In 1989, Sam Schneider was working in a computer related career when boredom led him to become a volunteer firefighter.
His quest for something to help him keep busy has since turned into a career, and today, Schneider is fire chief for the Lebanon Fire Department.
“I always tell everybody, ‘The fire service just clicked,’” Schneider says. “It interested me immediately.”
A licensed paramedic, Schneider has earned certification as an emergency medical technician. He joined the Lebanon Rural Fire Protection District as a volunteer in 1989. He worked as a firefighter and paramedic for Fort Osage Fire Protection District and Liberty Fire Department, and as captain and training officer for Belton Fire Department before joining the city of Lebanon’s Fire department, where he has served as chief since 2001.
In addition to fighting fires, his job duties include departmental planning, working with the budget, attending community events and serving on boards in the community. In 2006, he was appointed to the Missouri State Advisory Council on Emergency Medical Services. The council works with state legislators to improve emergency medical care statewide.
“I was very excited about that and happy to serve,” Schneider says. “My goal there is to just make sure that the state of Missouri’s fire service (is) represented.”
Schneider is a member of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, and he serves on the Missouri Association of Fire Chiefs Board of Directors for Region I. Other memberships include the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Laclede County Advisory Board, for which he is chairman.
His efforts to keep others safe have attracted recognition through the years. He was named the Rookie Firefighter of the Year for 1990 by the Lebanon Rural Fire Protection District, and he received the American Red Cross Chairman’s Community Disaster Response Award in 2004.
In 2008, Schneider was awarded a Medal of Valor from the Lebanon Fire Department for helping to rescue a man in a serious automobile accident.
The accident involved a propane delivery truck that was leaking propane. Schneider says that the battery of the vehicle was out of reach and could not be unplugged, which meant it was a potential ignition source. Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.