November 9, 2016

Our Instructors

Ron Richards
President / Instructor
A PA State Fire Instructor, Chief Richards has over 40 years of experience in both career and volunteer fire services serving as Fire Chief in three departments. Chief Richards worked 27 years in various capacities with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, having served as a Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, Fire and Safety Specialist and Fire Instructor. He retired after his final assignment where he was responsible for coordinating and implementing ICS and NIMS to over 14,000 emergency responders. Chief Richards serves on the NFPA Technical Committee 1250 “Recommended Practice in Emergency Service Organization Risk Management” and the 1201 Technical Committee “Standard for Providing Emergency Services to the Public”. He graduated from the State University of NY with a B.S. in Fire Service Administration. He is the founder of and the President of Task Force 1, Inc.
Kristian Short
Kristian Short is a 13 year veteran in the  fire service. His career started as a volunteer in northeastern Pennsylvania attaining the rank of Assistant Chief.  Currently Kristian is an emergency vehicle driver (EVD _with the Baltimore City Fire Department. He is assigned to Truck Company 8 in the South West section of the city. Along with specializing in truck work, Kristian also has an extensive background in rural fireground operations, engine company operations and several other areas of specialization.
William White

Bill recently retired with 25 years of service from the Pennsylvania State Police.  He most recently held the the rank of Major as the director of the Bureau of Training and Education. He progressed through the ranks and held various positions within his agency.  He was a member of the Special Emergency Response Team for approximately 10 years and served in numerous positions including the Assistant Coordinator and Tactical Section Supervisor.  While on the Special Emergency Response Team, William was certified as an explosive breacher, a less lethal / chemical agents’ instructor, and a clandestine lab response team member among other certifications.  William was also certified as a Bomb Technician and served on the Hazardous Device and Explosive Section for and on the State Police Incident Management Team. He has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Shippensburg University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Eastern University.  William is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy for Law Enforcement Executives.

Sean O'Brien
Sean is currently a Lieutenant at FDNY's Ladder 47 in the Bronx after working as a firefighter at Tower Ladder 131 in Brooklyn for several years. His career in the fire service began in Old Bridge, NJ. Sean is trained in SOC Rescue Operations (Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Rigging Operations). The specializes in truck company operations and firefighter safety and survival training.
Jake Rhoades
Jake Rhoades, MS, EFO, CFO, CTO, CEMSO, MIFireE, is a 22-year veteran of the fire service. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University and a master’s degree in executive Fire Service Leadership. He is the fire chief at Kingman, Arizona. He previously served as the Fire Chief for the Edmond (OK) Fire Department. Jake started his career in 1992 with the Stillwater (OK) Fire Department. He has served as the Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Training for the Rogers (AR.)Fire Department, Assistant Chief for the Jenks (OK) Fire Department. He curre Jake serves as an elected Board of Director member for the IAFC Safety, Health, and Survival Section. He also received his Professional Instructor designation from ISFSI. Jake is also on the NFPA Technical Committee for Firefighter Professional Qualifications. He is also an instructor for Columbia Southern University and is also an adjunct instructor for Oklahoma State University and the National Fire Academy. He teaches in a variety of settings and conferences including FDIC, FRI, and the CPSE Excellence Conference. In addition, he has served as the lead author for the Firefighter I and II handbook by Delmar / Cengage Learning.
Seth Taylor
Seth is a second generation, 25 yeaer firefighter with urban and rural volunteer experience. He is a current member of Lewisville FD dive team and assigned to Truck 7. Over the last 15 years he has designed and constructed a variety of training props used for fire service training recently including the Braskey Force Door. Seth is a NWCG qualified Engine Boss, Sawyer, and Texas Forest Service TIFMAS Sawyer evaluator. He has responded to a variety of state incidents on both all hazards and wildfire responses. Since 2008 he has coordinated the annual “All Saws” Class which teaches chainsaw; radial saw techniques, maintenance, and safety to metro, urban, and rural firefighters in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
Mark Rossi
Mark works for the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue currently assigned to he training academy where he is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all department hands-on-training fire ground classes, new recruit and specialized training. He is also a member of both the Hazardous Materials & Technical Rescue Teams at FLFR. Mark serves as an Instructor for Engine Company Ops / Survival Class at Orlando Fire Conference, Coral Springs Regional Institute of Public Safety in Coral Springs, FL. He has a Master of Science degree in Business Administration and a MS degree in Fire Science. He holds number certifications and is a published author for Fire Engineering Magazine.
