Submitted by his brother
Other than his dedication to family and friends‚ the fire service and hunting were his greatest loves.
Bruce S. Fletcher became a member of the Ashford Volunteer Fire Department on September 12‚ 1972 and remained active until his death on November 18‚ 2002‚ just two days before his fifty-first birthday. Bruce’s dedication to the Ashford Volunteer Fire Department is evidenced by his desire to learn all that could be learned about the fire service. The training courses and certifications he amassed during his more than thirty years of service is impressive: Basic Firefighting in 1973 to Firefighter II in 1992‚ Fire Instructor II in 1995‚ a continuously certified Emergency Medical Technician since 1974‚ and holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science. Bruce rose up through the ranks in the Department serving as Chief from 1996 until his death.
Bruce’s love of teaching fire service courses was well known. His teaching style – how we used to do it and how it should be done – were wonderful learning tools that presented pictures instead of words. That was his way with everything he did – convey a lesson ones’ mind could see in addition to the words that one heard. His affiliation with the Tolland County Mutual Aid Fire Service was highlighted by his membership on the facility study committee and his chairmanship of the nominating committee. Whenever called upon for service or for input‚ Bruce was ready and willing to assist.
Opening day of hunting season‚ at the crack of dawn‚ Bruce could be found in the woods with his brothers and his friends pursuing that buck of a lifetime. He always said that just being in the quiet of the woods was hunting enough‚ getting a deer was a bonus. Often in his backpack‚ along with extra clothing and snacks would be the novel he was currently reading.
Bruce was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of the Viet Nam War‚ receiving the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Following his war service. Bruce worked for D.C.M.A.‚ Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford until his retirement on October 3‚ 2002. He served for twenty years in the Connecticut National Guard until his retirement in 1991.
We have lost a friend – be he a father‚ husband‚ brother‚ uncle – we have lost a friend. His leadership‚ his ‘lessons to be learned‚’ his sense of duty‚ and his love for the fire service will be with us always.