After nearly 32 years of service with the Merrill Fire Department, Battalion Chief Mike Drury will retire Friday, according to a news release. “I have always felt truly blessed with my calling to be a professional firefighter, as I believe it is one of the most admirable and respectable professions there is," he said in a Nov. 6 letter announcing his retirement. He noted that he is especially proud to have served Merrill. "I have poured my heart and soul into my profession," Drury wrote. "Now it’s time to spend more time with family." Drury was the department's incident commander the night of April 10, 2011, when a tornado struck Merrill, and he wrote about that experience in a reflection on his career.