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COMM FIRE RESCUE
THE PASSING OF COMMAND
Chief John M Farrington Retires
Chief Michael Winn Sworn In
June 28, 2013
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June 28, 2013 will be remembered as a big day at the COMM Fire Department.
Well over a hundred attended the ceremony paying tribute to Chief John Farrington
upon the completion of 48 years as a member of the fire department, the last 40 years
as fire chief.
In addition, Kathy Loveridge, Chief Farrington's Administrative Assistant
for the past 28 years, was recognized as she is also retiring.
Unable to attend the event, but also soon to retire is long time department
member and Deputy Chief Phil Field.
COMM Fire Department's new Fire Chief Michael Winn was sworn
welcomed by the public, friends, family, and the membership of his new department.
This feature looks back at Chief Farrington's career and the events of the day.
FIRE CHIEF JOHN FARRINGTON
Fire Chief John M Farrington of the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department
retired on Friday June 28, 2013 after 40 years as fire chief and 48 years as a member of the
Chief Farrington joined the fire department at age 16 in 1965. He served as
a part time dispatcher and call captain. He was elected as fire chief in March of 1973 at the
age of 23, becoming one of the youngest chiefs in the state. He became one of the first EMTs
(Emergency Medical Technicians) on Cape Cod in 1973.
Over the years he served on many
committees and was instrumental in the establishment of the Cape & Islands EMS System,
served on the county mutual aid committee, and the county Incident Command System.
The department he took over operated from two old fire stations with apparatus typical of
a small department doing about 400 runs a year with only a couple fulltime personnel.
In the early years, he brought a fire station to Marstons Mills, purchased the first diesel
pumper and aerial ladder, and continued to modernize the apparatus and operation of
the department. As the community grew, so did the department to meet the demands for
The department he passes on to the new Fire Chief Michael Winn operates from
three modern fire stations, with a fleet of modern apparatus and equipment, with a
fulltime professional organization of nearly 60 personnel.
Congratulations and best wishes to Chief Farrington and his family!
The following are some photos of him at work over the years
followed by images from his retirement.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT KATHY LOVERIDGE
In addition, this feature also has images of Administrative Assistant Kathy Loveridge
who served the department for 28 years. She also retired on June 28, 2013.
DEPUTY CHIEF PHILIP FIELD
While unable to attend the ceremony, the department's Deputy Chief Phil Field will also
soon be retiring. He began his fire service career as a call firefighter in Cotuit and joined
the C-O FD in 1974. He was a member of the first EMT class along with Chief Farrington.
He then became one of the first paramedics on Cape Cod and in Massachusetts as part
of the CIEMSS Paramedic Class I. He moved up through the ranks and served many years
as Captain before becoming the Deputy Chief 3 years ago.
NEW FIRE CHIEF MICHAEL WINN
Chief Winn comes from a fire department family in Greenfield, MA.
He joined the Greenfield Fire Department in 1991 as a call firefighter.
In 1995 he became a fulltime firefighter. In 2001 he was promoted to Captain.
He became the provisional chief in 2008 and the official chief in Greenfield in 2010.
He is a member of the state Hazardous Materials Team, is very active in training,
and has served on various committees in the mid-state area.
Chief Winn was selected from 52 applicants for the COMM Fire Chief job.
He brings his experience, leadership skills, and energy to COMM FD
with enthusiasm and has been openly welcomed by the members and staff
of the department who look forward to serving under his direction.
Congratulations and best wishes to Chief Winn as the new COMM Fire Chief!
The Osterville Firefighters c.1974-75 with Chief Farrington.
The Centerville Firefighters c.1974-75 with Chief Farrington
All of this apparatus was assigned to the Osterville Fire
Station in the late 1960's.
As a young chief of a mostly call fire department, chief
Farrington went to nearly every call,
24/7/365 and was often first on scene providing care before help arrived.
One of the newer fire trucks when he became chief was the 1969
International / Maxim
1000 gpm pumper Engine 1 on the left that replaced the 1950 Ford.
Chief Farrington and others were instrumental in the development of fire and EMS service across the Cape.
There was no fire station in Marstons Mills until Station 3 was built in 1975.
Chief Farrington grew up behind the Osterville Fire Station
and was often the
first to arrive as a call firefighter. The air horn on the old hose tower would let
out two rounds of three loud blasts when there was a call any time of day
before anyone carried radios. A siren down town by the ball field also
sounded alerting the village of something big going on.
The Osterville Station served as headquarters until 1991.
The old Centerville Fire Station on Main Street was small and
tight for apparatus.
Some apparatus was kept down stairs and out back.
In 1991, the Centerville Fire Headquarters opened providing
much needed space and
relocating to an area closer to where tremendous growth had been occurring for over
20 years in the northern side of Centerville. The "Taj Mahal" as it was quickly known
included a modern dispatch center, administrative offices, a mechanical repair area
and adequate room for future growth,.
In 1999, the department put fulltime 24 hour staffing in
Marstons Mills for the first time.
Initially in the old 1975 steel building that was never planned for such staffing.
The new Marstons Mills Station 3 was opened in 2003 providing the space
and facilities for that growing village.
The old Osterville Station had seen better days and in 2008 it
was temporarily closed and torn down
making room for a new Osterville Station 2 which opened in 2010.
The 1975 Mack CF600 1250/1000 pumper Engine 5
was the department's first diesel apparatus and was the first cab forward
style apparatus purchased by the department.
One year later, the 1976 Maxim 100' aerial became the department's first ladder truck.
Chief Farrington during a live burn training exercise in the early 1980s.
One of the traditions was the annual C&O Volunteers Clambake
behind the Osterville Station.
The Chief's father John B Farrington, a Deputy Chief and long time member was Bake Master.
The Chief with his mother and father at the clambake.
The chief at the dedication of the Firefighters Memorial
at the Centerville Fire Station.
One of the most difficult days in the department history was
when retired Captain Donald "Snuffy" Souza
passed away. A full department honors funeral was held at the Osterville Station in 2001.
Chief Farrington responded to many fires and emergencies in
his career, but the largest
and most significant loss in the department's history occurred on the evening of
December 10, 2003 at 2131 hours when four large boat storage sheds full of boats
at Crosby Yacht Yard on the waterfront destroyed over 40,000 square feet
of buildings and resulting in millions of dollars in damage. Five alarms brought
apparatus from across the Cape. Good work and good fortune prevented the
fire from extending to many other buildings and boats in close proximity.
Chief Farrington in Command Post
Another major fire destroyed a house on Oyster Harbors on the
night of November 4, 2006.
The three alarm fire came in on the heels of a 2 alarm fire in Hyannis which meant some of
the COMM apparatus was already out of town.
On March 9, 2009 a three alarm fire destroyed the Cape Cod Animal Hospital in Marstons Mills.
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