Meet Barry Search, Woodlawn Assistant Fire Chief

This retired Parkland biology teacher has been a volunteer firefighter with the Woodlawn Fire Department for 35 Years.

Name: Barry Search

Age: 63

Lives: South Whitehall

Job: Retired biology/firefighting teacher, ; continues to coach football and softball at the school.

Family: Wife, Ruth; daughter, Andrea; son, John; two grandchildren, one on the way    

Fire Company: , Assistant Chief

Training so far: There’s just too much to list completely. I’ve been a volunteer with the fire company for 35 years, so you can imagine how much training I’ve been through. I’m the ex training officer, and I still continue to train, primarily in hazardous materials (HazMat) and officership. I’m also responsible for recruiting and retaining volunteers.

What’s it like to be a firefighter? It’s interesting, with always something new to learn or update. It’s a chance to do something good for the community.

How do your loved ones feel about you putting your life in danger? We’ve never sat down and talked about it, not about that aspect of the job. If you have someone who supports what you do, you can go a long time. If not, it’s a short-lived vocation.

Tell us a story you’ll never forget about your firefighting experience: There have been so many, but I guess the pallet fire in Ormrod stands out. It was unique in that the owner’s house was surrounded by the pallets. We managed to save the house, even though the fire was all around us. And nobody was hurt. Then there are wrecks. Some of them are so bad that you’ll always remember them, but you never want to talk about them. You’ll never forget, but you’ve got to let go.

What would you tell people interested in joining your fire company? It’s a marvelous opportunity to stand up and do something good for your community.


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