Alan L. Mickelson
Gillette Fire Department
Submitted by Alan's wife, Marietta
Died: January 31, 1989 at 36 Years of Age
Alan Lee Mickelson, 36 years old, died in the line of duty after a church roof collapsed and he fell 40 feet. Unknown to the firefighters, the fire had been burning for seven hours in a concealed area between the ceiling and the roof area, before the fire was discovered.
Alan was a plant mechanic for Amax Coal Company, and he served as a volunteer firefighter for ten years. He was one of the first four in Campbell County, Wyoming to receive their Firefighter III certification (the highest level of certification in Wyoming at that time).
Alan was very active in the fire department. He helped organize the 'Ladder Company', served as Vice-resident of the volunteers, and Chairman of the Membership Committee. He also helped with much of the fire training both with the fire department and for the community.
Alan was also very active in many other community programs. He was an Assistant Coach for his son's and daughter's little league teams, umpire for the Gillette Little League for seven years, and Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 64. Alan served as one of the leaders of a high adventure group for the older boys, and he took them on many backpacking trips. He was active in Trinity Lutheran church, taught children how to bowl through Y.A.B.A, and helped his wife deliver 'Meals On Wheels' to the elderly for many years. He also helped his wife with their daughter's Girl Scout troop.
Alan loved spending family time with his wife Marietta, son Chad Alan, and his daughter Tanya Marie. He enjoyed taking them camping in the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills.
After Alan's death, the community, fire department members, local businesses, family, and friends raised $200,000 through various fundraisers and donations. Additional funding was provided by the city of Gillette and Campbell County Commissioners to build a training facility in Alan's memory. It is called "The Alan Mickelson Fire Training Center." It is used for training and educating firefighters and cadets, the sheriff and police departments, local area coal miners and oil field workers, bus drivers, and area school children. It also hosts the International Mine Rescue Competition every year.
Fire safety and training were very important to Alan. He would be very proud and honored to know there is a facility available to be used for that purpose.
Alan touched the lives of many people, young and old. He always had a smile on his face and time to visit with anyone who needed a friend. His family and friends will never forget his quiet manner, his genuine smile, and his love for life. We love and miss him very much.
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