Community pulls together to help volunteer firefighter injured in wreck

Firefighters and emergency services personnel are often referred to as a brotherhood, and that community is once again coming together to help one of its own.
Nick Barringer, 20, was in a head-on collision near the intersection of St. Martin Road and Efird Road shortly after 6 p.m. June 1.
Responders from Endy Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene to report three patients, with one of them, Barringer, being pinned in his vehicle. He had to be airlifted to the hospital, while the other two individuals were not seriously injured, sources said.
But something made this collision different, according to Endy Fire Chief Brian Collins.
Barringer is one of Collins’ volunteer firefighters.
“You train and you prepare for responses to incidences and when you don’t know them … it’s much easier to stay focused on the task at hand than when you know that person,” Collins said on Wednesday. “When it’s one of your own, you still have to do the same job, it just makes it a little more difficult to create an emotional detachment.”
Collins has known Barringer and his family for most of his life, as he went to school with Barringer’s parents and his daughter was in the same grade as Barringer.
While Collins said the accident was not the worst he has come upon, it was one of the worst, as Barringer had to be cut from the mangled car.
“The level of composure he had during the whole thing was impressive,” Collins said. “For me it was as close to cutting one of my own kids out of a car as I ever want to get.”
Collins is helping to promote a benefit for Barringer.
The 5th Annual Brotherhood Strong Ride, hosted by the Red Knights NC Chapter 24 Motorcycle Club and the EMS RoadDocs, will be Aug. 10.
Registration is at 9 a.m., with kick stands up at 10:30 a.m. leaving from Endy Fire Department, 25045 N.C. Highway 24-27, Albemarle
Cost is $25 per bike or vehicle and $15 per additional rider/passenger. Cost includes escorted ride and patch/rocker (limited number of patches available). There will also be a 50/50 and raffle opportunities.
Collins said Endy VFD plans to sell hot dogs that day to raise more funds for Barringer.
“If someone feels compelled to make a donation they are more than welcome to drop by the fire department and we’ll make sure it gets where it needs to,” he added.
Barringer has been in a brace for four weeks, with another two weeks to go, after suffering a broken femur and cracked pelvis in the accident. He had surgery on his right hand last Friday for a torn ligament. He will be in a cast for about six weeks.
“Basically I’m going to have to relearn how to walk,” said Barringer, who works as a lineman.
He has been involved with the fire department since he was 15 or 16, but remembers being around it for much longer, as his dad Justin has been involved with it.
“Î’m just thankful they’re doing all this for me,” Nick Barringer said about the benefit.
He said the fire department and EMS have helped since the accident, as have friends and members of his church, Pleasant Grove Baptist.
“I’m just glad to have all that support around me during this tough time,” he said.
Besides learning to walk again, Barringer has a bigger goal this November. He’s getting married.
“That’s the goal — to be dancing then.”