Brookfield trustees recognized former Fire Chief Keith Barrett for his 47 years of service to the township, which included things beyond his hired duties.
Barrett retired Dec. 31 because of health reasons, but he told a standing-room-only crowd Nov. 5 that “I’m better.”
He became a volunteer firefighter Feb. 23, 1970, and was hired full time on May 15, 1975. He was named fire chief Jan. 1, 1982.
“He embraced the community and any cause that arose,” according to the proclamation read at the trustees meeting. “He is remembered as a true public servant who contributed many selfless hours to make Brookfield Township the community which it is.”
That embracing of the community included organizing the community Christmas program and visiting residents’ homes and personally attempting to address their needs.
He mentored many firefighters, some of whom went on to firefighting jobs in larger communities such as Warren, Youngstown and Columbus.
“His impact upon the fire department will be realized for many years,” the trustees said. “The fire department and township were well-served by Chief Barrett. Both are better off because of his devotion to duty.”
“I really enjoyed my job,” Barrett said. “I hated to retire.”
As he promised when he retired, Barrett has traveled and, thanks to the improvement in his health, he has taken on a part-time job with Truck World in Hubbard Township.
“I do appreciate everyone showing up, I really do,” he said to a crowd that included current and past firefighters, members of the Brookfield Township Volunteer Firemen’s Auxiliary and chiefs from other Trumbull County departments.
“It means a lot to me to see you all here,” Barrett said.