Russell Ashe

Russell Ashe, A.A.S
Deputy Chief of Fire Operations, EMT-103
Barre City, VT

Deputy Chief Ashe began his career with the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department in November of 1991.  Several months later, he joined the Williamstown Volunteer Ambulance Service.  Over the next few years, he obtained his ECA, EMT Basic, and then his EMT Intermediate.  Ashe’s biggest educational accomplishment was obtaining his Associates Degree in Fire Science from the New Hampshire Community Technical College in Laconia, New Hampshire, which he did while balancing a full time job and raising a family.

DC Ashe was appointed to the City of Barre Fire Department on September 1, 2000 by then Chief Doug Brent.  In 2005, he was promoted to Lieutenant, and in May of 2007, was promoted again to Deputy Chief of Fire Operations.  While with the City of Barre Fire Department, he has helped to secure over $800,000.00 for the Fire Department through several State and Federal grants.  In 2004, he started a very successful Cadet Program which continues today.

DC Ashe comes from a family very involved in Emergency Services.  His Dad, Bill, is an Assistant Chief with the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department.  He is also a long-time member of the Williamstown Volunteer Ambulance Service.  His mom, Katie, is recently retired from the Williamstown Volunteer Ambulance Service.  His younger brother, Trevor, is not only a Call Firefighter for the City of Barre, but also a Lieutenant with the Saint Mikes Fire Department in Colchester, Vermont.

DC Ashe is married to a beautiful wife, Tina, and has three awesome children, Jordan, Nicole and Ryan.

In his “off” time, Ashe works part time for a print shop in Barre City, and is a guitar player for a local rock band.  During the summer months, he and his family spend a lot of time camping.

Ashe’s interest in smoke alarm technology began on December 17, 2005, when his department responded to a second floor apartment fire with six people trapped inside.  DC Ashe personally rescued an adult male and two young girls.  In the end, four young children and their mom perished in this fire.  This family was protected by three working ionization smoke alarms.  The fire began as a smoldering fire in a living room couch, and is believed to have smoldered for quite some time before breaking into flames.

Since this fire, his department has produced several videos and posted them on his department’s web site,  One of these videos shows what happens in a real house when both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are exposed to a smoldering fire.  The results are nothing less than amazing.  Since then, he and his fellow firefighter, Matt Cetin, have been working very hard trying to educate folks on the differences between the two types of detectors.  Their main audience has been the fire service.  DC Ashe believes the key to getting this information out to the public is to first get it to the fire service.  He and FF Cetin have begun traveling around the State educating the Fire Service and are planning a trip to Kansas early in 2008 for the same purpose.

Their short endeavor has been met with some large successes.  They credit their success to the help they have received from others with the same goals.  Richard Patton, Adrian Butler and Karl Westwell of the World Fire Safety Foundation are but a few.