Samuel A. Eaton began his career in 1984 in EMS and in 1991 as a career firefighter. He entered the fire service as a Paramedic with a background as a Training Captain with an EMS Provider. He served as a fire officer for 24 years in the ranks of LT, Captain, EMS Captain and for the last 13 years as an operations Battalion Chief for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. His last assignment was Health and Safety Officer for the department through the inception and height of “the COVID 19 pandemic”. He retired in January of 2021.
Throughout his career he aspired to teach. An educator in EMS and Fire and was a very active American Heart Association in BLS and ACLS instructor. He has taught for The American Heart Association, The Red Cross, Palm Beach State College and JFK Medical Center’s Education Department, in Lantana Florida.
Since 2008 he has helped to create awareness on the epidemic issue of fire service related cancer and is a founding co-director of the organization F.A.C.E. Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic. That organization formed an foundational partnership with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center when they launched their Firefighter Cancer Initiative (F.C.I.) in 2014. Through intense coordination, their Palm Beach County Fire Rescue team helped to launch the first 14 independent firefighter cancer studies of the F.C.I.
Chief Eaton serves as a Director for the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative (FFSHC), which focuses in the areas of: firefighter cancer prevention, health and fitness, mental wellness, and firefighter safety. Through the FFSHC, Chief Eaton and his Co-Director Ret. Division Chief Vicki Sheppard they have expanded the F.A.C.E. Team concept from a statewide F.A.C.E. Team in November of 2016 to the now National Team. Under the leadership of Chief Eaton that team is comprised of over 50 fire service leaders from Jacksonville / Pan Handle to Miami with a primary focus on firefighter cancer prevention and best practice recommendations.
Public speaking engagements include teaching at the local fire department, area departments, Safety Stand Downs, and presentations State and Nationally on the Collaborative Approach. Specific events include: Florida Fire Chiefs Safety and Health Conference 2016, Florida Fire Chief Executive Development Conference 2016 and 2017, as well as each of the National Cancer Symposium’s (Firefighter Cancer Initiative at University of Miami) since 2018. Redmond Symposium, Vancouver and Nashville.