Deputy Chief Schmidt started her fire service career as a volunteer in Berkeley County in 1992. Aside from a brief period of time off in which to complete her MBA, launch a career, and raise some little ones, she has been activly in volved with Pine Ridge Fire Rescue ever since - a career of nearly 25 years.
Janene moved up the ranks as Firefighter, Engineer, and Lieutenant earning both Rookie and Firefighter of the Year in her early career. Along with being amoung the top three call runners as an on-call volunteer, she also served as the Resident State Fire Marshal. As a HazMat Technician, she received specialized CBRNE training and served on the county COBRA (HazMat) team. Additional training included, water rescue, Juvenile Fire Setting, PIO and FAST team support.
Chief Schmidt’s primary career was in Accounting and Business Administration where she held several titles including Chartered Global Management Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and even PI. She still maintains her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license although her efforts are now directed towards the administrative management of the consolidated Pine Ridge Fire Department.
In 2016 Chief Schmidt accepted a part-time position and moved into an office at headquarters in order to take on more of the administrative duties and response efforts. The extraordinary growth in Nexton, Cane Bay, and Carnes brought with it the need for additional staffing. We were able to implement additional and significant Operational staffing increases thanks to a 2018 county fire fee adjustment and a 2019 FEMA SAFER Grant. Late in 2021, along with Chief Waring, Chief Schmidt’s position was converted to Full-time to address the growing responsabilites on the administrative side.
Deputy Chief Schmidt heads the Administrative Division which includs the Fire Marshal’s office, Community Risk Reduction, Finance and Administration.