Emergency Medical Services Division Chief
P.O. Box 1968
Russ Blackburn is the Division Chief in charge of the Emergency Medical Services of the Grand Island Fire Department.
Russ began his fire service career with the Hastings Fire Department where he worked 6 years as a Firefighter/ EMT-A. Russ joined the GIFD in 1998 as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Russ was promoted to Captain and shortly after to the EMS Division Chief.
Education includes a Bachelors of Science Degree in Management from Bellevue University, and Associates of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology from Southeast Community College. Paramedic training was received at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He is also a Hazardous Materials Technician with over 200 hours of training in the specialty.
Besides 17 years “street level” experience in the field of EMS, Russ also in an instructor for Emergency Medical Technician, ACLS and CPR and has taught classes for the EMS Division of Nebraska Health and Human Services, Central Community College, and Saint Francis Medical Center.
Russ was born in Scottsbluff, NE and moved, with his family to Omaha then settled in Hastings. He signed up as a volunteer firefighter with the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department and enjoyed the vocation so much that he tested and became a professional Firefighter the next year. He is married to Kerri, and has two sons, Connor and Aidan. His sister, Chris Blackburn, PhD. is living in Washington D.C.; working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. His father lives in Hastings and they enjoy playing golf together whenever they get the chance.