Lake County Remembers Long Time Yates Township Fire Chief

This long time Lake County fire chief is being remembered.

He passed away on Friday.

John Barnette served as the Yates Township Fire Chief for more than two decades.

He helped grow the department and was always ready to lend a helping hand.

A lot of people in Lake County knew Yates Township Fire Chief John Barnette, but few knew him better than his son, Eric Meehan. The two joined the department together. Same day. Same time.

“He was amazing. He did a lot for a lot of people. He was the fire chief here, the zoning administration, we own a lawn service and light construction, we both worked together, we’ve been in that business for about 25 years now,” said Meehan.

Barnette was a steady leader and calm voice in every situation.

He helped bring major improvements to the department.

The walls of his office are a testament to his dedication.

“Went from a poor building to a structure that we built. It was a lot of old gear, the trucks started getting new and we got a lot of equipment, lot of new equipment. He was a community leader and like one of the officers said, he was a legend,” said Meehan.

A legacy that will live on in the firefighters John mentored, most notably his son Eric, who took over as assistant chief on Monday.

“He knew what he was doing, knew what to do, knew what stuff to get to the scene, when we needed more people they were there. We could call anybody in the county and they’d be there for him,” said Meehan.

A memorial service for Chief Barnette will take place on July 27th from 12-2 at Baldwin Elementary.