Ellsworth County Emergency Management and the Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board announces the 2013 Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the Year presented during the NWS Spotter Meeting. In past years, the Emergency Worker/Volunteer of the Year award was given to a deserving individual. This year was no different with 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 presents 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. 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.