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Barrington Fire & Ambulance Open House

This page pertains to the Barrington Fire & Ambulance Open House on Saturday, October 12th, 2019.

Barrington Fire & Ambulance had its annual open house on Saturday, October 12th, 2019. It’s usually scheduled around Fire Prevention Week – they’ve been doing it for 30 years for the kids, and to show parents how their tax dollars are spent. Smokey the bear showed up today at the 75th Anniversary of the Barrington Fire Association, which was originally started in 1944. The current building was built in 2000, when the previous building, now the headquarters of Big Hit Media, was sold.

The weather played a factor in people not showing up today, as well as it being a long vacation weekend with Columbus Day on Monday. Rick Walker, the Fire Chief, said “We’re always here for the kids to get in the trucks…”, extending an open-door policy to the public, anytime.

Back in 1944, the Fire Association was organized, and the cemetery gave them a small piece of land. They started doing fundraisers, got the original Fire Department building built, and over the years, the Select Men continued to put more money into it. The Fire Association is still active today.

There were many artifacts of the history of Barrington’s Fire Department on display today. There was a picture of an aircraft observation shack taken at a site near the current library building, where the firemen would go up and monitor for planes during World War II. Another picture depicted a barn auction fundraiser in the early 1950s.

There were phones at various locations in Barrington, and a document showing the phone tree showed that Harlan Calef and Roger Calef were responsible for calling Group 1, while Fred Timm and William Fearon were responsible for calling Group 2. The groups consisted of firefighters that would be contacted in an event of a fire.

Upon a shelf overhead, on display was one of the first portable radios that the Town ever got. A grey box with an antenna was a radio leftover from the military in the late 1950s. A more modern black radio was still used in 1978 when Chief Walker first started working there. What the Fire Chief referred to as an “Indian Tank” was a brass backpack water tank that they got from a forestry grant, which was used to put out brush fires.

There was a disc containing a map identical to a map that was used on Blue Job Mountain, that they would call and tell what part of the grid the fire was on. A red telegraph was on display, which was used by the public. They would pull a lever down to set off an air horn on top of the fire station. It was like what larger cities had on telegraph poles, each having a specific code that would indicate which one had been activated. They didn’t have them in that configuration in Barrington, because it was too small, but in those days, people didn’t have phones.

Barrington Fire & Ambulance has two front-line engines that each carry 1000 gallons of water. Their tanker truck can carry 2000 gallons of water. There’s foam on one of the fire engines, but not enough to put out an aircraft fire. There has never been an aircraft fire in Barrington, but if there was, the fire crews at Pease would respond. The probability of an aircraft crash is so low that the Town doesn’t need an engine carrying thousands of gallons of foam, and fighting aircraft fires requires special training.

There are two ambulances, and a rescue truck that has cutters and spreaders used to get victims out of car crashes. There were demonstrations showing people what they can do to get victims out of mangled up cars. The cutters and spreaders use a hydraulic system that can even be detached from the main fire engine if a vehicle goes into a ditch or off the side of a road.

They served a cake, and Boy Scout Troop 358 had a BBQ fundraiser. The Fire Department is the sponsor organization of both the Boy Scouts Troop 358 and Girl Scouts Troop 58011. Every troop needs a sponsor in the community, and the Boy Scouts were having the BBQ to fundraise so they could buy equipment needed for camping and hiking trips. Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are for ages 11 through 18.

According to Ethan Frankiewicz, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, there are 15 members currently in the Boy Scouts Troop 358. They have a camping trip next month with the Cub Scouts, and in November, they will help put together food baskets for Thanksgiving. There will be a food drive for the Barrington Food Pantry, hosted by both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts have an outing every month, such as a camping or hiking trip, and the program is year-round.

According to Girl Scout Master Marianne Doane, there are 6 members in the Girl Scouts Troop 58011. They were at the event selling baked goods, fundraising so they can buy equipment they need for their hiking trips. They will also go bowling a month from now. They just started up the Girl Scouts Troop 58011 in April and they’ve already been hiking and camping since then. They will host the Trunk or Treat next weekend, and they will be scouting for food for the Barrington Food Pantry with the Boy Scouts.

The Girl Scouts have a cooking activity at the upcoming Soiree being hosted by Calef’s Country Store, the Christmas Dove, The Village Barn, Elfmade, Edward Jones, and Doves Florist. It will be on Friday, December 6th from 5 PM – 8 PM. The Girl Scouts will also go cabin camping, winter camping, they will build sleds and go sledding, and they will be doing some ice fishing in the winter. For more information, the Boy Scouts have a Facebook Group located at and the Girl Scouts have a Facebook Group located at