Rich Schnieders, KR4PI, Emergency Coordinator 

ARES® in Lee County Florida

Rich Schnieders, KR4PI, Emergency Coordinator 

Rich has more than 40 years of experience in Public Safety. He started as a volunteer firefighter in High School and obtained EMT certification at 16. As an EMT, he worked for 1.5 years as an Emergency Room Technician in a North Central Indiana small hospital. Rich became a full-time EMT and then Advanced EMT in a brand-new EMS in North Central Indiana as the community built a new Emergency Medical Service. As an Advanced EMT, he performed all the functions of today’s paramedic. Rich served in that role for over seven years in and after college. He also served as a Police Officer for four years in North Central Indiana before returning to Fort Myers, where Rich became a Lee County Deputy Sheriff. Rich rose through the ranks of the LCSO, holding many investigative and supervisory positions.

Most relevant to the ARES Team is as Incident Management Team (IMT) Commander for the LCSO and Florida Region 6. This IMT included Fire, Law Enforcement, EMS, and E.M. Rich commanded the Communications Division at LCSO for several years and served as an IMT trainer. Rich served as the Sheriff’s representative to the State Homeland Security Task Force and the Lee County Fire Chief’s Association. He worked extensively with Lee County Emergency Management personnel, some of whom remain today. Rich retired from the LCSO as a Major in 2011. 

Rich currently serves as Pastor of Friendship Grace Brethren Church—a role he has held since starting the church in 1997. Fourteen of those years, while Rich was still a Deputy Sheriff.  

Rich holds an Advanced Class Amateur Radio License being licensed since the early 1980s. He has experience in voice and data in H.F., VHF, and UHF. Rich enjoys rag chewing, chasing some DX, and working on digital systems, including Winlink, AX25, VARA, Dstar, and DMR. Rich maintains a full G8BPQ BBS and Winlink gateway and has contributed to the ARES Winlink system. Rich is a Net Control Station for the SouthWest Florida Traffic net as well as the Assistant Net Manager. Rich also serves as Official Relay Station and a liaison to other NTS nets.