Retired fire chief interviewed for book

BERNIE HOLM discusses his past experiences with author Barry Haire, who is putting a book together on past emergency personnel.

By Per Peterson

Bernie Holm recently sat down with the author of a book on the history of Minnesota fire service and emergency management services.

“We went back quite a few years,” Holm said. “He knows some people I do from the fire department. He’s more or less doing a book of the times, so that’s interesting. I go back many years.”

Holm spent a couple hours reflecting on his past with Barry Haire of the Donning Publishers Co. Haire said the book will include as many fire department and ambulance service, EMT and paramedic stories, interviews and images that he can obtain.

“The book will also include a timeline of historic and pivotal events that shaped the story and changed the methodology of fire service/EMS in Minnesota,” Haire said. “I’ve got quite a few fire departments and historical societies that have contributed.”

Haire said Carl Otto Nyquist contacted him about Holm.

“Bernie is like so many of the fire fighters and retired fire service folks I have met so far,” Haire said. “He has many fascinating stories to tell, a wonderful sense of humor and continuing interest in fire service history.  I’m looking forward to writing his feature profile and speaking with him again to fill in the blanks.”

“One person that we brought up … was Earl Allenbaugh, the second fire chief that I had,” Holm said. “He really took a liking to me and he taught me a lot. He was very conscientious. He was ‘Mr. Fire Department.’ He loved it. Eventually he left our fire department and went on to work for the state.”

“It was interesting to talk to him,” Holm said. “I got lots of memories; my memory’s good.”

Haire said meeting and interviewing all the former emergency personnel has been a humbling experience.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.