Red Wing mourns after unexpected death of former fire chief

Tom Schneider died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 55.
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Members of the Red Wing community have been paying tribute to former fire chief Tom Schneider, who died suddenly over the weekend at the age of 55.

According to his obituary, Schneider died "suddenly" on Saturday evening having spent the day ice fishing with his son and their friends.

He spent 8 years as the Red Wing Fire Chief between 2008 and 2016, when he retired, having initially started his career as a volunteer in 1984, before joining the department in 1991 as a firefighter and EMT.

He was an active individual, with his hobbies including boating, woodworking, construction projects, skiing, scuba diving, skydiving, hiking and motorcycle riding.

His death has prompted tributes from the emergency responder community in Red Wing and southeastern Minnesota.

"Tom was a dedicated firefighter and paramedic and served his community for many years in those roles," wrote SE Minnesota Emergency Medical Services. "He was also a very nice person, always willing to help."

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He also served on the board of the Environmental Learning Center in Red Wing, which is one of the organizations his family has requested donations to in lieu of flowers.

Schneider is survived by his wife, Kristi, with whom he had been married 31 years.

There has been no information released at this stage as to the cause of Schneider's death.

His funeral will be held this Friday at the Church of St. Joseph in Red Wing at 11 a.m.

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