The Saba Fire Department held its annual commemoration for deceased firefighter Reid Barnes Jr. on his birthday Friday, November 25. This year’s event was extra special with the naming of the new body breathing apparatus workstation after Reid Jr.
Fire Chief Commander Julio Every explained that the workstation at the new Fire Station that is being built next to the airport was being named after Reid Jr., or Junior as he was called by many, as a tribute to this very qualified, courageous and well-loved firefighter who lost his life at the age of 39 in a tragic accident outside work hours on July 25, 2019.
“Reid Jr. was one of the first firefighters on Saba who received special training on Saba to fill and work with the body breathing apparatus. Reid Jr. was very good at doing this job in combination with his regular duties as a fireman,” said Every. The apparatus is used to fill the air compression tanks that firefighters wear when there is a lot of smoke and toxic materials involved in a fire.
“I felt it was important that we never forget him by honoring and remembering him at the place where he felt at home. We will never forget his valuable contribution to the team on Saba. He will always be missed,” said Every. The mother of Reid Jr., Adelyda O.R. Barnes, and Reid Jr.’s sister Peggy Barnes unveiled the sign with Reid Jr.’s name on it.
This was the fourth time that the Saba Fire Brigade held the Reid Jr. memorial event at the Juancho Yrausquin Airport. Standing in front of the fire trucks with the sirens on for a full minute, his colleagues paid tribute, followed by one minute of silence.
Reid Jr.’s parents, his sister, two of his sons, and other family members were in attendance. Reid Jr. worked at the Fire Department for 18 years.
Saba Fire Department