- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Leo R. Schwartz, 82, safety researcher

Lt. Col. Leo R. Schwartz, a retired Marine Corps officer and highway safety research coordinator, died Jan. 14 of complications from leukemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. He was 82.

He was born on a farm near Sargent, Neb. He graduated from high school in Merna, Neb., in 1939.

Col. Schwartz studied at Midland College in Fremont, Neb., and the University of Nebraska. He was at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., for one semester in 1943 before he was called to active duty with the Marine Corps for service during World War II. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on April 12, 1944.

He returned to complete his education at the University of Nebraska, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He was again called to active duty for service in the Korean War and accepted a regular commission.

Col. Schwartz’s overseas and stateside assignments involved logistics planning, operations and analysis at all command staff levels. He retired in 1968 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He moved in 1953 to Fairfax, where he resided until his death.

In 1969, he was employed by the Emergency Medical Services Division of the Highway Safety Bureau — now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He developed the training curriculums for emergency medical technicians as well as specifications for modern ambulances and the lifesaving equipment they carry.

He also researched and designed the Star of Life symbol and retired as chief of the emergency medical services branch. On May 16, 1981, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians honored him by naming its annual service award the Leo R. Schwartz EMS Service of the Year Award.

Col. Schwartz is survived by five daughters, Christine Buchanan and Marie Hamill of Fairfax, Cynthia Schwartz of Sterling, Va., Kathryn McMonigle of Ocala, Fla., and Diana Newmiller of Ashburn, Va.; two sons, Michael Schwartz of Natural Bridge, Va., and Alan Schwartz of Fairfax; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, Eleanor M. Schwartz, died in 2003.

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