Michael Heeney
Mike has been with The City of Austin Fire Department for 10 years, Austin runs more than 85,000 calls annually out of 46 stations. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and started his fire career in 1998, going on to work with multiple departments starting on the west coast and finally making a permanent home in Austin, TX. This is a family tradition, as his father spent 30 years with the Philadelphia Fire Department. Michael currently works on a rescue company in central Austin and serves as a rescue specialist on Texas Task Force 1.
Colin Sterr
Colin worked as a firefigther in Tacoma, WA, before coming to New York. In Washington, Colin also worked for Seattle Mountain Rescue, performing wilderness search and rescue in the Seattle area performing many rescues on peaks all around Seattle. He has extensive experience in rope rescue, confined space and trench rescue. He was also a FEMA USAR Task Force rescue specialist. He currently is assigned to Truck 131 in Brooklyn.
Nick Sequenzia
Nick started his fire service career in 2005. Currently is a firefighter with the Frisco Fire Dept (TX) where he is a member of Truck Co 2. His previous experience includes the Washington D.C. Fire Dept where he was assigned to Engine Co 19. He also holds Haz-Mat Tech, Rope Rescue, and Paramedic Certifications. In Frisco Nick works with the Training Division on setting standards for Truck Company operations, department wide training, and is an Instructor for recruit classes. With his growing passion for training and spreading the word, Nick has been appointed the training trustee of his FOOLS Chapter to which he is honored.
Jarod Blake
Jarod is a veteran of the fire service since 1992. Recently promoted to Captain, Jarod served at Ladder 112 in Bushwick section of Brooklyn. He previously worked at the Training Academy, as a Lt. in 15th Division in Brooklyn and as a firefighter at Ladder 19 in the South Bronx. Jarod's previous experience extends from departments in NY, MD, VA and the District of Columbia. He holds a BS in Fire Science Management from University of Maryland, University College. Jarod is state fire instructor for the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute. He is a previous HOT instructor and speaker at the FDIC.
Garrett Pingol
Garrett Pingol is a second generation and 18 year veteran with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue. During his career he has held the position of firefighter, driver engineer, captain and was recently promoted to Battalion Chief. Garrett holds multiple certs in EMS, Marine Firefighting and Technical Rescue. He is a Instructor 3, LFTI instructor and holds a BA from St. Thomas University. In 2015, during a two year tenure in the training bureau he was named Educator of the Year by the Broward County Fire Chief's Association for his work in both fire and EMS training.
Chris Ford
Chris started his fire service career as a volunteer in Northern Virginia. He worked in Loudoun County (VA) Fire and Rescue and in the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department at Truck 13 and Rescue 3. In 2006 he was hired at FDNY. He works at Ladder 56 in the Bronx. Chris specialized in truck company operations, technical rescue, hazardous materials, and MAYDAY operations.
Chris Tobola
Chris is a 24-year veteran of the fire service, and Sr. Captain in the Houston Fire Department. Chris is assigned to Ladder Company 51 B-Shift, on the Southwest side in the City of Houston. Previously, he was assigned to Engine 60 as a Captain, also on the SW side of Town. Chris has been assigned to several of Houston’s hottest stations performing multiple roles as an EMT, Driver and Officer. Chris began his career as a volunteer on the Northside of Houston in the suburbs. He attended fire school and transitioned to the Texas City Fire Department as a FF/Paramedic, before being hired as a firefighter for the Houston Fire Department. Chris continued his education obtaining a Master’s degree in Emergency Management, and a Bachelors in Business Management. Chris holds multiple state and national certifications. Some of Chris’s certifications are Master Firefighter, Executive Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Field Examiner, Hazmat Technician & I.C., Safety Officer and Incident Command Technician. He’s also a Fire Academy Instructor for Lone Star College and the Houston Community College. Chris takes great pride in sharing his knowledge and skills, so others may enjoy a productive and long career in the fire service, whether it be in a career department or volunteer organization.
