Meet Captain John Schadwill


Meet Captain John Schadwill

November 2018

Captain John Schadwill
Member since June 1995

John was born and raised in the Glens Falls – Queensbury area. He is happily married for 15 years with 2 children, and has worked in the civil engineering field for 10 years as a designer for stormwater, wastewater, and building construction projects. On the side he spends a lot of his time outdoors and with his family. He’s a weather aficionado, has 9 cats, a turtle, and a fish, and is a Yankees/Giants/Rangers fan.

Captain Schadwill originally joined Bay Ridge in June 1995, with some basic knowledge of what he would be responsible for. At the time he had friends of the family in that business that he was able to gain insight from. Before taking some an extended leave to devote more time to family and his job, he rose to the position of Asst. Chief. He has recently rejoined the department initially as a Safety Officer, and was voted to Captain during the year.

Why did you choose to volunteer?

I chose to volunteer for a number of reasons: the experience that I heard acquaintances/friends talk of, the sense of personal pride/community involvement that comes from helping somebody or a family on their worst day, camaraderie of a special group of people – and what child growing up didn’t aspire to drive big trucks with lights and sirens?!

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is the satisfaction from helping strangers out, although sometimes it may be family, friends, or neighbors that are in need. I like being part of something that people depend on. As an officer, I like being looked up to. I enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with the younger members coming up.

How about your favorite truck, or training?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite drill. I enjoy all the training exercise that we put together, whether it be initial attack, search & rescue, pump operations, technical rope rescue, or marine rescue team training. The variety helps me be a better officer/firefighter. If I had to pick one, it would probably be in the water training. I like playing the role of the victim and making it as real as possible for the other firefighters.

My favorite truck is Engine Rescue 323. It is our prominent piece for structure fires, auto vehicle extrication, and just about anything else you can think of. It drives and handles nicely, too.

Could you provide some advice for someone who may be thinking about volunteering?

Give it a try. Even if actual firefighting is not your thing (not everybody can or wants to be an interior firefighter), our profession still needs exterior firefighters, drivers/operators, fire police, scene support staff, and those with emergency medical services training. Plus, I think you will like the group you become part of and the lifelong friends you will make. I know that I did and have.

Any messages for the community?

We are all volunteers that strive to provide a professional, high level of service to our community. We are a very busy department in the town that answers just shy of 600 calls annually, Our members spend countless hours meeting training requirements, company meetings, and administrative duties required to run a firehouse, in addition to answering the many calls for service day or night, in summertime heat and wintertime cold and snow. We all have full time jobs, too. So if you see us out in the community and would like to tell us how we are doing, please do. This means if it’s a good job, or if you have a particular concern or suggestion for improvement. We are all here together to make a better, and safer, community.

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