Introducing New Fire Chief: Russell Marshall


Introducing New Fire Chief: Russell Marshall

On Tuesday, September 2nd, the City's new Fire Chief, Russell Marshall, officially reported for duty. With an impressive resume that consists of over 30 years of experience in developing, coaching, and mentoring emergency personnel, Chief Marshall will certainly be an asset for the City of Athens and the Athens Fire / Rescue Department.

In an effort to get to know Chief Marshall a bit better and introduce him to the citizens he will be serving, we sat down with Mr. Marshall and asked him a few questions. Check out how he responded below!

  1. What are you most looking forward to as you step into your new position with the Athens Fire Department?

 I have heard great things about Athens Fire / Rescue and the personnel that respond daily to the needs of the community. The thing I am looking most forward to is working with each employee and within that team environment; to make sure they have the resources they need to be effective, safe, and successful in their careers. The Fire Chief can never lose sight of the fact that the personnel responding out the door with each alarm are the “department.” There are a lot of smart, talented, and dedicated people within the organization. I look forward to learning their talents both as individuals and collectively as a team; and then empowering them to fulfill the mission; whatever that may be.

  1. What are some of your hopes or goals for the Athens Fire Department in the next couple of years?

Athens Fire / Rescue has an established foundation full of successes. To continue the progression of the organization, it is important for everyone in the department to be involved in a discovery and forecasting process that will culminate with a written strategic plan that outlines the priorities for the next three to five years. It is only through self-assessment of the organization that future goals and objectives can be projected.

  1. When you’re not on the job, what are some of your favorite things to do or hobbies?

When I am not on the job, I enjoy spending time with my family. We are extremely close and try to see one another as often as we can. I am an avid saltwater fisherman. I don’t get to go as often as I would like but I do try and take regular trips to the Texas and Florida coasts. When I’m not fishing at the coast, you can find me fishing the many freshwater lakes around the area. In fact, an interesting fun note is that I fish from my jet ski. I enjoy travel and exploring new places. Hole in the wall restaurants, live music venues, and a patio are great escapes.

  1. What led you to be a firefighter when you first began your career?

I am the six-year-old little boy that knew from an early age what I was destined to do. I remember sitting in the living room on Saturday evenings waiting on the show “Emergency” to come on TV. I couldn’t wait from one week to the next to find out what Los Angeles County Firefighter / Paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy Desoto were going to be doing during that week’s episode. I grew up in Pittsburg, Texas and my grandmother lived one block from main street. We would go to her house on Sunday afternoons for lunch. Afterwards, my dad and I would walk down town and we would always stop by the fire station. From my earliest memories I can remember looking at all the fire apparatus and visiting with the firefighters. The excitement I received from those visits instilled a desire to help others and be part of something bigger than myself. Firefighting is a natural calling for me. It’s the greatest job in the world.

Questions regarding this blog entry or the Athens Fire /Rescue Department? Contact City Hall at 903.675.5131 or e-mail