Tom Webb
Tom Webb – Tom is a 37-year veteran of the fire service and currently holds the rank of Deputy Chief of Operations for Burton Fire and Rescue in Beaufort SC. Tom serves as a Task Force Leader for the state’s Urban Search and Rescue Team and was one of SCTF 1 founding members as well as Rescue Team Leader for South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team. (SC-HART). Tom holds adjunct teaching status with both the South Carolina Fire Academy and Louisiana State University.
Shane Darwick
Shane Darwick recently retired as a career Battalion Chief with Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service in Maryland. He has been involved in the fire service for over 37 years. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University and is a NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist. Shane serves as an Instructor at Montgomery County Maryland Public Service Training Academy and is a state certified Instructor and Instructor Evaluator. He is a a Command Competencies evaluator and served on the National Capital Region Incident Management Team.
John Lewis
John's fire service career dates back to 1978 as a volunteer. In 1985 he was hired as a Firefighter / EMT in 1985 with the City of Passaic, NJ, Fire Department where he recently retired as a Ladder Company Lieutenant. He formerly was assigned to the Division of Training and Safety. John has been an instructor at the Bergen County (NJ) Fire Academy for the past 17 years, and is an Adjunct Instructor at Kean University in Union, NJ, and a member of the NJ State Firefighter Health and Safety Advisory Committee. He holds various certification and has developed and a presented educational programs for various fire conferences across the country. Additionally, we has authored several articles for national fire service publications and is the co-author of the Rapid Intervention Awareness Curriculum for the State of New Jersey.
James Gerber
James Gerber was appointed to the FDNY in May of 2001, assigned to Engine 94 / Ladder 48 in the South Bronx, then Engine 23 in midtown, before transferring to the Special Operations Command at Squad Company 18. James trained in SOC Rescue Operations (High-Angle Rescue, Collapse, Trench, Confined Space, Rigging Operations) and also is a Haz-Mat Tech II. James holds a BS in Engineering and is an RN. He is a Lieutenant assigned to TL 131 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
William Hines
Billy is a retired Battalion Chief of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).   His FDNY career spanned over 27 years where he worked in some of the most demanding areas in New York City.  He has responded and operated at a wide range of incidents and emergencies, which included fires, medical emergencies, building collapses, rail incidents, hazardous materials, and terrorist events.  Mr. Hines was assigned to the original FDNY Type II Incident Management Team.  His career in emergency services and emergency management has now expanded to 37 years.  Since retiring from the FDNY, he is currently active in several positions. As an independent safety and training consultant, he develops and conducts incident management and life safety operations training courses for emergency services and agency personnel nationally and internationally.  He is a Senior Instructor for the National Transit Institute (NTI), an educational branch of the Federal Transit Administration which is based out of Rutgers University.  He is also an adjunct instructor for Louisiana State University.  In this role, his responsibilities include preparation and delivery of safety, security awareness, terrorism, emergency preparedness and incident management programs delivered to transit agencies throughout the United States.  Mr. Hines has recently retired from service as an Operations Reservist for FEMA where he responded to and operated at federally declared U.S. disasters/emergencies.
Ryan McCormick
Ryan McCormick is a Captain in the Bryant (AR) Fire Department where he heads the department’s training division. Prior to his current assignment, he was assigned to various truck and engine companies. Ryan’s personal dedication to public service is a life-long commitment with more than 15 years of experience in both career and volunteer service in states that also include Pennsylvania and Illinois. He previously worked as a member of the Little Rock Police Department where he served a patrolman. Ryan is also serves as Fire Chief at the Collegeville Volunteer Fire Department. Ryan is a graduate of Kankakee Community College with a degree in Business Management and Paramedic Supervision.
Chris Kelly
Chris is a veteran of the fire service since 2002. Chris currently is a Captain in the Houston Fire Department, currently assigned to Engine 55 in District 46. Majority of his career has been spent in District 46, both as a firefighter and Engineer/Operator on both Engine and Ladder companies. When not training or responding to calls, Chris is very passionate about Firefighter fitness and ways to implement functional fitness for his brothers, pulling from his experience as a gym owner. He has been a Paramedic for the last ten years, which included being a founding member of the Houston Police Department’s Tactical Medic Team, working in the ambulance routing telemetry unit, and participating in multiple research and protocol revision projects. Prior to joining HFD, Chris was a part of the Mont Belvieu Fire Department, where he was involved with multiple extensive hazmats incidents and command responsibilities. There he rose to the rank of Training Captain.He also created and ran a Special Events Emergency logistics company, coordinating and staffing emergency response logistics for large target hazard rich events in the private sector.
