John Schmidt’s career in the fire service began in the mid-80s as a volunteer at the local fire department. While serving his community as a volunteer, John started the educational journey to become an EMT and Firefighter. He spent nearly four years as a volunteer before becoming a career firefighter.
John’s career started when he was offered a position by the City of Seminole Fire Rescue Department in Pinellas County, Florida. During his career for the City of Seminole, John served in various progressive roles and leadership, including several committees. He became a driver within the organization, then Company Officer, District Chief, and retired serving as the Training Chief. Chief Schmidt served as the Departments Safety Committee Chair as the Training Chief. Additionally, Chief Schmidt served on the Inaugural Pinellas County Technical Rescue Team (PCTRT) and the Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Response Team (PCHMRT). Chief Schmidt also moved through the ranks on the PCHMRT; when he retired, he served as the Team Commander.
In 2019, Chief Schmidt was hired by Pasco County Fire Rescue, serving as the Division Chief of Health, Safety, and Wellness. In this role, he can directly influence the Health and Safety of all firefighters. The Health, Safety, and Wellness Chief is responsible for the On-scene decontamination program, On-scene Rehabilitation program, Air Truck program, Occupational Health, Infection Control, Peer Fitness, and Safety Committee Chair.
Chief Schmidt has served on various committees throughout his career, including the City of Seminole Strategic Plan, Operational Advisory Committee, and Safety Committee. He also served as the Treasure for IAFF Local 2896.
He was also involved with organizations outside the Departments he worked for. Examples include the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs – Training group, Florida Fire Chiefs Association Health and Safety Committee, International Association of Fire Chiefs – Safety, Health, and Survival Section, IFSFI, Florida Firefighter Safety, and Health Collaborative FACE team, and a member of FDSOA. These external relationships are essential to successful programs within the organization.