Union Fire Protection District Chief Russell Hamilton has marked 10 years as chief with the district.
Hamilton began as a volunteer firefighter in 2004 and quickly began helping with fire inspections for businesses and schools.
Around 2006, the fire marshal left the department and Hamilton stepped into that role.
He served as the fire marshal for about a year when he was promoted to fire chief.
“As any firefighter would tell you, I really enjoy working with the public — taking someone’s bad day and helping them through it,” Hamilton said. “Certainly, any dealings we have with the public are very rewarding.”
Hamilton also lauded the department’s firefighters, both paid and volunteer.
“The firefighters at Union are awesome as an organization and as a department. We have grown so much and each firefighter has grown as an individual,” he said.
The fire chief said he looks forward to continuing to grow with the community.
“We are set up to grow with the community and we’re excited about watching the community grow so we can grow with it. That’s what we work toward every day,” he said. “We’re ready to take on the next task as it’s presented to us.”
The district currently has 15 paid firefighters and 17 volunteer firefighters.
In addition to serving Union, Hamilton works full time for a St. Louis County fire district.