The Barnas family (Patty, Kevin and John) is presented with a donation from retired Hackensack firefighter and ex-chief of the Rochelle Park Fire Department Al Carroll on behalf of the New Jersey Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. Patty Barnas recently established the Greg Barnas Firefighter Benefit Fund, which will continue his legacy of helping others and directly assist firefighters and their families.
The late Capt. Greg Barnas of the Wallington Fire Department devoted his life to fighting fires and educating his fellow firefighters on safety, operations and training.
His widow, Patty Barnas, recently established the Greg Barnas Firefighter Benefit Fund, which will continue his legacy of helping others and directly assist firefighters and their families.
Patty and her sons, Kevin and John, received the first formal contribution to the fund from the New Jersey Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators during the Wallington Truck Company 201 meeting on April 1.
“There were many other donations that were not marked for the fund and to be used as we saw fit,” Patty said. “We will be taking some of that money and using it for the fund as well.”
She said that the association’s “generous donation” will be a great start to the fund.
Greg Barnas was actively involved in training current Wallington personnel and junior department members throughout the area, and also taught at the Bergen County Fire Academy.
Greg Barnas, 57, died in the line of duty while fighting an electrical fire at Akasaka Japanese Restaurant on Paterson Avenue on Feb. 28 when he fell off the restaurant’s one-story roof.
Patty said that the fund has been officially established, although it is still in the early stages and many details need to be addressed.
“We have to sit down and put together a committee when things calm down a bit,” she said. “We know that we want to use it for firefighter education, safety and training.”
A portion of the proceeds raised from the 3rd Annual “For Pete’s Sake” 5K in Mallard Park, Manasquan on May 3 at 11 a.m. will be donated toward the fund.
All proceeds from a firefighter benefit and training seminar held on May 9 at Montclair State University at 6 p.m. will also go to the fund. The event will feature guest speakers from the Jersey City and Newark fire departments, and will focus on fire ground operations in commercial buildings.
The Wallington Little League, which added a patch in memory of Barnas to all the players’ and coaches’ uniforms this season, is also selling T-shirts with his patch. A portion of the proceeds will go to the fund.
Patty added that there are plans to design firefighter T-shirts in the near future to benefit the fund.