By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Barry Volunteer Fire Department has been around for 50 years, but it’s time now for an actual fire station. The ground breaking ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 105 S. Front Street, west of the Barry Post Office.
Among the speakers scheduled Saturday are Eric Meyers, Navarro County Emergency Management Coordinator; County Judge H.M. Davenport; Troy Case with the Texas Forest Service; and Jeannie McCarty, president of the Navarro County Firefighters Association, among others.
“This will be a first for Barry,” said Mike Ball, Barry fire chief. “We’ve never had a station. We just had a couple of old buildings we managed to store a couple of trucks in. It’s a big thing for us.”
In the past, training and meetings for the volunteer fire department have been held in local churches. Not having a secure place for the fire trucks has meant equipment gets stolen, and the trucks sometimes are exposed to the elements.
For the past five or six years, the Barry volunteer firefighters, which include a postmaster, a truck driver, a couple of college students, an air conditioning repairman, and others, have been talking about building a fire station, but now it’s going to be a reality.
“We’ve finally got the funds to stand the building up. We don’t have enough to complete it on the inside, but it’s time we got something going,” Ball said.
The building will be a 40 by 70 foot building with three bays for trucks, he said. “We’re trying to plan for the future as well as the present.”
For years, the Barry department was a labor of love that had its ups and downs, but the last five years have been good ones with a vibrant membership and two awards for best department in the county.
“We try to stay active in anything that will benefit the community and the county as a whole,” Ball said. “We’re very active in the storm watch, and charity events like Relay for Life. It’s lots of things other than just fighting fires. We’re a service organization.”
Although the group has gotten some grants for equipment in the past, and receives a subsidy from the county to pay for gas, the majority of funding comes from donations from the public. The Barry Volunteer Fire Department covers 38 square miles, and mutual aid agreements extend their coverage to the northern and western edges of the county.
“We just try to do what we can when we can,” Ball said.
Following the groundbreaking, there will be a barbecue dinner/fundraiser at 5 p.m. at the Barry Methodist Church at the intersection of FM 1126 and West Highway 22. Brisket, sausage, chicken and all the fixings will be served up for $8 a plate for adults, children under 12 eat for $4 a plate. A live auction will begin at 6 p.m.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com