Local News

Russell Fire Chief Schmidt Retiring

Sam SchmidtCity of Russell Fire Chief Sam Schmidt has announced his retirement effective March 1.

Schmidt has been with the Russell Fire Department since 1982 and has been the department's head since 2002. He took over the post 11 years ago after the accidental death of former Russell Fire Chief Earl Hemphill.

Schmidt says his time in the fire service has been interesting with many ups and downs.

"It's been pretty exciting; a lot of challenges. I've really enjoyed working with all of the staff and all of the city councilmen. They sometimes would throw a pretty good curve at you, but we got through it alright," said Schmidt.

Schmidt said he plans to take a couple months off from any fire department related service, but after that he wants to remain involved in a volunteer capacity.

He also said he wants to devote more time to projects and hobbies of his own, which include restoring antique vehicles and scooters as well as involvement with the Russell Muzzleloaders club.

Former Assistant Fire Chief Steve Knopp has been named Interim Russell Fire Chief until a permanent replacement is appointed.

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