MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Retired Montgomery Fire Chief Robert Wayne Grier has died, Montgomery Fire/Rescue confirmed Saturday. He was 75.
Grier served as Montgomery’s fire chief for 13 years before his retirement in 1997. He is the longest-serving chief in Montgomery Fire/Rescue history.
In a tribute posted on Facebook Saturday, Montgomery Fire/Rescue called Grier “iconic" and “an outstanding firefighter."
He made major contributions to the health and safety of firefighters.
“The results of his actions can be seen today, not only in Montgomery but across the nation. Chief Grier had a vision of a healthy Fire Department with an improved quality of life and performance on the scene," the post stated. "He implemented fitness standards, weight standards, and made MF/R a tobacco-free department. This ideal has become a norm in fire departments across the country. MF/R is still contacted by other agencies seeking advice on enacting their own such programs.”
Grier started his career with Montgomery Fire/Rescue in November 1965 before being drafted to serve in the U.S. Army.
He returned to the fire department in May 1969 and rose through the ranks, “gaining a reputation as a quick learner, sound decision-maker, and natural leader."