Bob Barraclough, chief columnist for Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment
magazine and past president of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers' Association (FAMA), passed away on Friday, January 21.
Barraclough was an icon in the industry and leader in the field of fire apparatus safety. Today, FirefighterNation contributors are remembering the influence Bob had on them.
FireRescue Contributing Editor Billy Goldfeder
“I first met Bob at FDIC in the 70s, back when FDIC was in Memphis. I had a chance to sit in on his apparatus presentation, which was all slides back then. While I was really impressed by his innovative ideas that were way ahead of his time, I was more impressed with something else: the fact that Bob had time to speak to me personally about apparatus. Now, keep in mind, I was a firefighter with just a few years on, and was simply trying to learn. We spoke, and he even gave me a few slides from his presentation—I was really impressed. From that point on, Bob and I remained good friends—through his Hale Pump Days, his E-One days and so much more—but all the time, here was this ‘big shot’ in the fire service who had time to chat, correspond and share.
Some of the best examples of good people I learned form were the Jim Pages, the Manny Frieds, the Frank Brannigans, the Ray Downeys—all people who made time to talk, share and simply pass on their knowledge. They gave back without hesitation to share what they knew. And now we have lost another icon in our business, but luckily for all of us, Bob took time to ‘pass it on’ to the fire service. RIP, Bob.”FireRescue and FirefighterNation.com Columnist Bob Vaccaro
“I first met Bob 11 years ago, when I was introduced to him by a former editor of Fire Rescue magazine. He was one of the nicest men you could ever meet. Since I was a newcomer writing for a national magazine on apparatus topics, Bob was always a go-to person with a wealth of knowledge of the apparatus industry. The man had over 50 years of experience—how could anyone beat that?
When I learned of his passing, I thought back on our many conversations over the years, as well as the important knowledge I gained just by knowing him. He will be missed not only by me, but by the entire industry as well.
I wish his wife and family my deepest condolences.”
Barraclough is survived by his wife, Betts; son, Scott; daughters Holly and Shannon; and three grandchildren. No services are planned at this time, but a memorial service is reportedly being planned for later in the year.