The Weston Volunteer Fire Department has named Steve Ash and Chuck Noble as captains, following a department-wide election on Jan. 11.
Ash was officially re-elected to the position after he was named interim captain in December 2015 following the death of former Capt. Bill Gluck.
Noble was newly elected to the position.
Both were previously lieutenants for the department.
Captains are responsible for the maintenance of Weston’s two firehouses. Ash is in charge of the Norfield station and Noble is in charge of the Lyons Plain Road station.
Additionally, captains are responsible for managerial decisions on calls. They supervise calls that they’re on and take on a higher level of command than a lieutenant would. Ash called captainship the “bridge between a lieutenant and the chief.”
Each captain oversees the apparatus of his specific station and is responsible for checking trucks and equipment. Captains also fill out necessary paperwork after a call.
“I felt that I could give back and help manage the department,” said Ash on why he wanted to become a captain. “If I wasn’t helping out, I’d feel like I would be wasting the knowledge, ability and talent that I’ve gained over the years.”
Ash joined the fire department in 1996, when he was a 16-year-old high school student. He was padding his schedule with extracurricular activities to look impressive for colleges but found that being a member of the department was fulfilling.
“I found the fire department worthwhile,” he said. “I could see the physical evidence of my work and my actions.”
Ash was constantly going to optional classes and training sessions to further his skills. He said he was excited by the wide range of things to learn that could help the department.
He worked his way up the ladder at the department, going from a regular member to a senior firefighter to a lieutenant before receiving the captain title.
“I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love doing it,” Ash said. “I get great satisfaction just doing the work. I find myself happy when I’m doing anything involving the department.”
Chuck Noble moved to Weston in 1993. He had considered joining the fire department because his father was a longtime volunteer firefighter, but as a recent dad himself, he wanted to be as present as possible for his kids.
In 2005, when his children were a little older, he joined the department.
“I always knew I would join the department,” said Noble, who had never done any public service work prior to joining. “At the time it took a nudge from a friend, but I’m very happy I did it.”
In addition to his responsibilities as a captain, Noble is in charge of maintaining the department’s prized 1934 Mack truck, lovingly known as “Old Mack.”
The truck is fully restored and is used in parades and other special events.
“It’s a sense of pride for the station,” Noble said. “It turns a lot more heads than the new stuff when we bring it out.”
Noble added that the truck has won many trophies at events in the region and is always a highlight at the Bridgewater Fair, a popular summer festival in Bridgewater with a large fireman’s parade.
While Noble hasn’t been a member of the department as long as Ash, he also believes that his new position is his logical next step to help the department.
“It’s something that I feel is the next rung on my ladder,” said Noble. “You’re always trying to improve yourself, and to be elected into this position means that your peers look up to you.”
In addition to the captain’s race, the department elected four lieutenants. John Braden and Max Burns were re-elected to lieutenant positions, while Eric Carter and Jason Greenfield were newly elected as lieutenants.