Meet Radnor Engineer/Firefighter/EMT C. Craig Samtmann
Craig Samtmann earned distinguished performance awards as a township police officer, fought international terrorism as a supervisory special agent with the FBI, and designed systems and protocols to protect people in other governmental and private sector organizations.
It all started when a young man joined his community’s volunteer fire company.
Craig is now in his seventh year with Radnor Fire Company, where he has served in numerous leadership positions and was voted Firefighter of the Year.
He grew up admiring the volunteer work of his firefighter father, who is a Life Active Member in a Montgomery County fire company, and his mother and older sister, who were members of the Ladies Auxiliary. He couldn’t wait to turn 18 to join the fire service himself.
He has since served in seven different volunteer fire/rescue/EMS organizations in multiple states, depending on residence, and said he was privileged to be elected or appointed to numerous executive administrative and operational positions.
Early on, Craig learned to embrace responsibility. “As a volunteer firefighter, people are counting on us, they trust us, and I have always wanted to live up to that responsibility,” Craig said. “A fire company is a highly structured, organized and disciplined place with policies, procedures and expectations. I was always very active and fortunate to learn strategies, tactics, leadership, management and interpersonal skills from many mentors. They believed in me and helped me develop as a person. Today, I enjoy returning that help by mentoring newer firefighters.”
Craig is nationally certified in public safety and a former county fire academy instructor. One of his Associate’s degrees is in Fire Science and he was a member of the first graduating class in this area. His subsequent degrees include a Master’s in Public Safety Management, which he earned by driving three nights a week from New York City to Philadelphia for a unique university-based public safety institute program.
Later he was recruited by the founder and director of that institute to develop and adjunct teach the first graduate course in Homeland Security that launched a full university program attended by area leaders.
Craig’s lifelong volunteer fire service experience created a foundation of transferable skills for his accomplished career, including leadership roles in all-hazards emergency management, municipal police, FBI, municipal fire service, global corporate security, and principal consulting.
Craig said his experiences in the volunteer fire service have directly enabled him to add value in his career. Some examples include:
As a municipal fire services administrator with a thorough understanding of how a volunteer fire company operates, he successfully developed a township business model that was used as a reference by eight other municipalities as far away as Harrisburg.
As the director of global corporate security for a multinational company, he improved the emergency evacuation of office buildings with 600 people from eight minutes to four minutes and included fire safety training techniques.
As an FBI leader of international terrorism investigations, he recommended keeping non-perishable equipment and supplies on pallets and ready for immediate military aircraft deployment rather than waiting to assemble the equipment and supplies for each terrorist incident response. This saved hours of response time and a lot of money. Craig’s idea came directly from years of working on fire trucks and ambulances that were kept pre-stocked with properly mounted and labeled equipment and supplies. Craig also received the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Investigation.
Thanks to his volunteer EMT and ambulance leadership experience, as a member of his FBI SWAT team, Craig recognized that the field medical equipment was inadequate. He updated and expanded it, resulting in better emergency medical and trauma care.
Craig has found that volunteering at a community fire company can provide a life balance to his paid career. “It’s something that is in my blood and I enjoy it. I have met great friends. And it is a meaningful and rewarding feeling to help the community during emergencies,” he said.