Robert Smith was born while his father was attending Bible college in Tennessee. His dad became a pastor when Robert was three years old, so ministry has been part of his life ever since. When he joined Alachua County Fire Rescue in 2005, he had no thoughts or plans involving chaplaincy, but that’s where God took him, and he was happy to follow.
When appointed Chaplain by the Chief in 2015, Robert’s commitment to the ACFR family and this position caused him to further his education and increase his knowledge to provide the best service possible. Thus, he began taking classes in in the field of crisis intervention from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He has also taken Fire Service Suicide Prevention Train the Trainer class through St. Petersburg College, along with several classes from the Federation of Fire Chaplains and Illinois Firefighter Peer Support. He had already taken 2 years of formal ministry training and had experience as a Young Adult pastor, but he knew this would require a different type and level of training.
Robert was instrumental in starting ACFR’s Peer Support Team and serves as the Team Coordinator. He is currently a Driver Operator.
He has been married for 25 years and has two beautiful children. He is committed to the fire service and wants to do all that he can to make a positive difference in the lives of others.