Glennville Fire Chief Dale Barnard has spent his adult life in service to others, and at age 63 is not slowing down. Although a volunteer fireman for decades, he was appointed as Fire Chief a year ago for Glennville.
“I have been with the Glennville Fire Department for 28 years, but I have always worked in emergency services, first as a nurse, then as an EMT and a paramedic. I have enjoyed all of them, even though as fire chief I am swamped with paperwork that has to be timely filed on equipment and training requirements for our firefighters,” he said.
Twenty-four hours a year in training is required for the firefighters, and they attend meetings twice a month, on the second and fourth Thursday evenings.
Currently, 15 individuals are serving on the Glennville Fire Department, with Captain Glenn Smith another long-term member of the department. Jessica Smith, who recently became licensed to drive a fire truck, and Courtney Rogers are the two female Glennville firefighters. Others are as follows: Deputy Chief Jim Anderson, and firefighters John Sebera, Eric Couch, Billy Murray, John Mock, Bailey Griggs, Kody Terrell, Scott Terrell, Logan Willis, James Hennessy, and Paul Stavriotis.
During his medical career, Dale worked in Tattnall, Toombs, and Bulloch counties in emergency medical services, but he retired as a paramedic from Ft. Stewart. At one time, he also co-owned and operated the cleaners in Glennville.
Dale recalls some memorable fire calls, with the downtown Barnard Street fire that almost took out an entire block in June of 2016 and one of the most devastating to the community. The fire that destroyed the 1960s two-story Armstrong’s Cricket Farm building in 2015 was another that the Glennville Fire Department and other departments fought for hours. In addition, several structure home and business fires remain in his memory and the loss the owners sustained.
Training and responding to fire and accident calls are not the only services the Glennville Fire Department offers. The firefighters visit the elementary schools to allow the children to see the fire trucks, and they instruct them on fire safety. The fire department also participates in local parades and other events, such as the Glennville Sweet Onion Festival and the December Glennville Celebration of the Christmas Season. They also check the fire hydrants regularly for their water pressure and keep the fire department equipment maintained.
One of the department’s emphases has been the reduction of the ISO rating for Glennville, which is now 5-5X, which they hope to lower to a 4. This reduction would interpret into savings for those within three miles of the department to see a decrease in their homeowner’s insurance premiums. This reduction, however, involves costly updates to the water system.
During Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2022, Dale reminds citizens to make sure they have smoke detectors in their homes and that they change the batteries at least every six months to ensure their working order. Also, have at least one ABC fire extinguisher in your home, which needs to be checked periodically. Make sure your needle is in the green area; if not, your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced (or recharged).
“Put it on your wall calendar at home to change your batteries on January 1 and July 1 of every year, or put a reminder on your phone,” said Dale.
Dale stated that one of his goals in the next year is to be more visible and accessible to the public, so that they are aware of their services and are available to answer any questions they might have. He commented that a TIC (thermal imaging camera) hand-held device is on every fire truck that allows them to detect a hotspot in a wall and even the temperature.
The Glennville Fire Department number is (912) 654-3384 or Dale’s cell of (912) 271-3709, and he usually keeps office hours from around 8:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Even though Dale is devoted to his community, he also is a family man. He and his wife, Paula, both have been driving Tattnall County School buses for the past 16 years, both to Tattnall County High School.
Dale’s parents are Jerry and Essie Ruth Barnard of Glennville. His father is retired as a brick mason, and his mother has always been a homemaker. Dale has one brother, Terry Barnard, who lives with his wife, Susan, at Shellman’s Bluff. Terry is a real estate agent in McIntosh County but also is Chairman of the Georgia Pardons and Paroles, making frequent trips to Atlanta. Susan is a nurse with a home health care agency. Dale and Terry’s sister is Kristy Zilkie, who is a respiratory therapist for Memorial Health in the neo-natal ICU unit. She and her husband, Kyle, have one son, Seth, who is in college.
Paula’s roots are also in Glennville. Her parents are Gail Bazemore, who served as a parapro in the Tattnall school system for many years, and Daine, who is now deceased but was retired from Ft. Stewart in the Forestry Department. Paula has one sister, India, who is married to Pat Easterling, and their two children are Inga and Joshua.
Dale and Paula’s children are Brandy Coleman and Dale Barnard II.
Brandy is employed by South Georgia Bank, and her husband, Derrick, is employed at Ft. Stewart. Their son, Hunter, is a recent Tattnall County High School (TCHS) graduate and is employed on Ft. Stewart. Brandy had scoliosis as a child, and it was discovered in time for her to receive treatment from the Shriners’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Even though she wore a brace for several years, her backbone is no longer curved and she has no back problems today.
Dale is also a member of the Masons and the Tattnall Shriners unit, and he is a firm believer in the help given by the Shriners’ Hospitals that has made a difference in the lives of many burned and crippled children.
Dale II and his wife, Melissa, have two young children, just a year apart. Leroy is a first grader at South Tattnall Elementary School (STES), and Serina is in kindergarten at the school. Dale is the commercial parts pro for Advance Auto Parts in Glennville, and Melissa is a salesperson at O’Reilly’s in Claxton.
Another volunteer commitment for Dale and Paula during their life together has been to the Tattnall County 4-H program, with National 4-H Week just observed last week, October 2-8. Their children were involved in 4-H, so they became involved as well, but just never left. They serve as volunteer coaches today, undergoing the required training on their own, for the 4-H Archery Team. They are also 4-H leaders in other capacities and regularly drive the bus to 4-H camps and competitive events throughout the year.
“Our experiences in 4-H as volunteers have been so rewarding, especially when you see these children’s accomplishments and the self-confidence this gives them,” said Dale.
Dale feels that community service should be a part of our lives, since our own involvement just broadens the services for our own family and others in our county. He is an admirable example of unselfish service to his fellow man.
Dale Barnard’s Recipes
1 lb. cleaned raw shrimp
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves
3 cups cooked rice
Cook onion, celery, peppers, and garlic in butter until tender; add tomato sauce, water, and seasonings. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add shrimp; heat to boiling. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 to 20 minutes or until shrimp are pink and tender. Serve over rice.
1 pkg. (3-3/4 oz.) instant pistachio pudding
1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 large (12-oz.) Cool Whip
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and Cool Whip. Add pineapple, nuts, and marshmallows. Chill overnight. Serves 12.
1 (2-liter) bottle of Orange Crush
1 can sweetened condensed milk
ice cream churn
Pour Orange Crush and sweetened condensed milk into an ice cream churn. Add ice and ice salt and churn like ice cream. You can use other flavors of soda to make another flavor of sherbet.