Olathe Fire Department
Captain Bill Schneider has been a firefighter with the Olathe Fire Department for 24 years, and his willingness to help others in any way he can has earned him the nickname "Super Schneid" by his peers.
Inspired by his firefighter grandfather, he trained in high school with a Boy Scout firefighting program and then joined a fire department right after graduation.
Captain Schneider specializes in search and rescue operations and he is Olathe's Technical Rescue Coordinator, running programs that provide multi-discipline training for rescue efforts.
Bill teaches rescue courses to fire departments statewide, and he is currently involved with Crisis City, a search and rescue training facility complete with replica collapsed buildings.
In 2005, Bill and fellow firefighters traveled to Mississippi to assist in the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
Two years later, he joined a state-run search and rescue team in Greensburg, Kansas to help the city restore its fire department in the aftermath of a devastating tornado.
Bill went on to receive certificates of appreciation for his help at both natural disasters, and in 2005 he was named Lifesaver of the Year by the American Legion in recognition of his entire career.
Captain Schneider is also a certified hazardous materials technician, and in November 2010 he led a hazmat team in the successful containment of a highly dangerous ammonia gas leak.
However, Bill's greatest passion is educating teenagers on the dangers of drinking and driving, and since 1995 he has run a safety program titled Operation Prom Night. Bill and his department are proud to share that in the sixteen years they have given presentations to local high schools there have been no teenage car-related fatalities during prom season.
When he is not running rescue programs or on the front line fighting fires, Bill is still helping others; just last month he saved a teenage boy who had a seizure while snowboarding.
Bill, who was off-duty at the ski course with family, was able to immediately stabilize the teen and keep his airway open while paramedics were en route. As fellow Olathe Fire Captain Mike Hall says, "If someone is in danger or they just need somebody to turn to, Bill is the guy who is always there to help."