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Schmidt Receives Public Service Award

Sam Schmidt Public Service AwardRussell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management and the Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board announced Sam Schmidt the 2013 Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the Year during the annual National Weather Service Spotter Meeting on Tuesday night.

Following is a press release from Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management Director Keith Haberer detailing how the selection was made, explaining what Schmidt has done for the local emergency worker community:

In past years, we have given out an Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the Year award to a deserving individual. This year was no different, and we had three nominations for Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the year. The 911 Advisory Board decided on one award.

The award for Volunteer/Emergency Worker of the Year is presented to a responder from City of Russell Fire Department this year. This individual has devoted his time, energy and talents to the Fire Service not only in the City of Russell and Russell County, but also in the region and the State of Kansas. This person could have been presented the award numerous times in the past for acts of bravery and heroism. He started as a volunteer in his community in 1982 and has moved up the ranks of his department ending with his retirement as Chief. He also has served as Chairperson of the Russell County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board. Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management and Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board is proud to present Sam Schmidt, as the 2013 Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the Year.

Sam has also served as Secretary of the District 2 Fire Chiefs Association since its inception and has been a committee chairperson for several different standing committees with the Kansas State Firefighters Association. I would like to share some excerpts from Sam's nomination letter: "Sam has brought many opportunities to the Fire Department and the city through his continuous drive for education and training, not only for himself but for all department members. He continually pushes members of the department to reach their highest potential while mentoring each of us one-on-one when he sees we are struggling physically or emotionally with any training, response or even in our personal lives. Sam continually shows a vast knowledge in the field of firefighting and seems to know everything there is to know about every piece of equipment (and there are thousands) in the department."

Sam has been an EMT, HazMat Technician and Fire Investigator during his career just to name a few other duties. His nomination letter ends with, "The Department, the City, the County and this Region of Kansas have all been directly and positively affected by the fact that Sam Schmidt has decided to give us so much of his time."

Those are just a few reasons why Sam Schmidt was selected as the Russell County 2013 Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the year.

The individual selected shows the true spirit of a Volunteer, one who does for others without any strings attached. That is why we of the 911 Advisory Board and Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management honor Sam Schmidt for his service to this county.

NWS of Wichita Meteorologist Brad Ketcham conducted the spotter presentation held at the Dream Theater in downtown Russell. More than 100 people attended.

(Above Schmidt is pictured between Russell County Sheriff John Fletcher and Haberer after accepting the award Tuesday night.)

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