Jason Gregory
Jason started in the fire service as a firefighter in Escambia County, Florida in 1995 before joining the US Navy in 1997 and then the Air National Guard in 2005. In 2009 he deployed to Baghdad, Iraq as a firefighter and filled the position of crew chief/station captain. He has been with the Little Rock Fire Department for 6 years and is currently a Firefighter/EMT and is assigned to Rescue 2. His previous assignments were Engine 11 and Truck 11. He is certified as FF1&2, Hazmat Technician, Rescue Technician 1&2, Officer 1 and Instructor 1. Jason is also a member of the Air Force Reserve where he works as a Crash Firefighter and also a member of the Arkansas Task Force One US&R Team.
Jason Blake
Captain Blake is a veteran of the fire service for the past 24 years. He works in Montgomery County (MD) has served aas In-Service Training Coordinator at the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service Fire &; Rescue Training Academy. He has been an H.O.T. Instructor and Speaker at FDIC, Firehouse Expo and other fire service seminars.
Daniel "Boone" Gardiner
Daniel B.C. Gardiner retired as the Chief of Department of Fairfield (CT) Fire-Rescue.He served in all ranks within the department for over 30 years. He is a past President of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association as well as a past President of the ISFSI. For over 20-years he served on the NFPA committee on Professional Qualifications for Fire Officers (NFPA 1021). He currently serves on two NFPA technical committees: Standard for Providing Fire and Emergency Services to the Public (NFPA 1201), and Recommended Practice in Fire and Emergency Services Organization Risk Management (NFPA 1250). Chief Gardiner is a Nationally Certified Fire Officer II and Fire Instructor II. He is a member of the Certified Fire Protection Specialist Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science Technology and has two Master’s Degrees, one in Fire Science and one in Public Administration; all from the University of New Haven, Ct.
Tim Vandermeer
A 13 year veteran of the fire service, Tim is a currently a fire specialist (driver) for the Austin (TX) Fire Department at Fire Station 14 working on both and engine and rescue. He specializes in special operations including rope rescue, water rescue and hazardous materials. He has been with the City of Austin for 10 years.
Tom Winship
Tom began his fire service career in 1987 serving as a firefighter, company and chief officer in a large metropolitan combination fire department. He has been a firefighter with FDNY since 2003, assigned to Squad 288 in Queens. Previously he was assigned to Ladder 55 in the South Bronx. Tom serves on the FDNY Incident Management Team, where he works in the Planning Section. Tom is an Adjunct Instructor at the National Fire Academy and holds Bachelor's Degrees in History and Fire Science and a Masters of Public Administration.
Walt Lewis
Walter Lewis is a 23-year member of the fire service, the last 15 with the Orlando (FL) Fire Department. He recently was promoted to District Chief. He previously served as a Lieutenant/Paramedic on Engine 11 and other positions with OFD including the Training Division and as a member of specialty teams. During his time in the OFD Training Division, he was as an on-scene instructor at a live-fire exercise in Osceola County, Fl where a flashover took the lives of two personnel. From this, state legislation was written requiring all instructors using live fire to complete a 40-hour program to become a Live Fire Training Instructor- a program District Chief Lewis was an integral member of helping develop. He is also a Technical Search Specialist on Florida USAR Task Force 4.
Sarah Radinsky
Sarah started her fire service career as a volunteer in northeastern PA prior to volunteering with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department during college. After obtaining her degree in Emergency Medical Services-Paramedic, Sarah was hired as a Paramedic in 2004 by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD). Assigned to some of the busiest ALS units in the county, Sarah trained new ALS providers from within the department, as well as students from colleges such as University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Sarah gained experience as a field provider thanks to high call volume and her participation in a variety of mass-casualty and high-profile incidents; one of which earned her the Bronze Medal of Valor. Her experience expanded when her role changed from a field medic to an EMS Supervisor (Lieutenant) and Quality Assurance Officer. Sarah retired from PGFD and now is employed at Frederick (MD) Community College.
