A True Leader Retires After 38 Years of Service to Great Barrington
Deputy Fire Chief Steve Hall has retired after 38 years of service to the town of Great Barrington. For the past 20 years, he served as deputy chief of the Housatonic Fire station.
Deputy Hall’s beginnings in the fire service were a bit non-traditional.
“I joined the fire brigade at Mead Paper when I was employed there,” he said. “That is what inspired me to join Housatonic in 1983.”
Fire Chief Charles Burger said, “Steve was my deputy when I started in Housatonic on the Great Barrington Fire Department. One of his strengths was always welcoming the new guy, and being eager to share his training and experience, which he certainly did with me.”
Over the years Steve has served under five chiefs, going back to Chief Mort Cavanaugh.
The Great Barrington Fire Department evolved from a typical town fire department to a large organization that tackles diverse hazards.
Deputy Hall was a leader in that progress. He became one of the first EMTs for the fire department and was one of the first to earn Firefighter I/II certification. He was also among the first to pursue substantial training in rope rescue.
Hall said, “On the blackboard at the old Castle Street Fire was something that stayed with me throughout my career – ‘Training is the backbone of the department.’ ”
Deputy Hall responded to most of the major incidents in town over the past few decades starting with the fires at Farshaw’s and Taconic Lumber.
“One of the most memorable was the Barbieri Lumber fire” Deputy Hall said. “Not only was it the largest fire in modern town history but it was in my backyard and threatened my own house! I also remember being there for the Memorial Day tornado in 1995, something none of us are likely to forget."
Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski said, “Steve was always a great resource to me and many others over the years. He was approachable, welcomed new members, and was always there to lend a hand or provide advice. On behalf of the Town of Great Barrington and the Village of Housatonic, I thank him for his years of dedicated service to our community and wish him all the best in retirement.”
In speaking on his retirement, Deputy Chief Hall said, “I joined the Great Barrington Fire Department because I wanted to be challenged and help the community. I am grateful to have been able to do both for the past 38 years.”
“It’s tough to replace a firefighter with Steve’s training and experience,” Burger said. “But his decades of contributions will continue to influence the department in the future. I want to thank him for his dedication to the Great Barrington Fire Department and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
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