After 33 years of service, Carson City Fire Chief Bob Schreihans is hanging up his turnouts.
Schreihans, who has served as the chief for two years with Carson City, announced his retirement, effective Feb. 1.
“It was a good run for me and I am proud to have served the Fire Department and citizens of Carson City,” Schreihans said.
The Fire Chief started his fire career in 1984, after graduating from high school.
“It was always something I wanted to do, ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a firefighter,” Schreihans said.
The Los Angles native worked in the Bay Area before coming the Carson City as one of the department’s first paramedic-firefighters.
“I was one of the original groups of paramedics here, and we brought a big change to the department because they had never done emergency medical services,” Schreihans said. “It was a struggle because the older guys had this culture that you did what you were told so they really didn’t like having a bunch of young kids come in and tell them what to do.”
But Schreihans worked his way through the ranks: captain for 15 years and a Battalion Chief in charge of EMS training for a year and a half before getting hired at his current position.
“My favorite thing was effecting change, working with the Firefighter Association to change the culture here to accept paramedics and watching that change take place over the years where now it’s integrated throughout the department.”
Though Schreihans’ administration, the department has made changes to improve its technology, their aesthetic appearance, standard operating procedures and revenue to try to bring more manpower.
“Chief Bob Schreihans has been a critical member of the Carson City Fire Department for over 30 years,” Carson City Manager Nick Marano said. “In fact, out of all the active members of the department, he is most responsible for building the organization that protects us all. As a young firefighter, he was one of the first paramedics in the Department and led the way to integrating emergency medicine into the Fire Department, an initiative that has saved countless lives.
“As the President of Local 2251, Bob successfully gained the resources to enable the firefighters to their jobs and ensure their families were properly cared for. As a Battalion Chief and as the Fire Chief, Bob has worked diligently to grow and expand the Department’s capability. As the City Emergency Manager he has handled every natural disaster with calm competency. He and his wife, Nancy, are friends and I know I speak for everyone in the City when I say that his retirement leaves a big hole in the City and he will be missed.”
Schreihans said Carson has been a great place to work through the years.
“I have been happy and fortunate to have this career and get to work with these people to serve our department and the community,” Schreihans said. “This is a great area to work and a great group of people I work with. If you love your work and the people you work with, then it isn’t a job and you want to be here.”
But the last three decades weren’t always easy. As a first responder, Schreihans saw a lot of difficult traumas.
He said some incidents are like snapshots in his head that will appear every once in a while, but the worst was responding to the IHOP shooting.
“The most lasting impact was IHOP because I was first in with the paramedics,” Schreihans said. “You never think that something like that will happen in your city.”
“It doesn’t just impact the victims or those inside IHOP, it impacts everyone. It just stays with you.”
Even through the hard calls, Schreihans said getting to help people has always been the best reward.
“We do this because we have a positive effect on peoples’ lives, you make a difference,” Schreihans said.
With his retirement, Schreihans hopes to be able to use the new time to spend with his family and relax. “I have worked here most of my adult life and it just becomes a part of who you are,” Schreihans said. “The people you work with, the community you serve, the interaction with the public, I will miss all that. So you just take a deep breath, walk away and let someone else take the reigns.”
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