Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger announced the retirement of Deputy Fire Chief Terry Chamberland after 44 years of service to the town of Great Barrington.

Deputy Chief Chamberland announced his impending retirement as the town of Great Barrington’s Deputy Fire Chief earlier this month as his 65th Birthday approached. “With sadness in my heart I announce I will be retiring as an active member of the Great Barrington Fire Department after 44 years of service to our town”.

Deputy Chief Chamberland joined the Great Barrington Fire Department in 1976, beginning a distinguished 44-year career in which he has steadily risen up through the ranks. He served as a firefighter for 19 years, being promoted to Lieutenant in 1995, Captain in 2003, and Deputy Chief in 2012. Deputy Chamberland will not only be missed on the fireground, being one of the most reliable and dependable responders to calls and trainings, but around the firehouse and as a very active member of the Great Barrington Firefighters Association as well.

Terry was always the one working behind the scenes never looking for the spotlight making sure that everything was taken care of whether it was coordinating the car show, the turkey roll or countless other events the department held through the years. Terry held the position of Treasurer and Chaplain for Hope Fire Company and later the Great Barrington Firefighters Association for several years.

At a ceremony held at the Great Barrington Fire Station prior to a “final ride parade” Chief Burger presented Deputy Chief Chamberland with a Brass Trumpet acknowledging his service to the department stating, “I want to personally thank Deputy Chief  Chamberland for his 44 years of service and dedication to the department and town. If there was one word I would use to describe Deputy Chamberland it is ‘reliable.' He reliably responded to every incident he was available for and he reliably organized or helped at every fire department function. If Terry said he was going to do something it was as good as done.”

Another quality of Deputy Chamberland was his ability to adapt to and embrace change when it was for the betterment of the fire service and communities served. That is difficult with a job built on tradition which has evolved extensively over the past 44 years.

Steve Bannon, chairperson of the Selectboard, presented Deputy Chamberland with a plaque on behalf of the town and thanked him for his service not only as a firefighter but also his volunteer work in numerous other ways in the community.

In speaking on his retirement, Deputy Chief Chamberland said, “I would like to thank all the chiefs for their leadership and guidance over the years. I also want to thank all my fellow officers and firefighters I have worked with of which there are too many to list. Thank you to our town managers and the many different members of the select board for all your support of the fire department. A large thank you to the residents of the town that have always supported the fire department when needed. Lastly, and most importantly, thank you to my wife Robin and my family for your support, and your total understanding as meals and occasions would get interrupted at all hours of the day and night. I couldn't have done it for all these years without your total support.”

Additional pictures and videos of the ceremony and parade can be found at the Great
Barrington Fire Department’s Facebook page.

(information obtained from a press release sent to WSBS from the Great Barrington Fire Department, photos sent to WSBS from the Great Barrington Fire Department for online and on air use)

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