief John Mattox also placed a wreath at the monument, which honors the city’s two line of duty deaths: Police Officer Don Gamblin and Firefighter John Glaser.

Shawnee Fire Station No. 71 was renamed the John B. Glaser Fire Station in 2015. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

“This is just a brief formal recognition, but the guys remember him every day,” Chief Mattox said.

New firefighters receive a half-day of training all about Glaser and the night he died. Chief Mattox says the training is taught by a Battalion Chief who was Glaser’s search partner that night.

Fire Station No. 71 was renamed the John B. Glaser Fire Station in 2015. The city and department also held the ‘John Glaser 5K’ in early October, his birthday month, from 2010-2015.

Several of Firefighter Glaser’s family members attended the ten-year tribute, including his parents and brother.