First Responder of the Week: Merle Reinhart

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:51 AM EDT
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BASCOM, Ohio (WTVG) - If you walk into the Bascom Fire Department, you’re likely to Merle Reinhart. He’s been a part of the Fire Department for 53 years and has never slowed down even at the age of 76. Even after once serving as chief, Merle continues to give back to the community he loves so much.

“It’s rewarding ... it’s self-rewarding. It’s just helping people and gives you a good feeling,” Reinhart said. “Just help people, it makes a better community. And this is a good community.”

His colleagues say Merle is the first one in and the last to leave. Just last year alone, the Bascom Fire Department had more than 470 calls -- and wouldn’t you know it, Merle responded to more than 300 of them. There’s no doubt that Merle’s work ethic is leaving a lasting impression on generations to follow.

“Go-get-it attitude, is a great mentor for the younger firefighters, proper culture,” Bascom Dire Department Chief Chris Daniel said.

“Well, I would want to hope that someday they’ll be setting up, standing here same as me.,” Reinhart added.

And despite being recognized as the First Responder of the Week, Merle remains steadfast that it’s not about him -- it’s about giving back.

“It’s good, but I don’t need a reward,” he said. “I’m just a simple person that likes to help people.”

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