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Mayor Kauffman recognizes Russell Buller's 45 years of service!

Russell Buller retires after 45 years in public service.
Russ served many rolls from October 20, 1979 to May 10, 2024, most of which was in Fire and EMS as the Chief.
Congratulations Russ, on a celebrated career and a well-deserved retirement! We wish you the best in the future!
Russell Buller Retirement with Dave Kauffman

After more than 45 years of service to the citizens of Harvey County and Hesston, Chief Russ Buller is retiring. His last day was May 10, 2024.

Russ was hired in 1979, on his 18th birthday by EMS Chief Dick Toews. He then joined the Fire Department in November of 1979 hired by Fire Chief Bud Bachman. He completed his EMT training in 1980. Russ hired on with Newton Ambulance department in 1981. Then in 1987 completed his Paramedic. In 1988 Russ gained his Fire Fighter 1 and 2. Newton Ambulance and Newton Fire department merged in 1997 to form Newton Fire/EMS. Russ furthered his fire education and gained his Fire Instructor 1 and EMS instructor in 2000. Russ was then promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2000. Russ worked closely with Captain Leroy Dyck taking an interest in electrical, radio and computer projects. Russ left Newton Fire/EMS in November of 2002.

While working for Newton Fire/EMS, Russ continued his work with Hesston Ambulance Department. A few years after his start he became the Administrative Assistant to both the EMS and Fire Chief. He assisted with EMS billing, inventory, vehicle and station maintenance. Russ says that over the next 17 years those duties prepared him for the EMS Chief’s position, when Dick Toews retired in November 1996. In 2005 Hesston Ambulance Department and Hesston Fire Department came together under one administration to create Hesston Emergency Services. During this transition Russ was named Director of Emergency Services. In 2016 the Ambulance and Fire departments merged to create Hesston Fire/EMS and Russ became Chief of Hesston Fire/EMS.

During his tenure with Hesston Fire/EMS he has been a part of 3 major additions to the station, including multiple remodeling projects. He has spec’d out and purchased 6 new ambulances and 8 new fire apparatus. Russ was the force behind the rebranding to Hesston Fire/EMS and making the switch to a yellow apparatus fleet. Russ has been part of tens of thousands of emergency responses, a few of the most notable would include the 1990 tornado, the 2005 ice storm and Kropf and Excel fires, the 2016 Excel shooting and Covid.

When looking back at his career Russ had this to say, “I have had the best job ever for the past 45 years!”

Thank you, Russ, for your many years of service.

Cards of congratulations may be mail to:
Hesston Fire/EMS
Russ Buller
115 E Smith St
Hesston KS 67062