PORTLAND, ME – October 17, 2019 – In honor and memory of a local hero, the Mariners, along with Teamsters Local 340 and the Berwick Firefighters Association have partnered to create the “Captain Joel Barnes Community Service Award.” The award seeks to recognize an individual who embodies the spirit and dedication of Captain Joel Barnes, who tragically lost his life while in the line of duty last March.
“The firefighting community is built from selfless, brave and compassionate people,” said Mariners V.P. of Business Operations, Adam Goldberg. “Captain Barnes sacrificed his life for the wellbeing of others and it is important to remember his act of courage. Our appreciation can’t be adequately put into words or actions, but we hope this annual award shines a brighter light on just a few of the incredible men and women that keep us safe. If you don’t know someone in the fire department, I would highly recommend visiting your local station and introducing yourself.”
Barnes, who was 32 years old, succumbed to his injuries on March 1st, 2019 while fighting a fire in Berwick. A public memorial service was held one week later at the Cross Insurance Arena, with over 7,000 attendees present. Barnes had served with the Berwick Fire Department for two years and was the Training Safety Officer for the Department.
“Captain Barnes died in the line of duty this past March showing us all his courage and heroism,” said Lieutenant Joe Carroll, who is a representative for Teamsters Local 340. “Likewise in his life he also was a positive role model through his passion and devotion to community service. The Maine Mariners Captain Joel Barnes Community Service Award will allow us to not only honor Captain Barnes’ legacy but also recognize the efforts of other Maine first responders who have a similar commitment to the community and dedication to educating our youth in fire prevention.”
The Mariners are accepting nominees for the Captain Barnes Community Service Award on their website at MarinersOfMaine.com/award. In order to meet the criteria for nomination, the individual must be a fire or EMS responder in the state of Maine, have at least three years of experience and be either active or recently retired (within the last three years), demonstrate outstanding professionalism and service to their community, and a commitment to promoting life safety education. The deadline to submit nominations is December 20th, 2019 at 5:00 PM. When the Mariners host the South Carolina Stingrays on March 1st, 2020 (the anniversary of Captain Barnes’ passing), the award will be presented to the winner.
The official launch of the award will happen at the Mariners game on Saturday, October 26th, as they host the Newfoundland Growlers. The first ever “Battle of the Badges” will take place on Saturday, January 11th, featuring local firefighters facing off before the Mariners host the Adirondack Thunder.
Discounted tickets that include entrance to both the afternoon Battle of the Badges benefit games and the evening Mariners game are available at https://tinyurl.com/BOTBMM. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased through this link will be donated to the Captain Barnes Memorial Fund.