Brainerd Fire Department Captain Retires

By Danielle Ustruck 3wiamstudio@gmail.com (8/1/2020)


BRAINERD, MN - Brainerd Fire Department Capt. Barry Sell and his wife, Kim, drove the department's 1919 antique fire truck to his father-in-law Clinton "Buster" Borders, grave Thursday, July 30, at Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Brainerd as a sign of respect for Buster's last call.

His father-in-law Buster was on the fire department for more than 20 years before he retired. Sell, who has been on the department for 17 years and 10 months, retired Friday. He was hired by former Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Mahle and joined the department because he wanted to do something helpful for the community. Several of his friends were fellow soldiers in the Minnesota National Guard. At the Brainerd department, Sell just wanted to be a firefighter, challenge himself with the rigorous training and serve alongside his friends.

According to former Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek, interim Chief Chip Lohmiller saw something different about Sell and recommended he become an officer in the department. According to Stunek, Sell was a little older and more mature plus his military background made him a natural leader. When Lohmiller was serving between Stunek and current Chief Tim Holmes, Sell was made a captain. Driving the antique truck, which Buster and his friends worked on and later donated to the Brainerd Fire Department, was Sell's way to pass on his attachment to the Brainerd Fire Department family.

The antique truck was originally obtained from Prior Lake, restored and modified by members of the department, including Sell's father-in-law. It has a special attachment for Sell. It represents the retired members of the department and its history. It is still driven in parades and special events in the area. Sell is also grateful to the city of Brainerd for a having faith in him all these years.

"Barry will be missed," Holmes said. "His commitment to being a role model for the young members of the department has been so important to our department. He has served his country and this department so well."