The Barnard Exempt Firemen’s Association was incorporated in 1935 for the relief, aid, and assistance of the members thereof, and their families, who are disabled or indigent, and the promotion of the welfare of the volunteer fire service in the Barnard Fire District. Members of the Barnard Fire Department are also accorded the same privileges.
For years the volunteer fireman, closely knit by the bonds of common responsibility in protecting the lives and property of his neighbors, have looked forward to retaining the fellowship, of the men he served with, in the years to come.
It was with this thought in mind that an “Exempt Firemen’s Association” should be formed. Any fireman having served with the Barnard Fire Department could still retain this fellowship, once he left the active group, if he so desired.
Exempt, as referred to in this publication is a person who has served five (5) years in the volunteer fire service, New York State requires a volunteer firemen to serve five (5) years prior to receiving his “Exemption Certificate.”
In the State of New York the word “Exempt” fireman has a history reverting back to the early days of firefighting. In an effort to show their gratitude to the volunteer firefighters in their respective areas, communities, its citizens and the State of New York enacted legislation providing a small portion of real property tax exemption. (This exemption does not apply in the Town of Greece.) The thought also existed that these men having served or are presently serving their community should be exempt from jury duty. Laws were enacted, and to this day, Exempt firemen are still accorded these privileges where possible.
the formation of the barnard exempt fireman's association
on december 17, 1934 a meeting was called by John G. Kohn Jr. and held at the dutch mill on dewey avenue. at that time, it was stipulated that none other than exempt firemen from the barnard fire department would be allowed to attend. John Kohn was elected temporary chairman of this meeting. he then declared the meeting open under the order of "election of officers" to form an exempt body of the barnard fire department.
The following officers were elected:
President-----John G. Kohn jr
1st vice president -----wesley cunningham
2nd vice president-----fred shedd sr
secretary-----edward wendell sr
board of trustees members:
Fred Conway, frank Stickel, Eli Thompson
On january 28, 1935 the Barnard exempt fireman's association held their first meeting at the barnard firehouse. george baist, a member of the St. Paul Blvd. exempt firemen's Association and a member of the Firemen's association of the state of new york (FASNY) law committee, was invited to this meeting. He suggested to the membership that a bill be introduced to the state legislature in albany for incorporation. The following bill was presented.
seth cole, a legal advisor to fasny was retained to draft a bill to handle the corporation.
the incorporation charter was signed INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR HERBERT H. LEHMAN ON MARCH 26, 1935. AT the april exempt meeting george baist presented the membership with the incorporation certificate and pen that was used in signing the document.
in 1937 a "home site committee" was formed consisting of members fred conway - chairman, wesley cunningham, john kohn, eli thompson, and james pickworth. after considering several locations, the committee proposed that the exempts purchase fifteen acres of the mcvean property at the end of pomona drive. At the May meeting, this committee reported that an offer of $3000 for 15 acres had been accepted. In june of 1937, St. Charles Borromeo church offered to donate a small one room schoolhouse to the association which was gratefully accepted. This building was later moved to the homesite location. over the years several additions were added giving the association its present-day building.
about the barnard fire department
The Barnard Fire Department was incorporated on April 15, 1927 by a group of actors, known as the Harmony
Dramatic Club, who realized that a small areaof Greece, NY was not receiving fire protection services.
Unfortunately neighboring departments, Greece Ridge (Ridge Road) and North Greece, were unable to
service this area due to a state regulation that dictated that a fire district's boundaries could not extend
beyond 5 miles from the station. With the majority of the area being farmland, boundaries were challenging
to establish, which can be realized even more today as a small section of Greece is serviced by 3 departments.
The original station was erected in 1928 and served as a public safety facilityhousing both fire and police
under one roof. As both departments grew and the need for services expanded, the police department
moving into a new location and the existing firehouse was expanded to house additional apparatus and offices.
The first fire alarm sounded on February 4, 1928 with Errol McBride serving as the department's first fire
chief. Later that year, the Department purchased it's first new fire engine - a 1928 American LaFrance.
When people hear Barnard, many associate it with the Fireman's Carnival which began in 1928 and
culminated in 2016. The carnival was by far the biggest fundraiser of the year and has paved the way for
other events, including the popular Bands at Barnard summer concert series.
Originally serving as an all-volunteer force providing fire and ambulance services,the department has
evolved into a combination career/volunteer organization responding to more than 3000 calls annually,
while also providing mutual aid andfill-in services to Ridge Road, North Greece, Rochester and
other neighboring districts..