Volunteers Help Advance Barnard Firehouse Work

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Still recovering from a heart attack suffered on May 1, Steve Johnson this week described himself as “very emotional” and “speechless” by the outpouring of volunteer help, which has kept the construction of Barnard’s new Emergency Services building on schedule.

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Johnson, 39, of Barnard Excavating and Logging, was awarded the contract for site work, which was underway before his heart attack put him on the sidelines.

Johnson was in “code” for 45 minutes in the emergency room before doctors were able to bring him back, and still has a long recovery ahead of him. On Monday he had been home for five days, and feeling good, despite the setback of a blood clot developing in his leg. “I’m doing better than the doctors expected,” he said.

The construction for the new emergency building is also going better than expected, it seems. Both Johnson and Fire Chief Scott Mills complimented the large number of firefighters and other volunteers who have “taken everything and run with it.”

It’s a big project, Mills said, but the work is good, up to speed, and now dependent on the weather for the pouring of the concrete.

Barnard’s Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squads worked on planning the new building for four years, before voters approved in 2016 bonds totaling $1,400,000 for its construction.

The building will be located next to the Town Hall and site work includes 46 new parking spaces, footings, and sewer and drainage work.

Johnson was on the committee since 2013 and very involved with the project, as were some of his brothers (he is one of 13 children). He credits his brothers Mike and Tim, John Hull, Rob Tracy, and “hundreds of others” for all the volunteerism which has kept the construction going.

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