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Firefighters mourn loss of assistant chief
Firefighters in Violet Township are mourning the loss of Assistant Fire Chief Douglas “Doug” Barr, who died Feb. 27 after a sudden and unexpected illness.
“He leaves a lot of huge connections behind,” fellow firefighter and Battalion Chief Jim Paxton said. “He was perfectly fine on Friday and spent all day in meetings with the fire chief. He woke up with flu-like symptoms on Saturday and passed away on Sunday.”
Paxton said Barr was a friend to all.
“Doug was a great man,” he said. “A great friend to all of us and the hole he leaves in this organization we can’t imagine. He doted so many ‘I’s’ and crossed so many ‘T’s’ that the impact of his death will be felt for a long time to come. You can’t replace a person like that. He was one wonderful guy. His passing leaves a very large void to fill.”
Prior to joining the local department in 1990, Barr was a member of the Pleasantville Fire Department and a firefighter at the Newark Air Force Base from 1989 until 1990. He also taught at his high school alma mater, Fairfield Union, before becoming a firefighter, and served on the district’s school board.
A 32-year fire service veteran, Barr was promoted by Violet Township to lieutenant in 1996 and became assistant chief in 2009. He also worked for Med Flight and was a Fire and EMS instructor for the Ohio Fire Academy and Eastland–Fairfield Career and Technical School.
Barr’s public service extended beyond the walls of the fire department and he was active in many community groups and endeavors. He was a Red Cross Board member and was awarded the American Red Cross Safety Hero Award, in addition to being a two-time recipient of the Knights of Columbus Blue Coat Award.
The lifelong Pleasantville area resident and Otterbein College graduate actively participated on numerous committees and organizations including: Fairfield County GIS, Fairfield County 9-1-1, Fairfield County EMS and Fire Coordinator, Fairfield County United Way, MECC, Big Brothers, Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Professional Firefighters, Ohio State Firefighters Association, Ohio Fire Chiefs Association, and the Central Ohio Fire Chiefs Association. He was also a graduate of the Ohio Fire Executive Program.
Barr is survived by a son, daughter, granddaughter, family and many friends. He died at Fairfield Medical Center. Funeral services were held March 3 at the Faith Memorial Church in Lancaster.
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