Jason Walters
Jason is a PA State Fire Instructor and PA Department of Health vehicle rescue instructor. Since 2000, he has been employed as a firefighter with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Department in Hilton Head, SC. He recently was promoted to Battalion Chief. He is a heavy rescue tech, hazmat tech, dive tech with HHIFRD heavily involved with the training division on program development and delivery. He is a SCFA instructor, the Rescue Group Manager with SC-TF1.
Mike Prete
Mike recently retired as the Assistant Fire Chief at Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Services. With nearly 35 years of experience, he served as the Executive Chief. In addition to his role directly relating to fire and rescue operations, he managed daily operational and administrative issues including budget, daily oversight and scheduling for 1100 full time personnel. With national and state instructor certifications, he served as an adjunct instructor for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, NIMS Instructor for MEMA, Anne Arundel Community College adjunct instructor, Practical Incident Control Training lead instructor and holds various certifications in public safety.
Adam Kosheba
Adam has over 30 years in emergency services. He served as a Fire Chief in southeastern PA, was previously employed by the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service and by a large State Police Agency on the East Coast where he commanded the largest Troop in his agency. He currently services as the Director of Public Safety at Paxton Township in Dauphin County, PA. Adam attained a graduate degree in the Administration of Justice with a concentration in Leadership & Administration. He is a recent graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy for Law Enforcement Executives. As a law enforcement officer, Adam has extensive experience in criminal and fire investigations with certifications as a National Pro-Board Fire Investigator and a post-blast investigator. Adam has been assigned key roles in large scale police incidents including the Nickel Mines Amish School Shooting and the manhunt for the killer of a PA State Trooper in 2014.
Arthur Ashley
A firefighter since 1986, Arthur has worked for the City of Lexington, Kentucky for 22 years, assigned to both engine and ladder companies throughout his career. He is currently a Captain assigned to Ladder Company 1 in downtown Lexington. A Kentucky Level II Instructor, Kentucky State Fire School instructor and an adjunct instructor with Lexington Fire Training Academy, he holds many certifications in many areas of fire, rescue and hazmat. Arthur instructs throughout the state of Kentucky and around the country specializing in hands-on training, leadership and crew management. Captain Ashley is co-creator and administrator of Truckie-Talk, a social media based training page focused on sharing training tips and highlighting the rich tradition of the fire service.
Don Headrick
Don is an Assistant Chief with the Greenville (SC) Fire Department. Don began his fire service career with Greenville in 1978 and progressed through the ranks as firefighter, company officer, Batt. Chief and Asst. Chief. He was department training officer for 5 years. He has been a certified fire service instructor since 1987, served on various technical development committees for fire/rescue programs and is Senior Advisor for South Carolinas US&R Team-SC-TF1.
John McLoughlin
John is a 23 year veteran of the fire service, the last 20 in Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fire - Rescue most recently as an Operations Battalion Chief and the Chief of Training. Chief McLoughlin holds a Bachelor's Degree from Saint Thomas University and a Masters Degree from the University of Miami. He has been a Fire Service Instructor for 15 years, teaching firefighting, Special Operations, and EMS. John has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad has served as a private contractor for the Department of Defense. He is Rescue Specialist on USAR Florida Task Force 2. He has been deployed several times including the Haiti Earthquake.
Matt Tobia
Matt is an Assistant Chief in Loudoun County, Virginia where he is largely responsible for support services and volunteer administration. His experience in fire and rescue service spans more than 25 years. He rose through the ranks in the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, located in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. His final assignment was as a Battalion Chief. Chief Tobia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Health Services Management from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Chief Tobia is a contributing editor for Fire-Rescue Magazine, currently serving as their back-page monthly columnist.
Scott Kleinschmidt
Scott Kleinschmidt is a 23 year veteran with the City of Wichita Fire Department currently assigned as the Captain of the city's Rescue Company. Previously serving several years as a Lieutenant on a busy Truck company and prior to that as a Firefighter with the Rescue Co. He is a Rescue Technician/Manager with KSTF-5 regional USAR team and has served on the city/county TRT for the last 20 years. He is a department instructor/coordinator in Truck Company operations and coauthored the departments current SOP’s for Truck Company Operations. He is an adjunct instructor to the departments training division providing recruit instruction and hands on training to suppression companies throughout the city. He provides lecture and hands on training in Truck Company, Rescue Company, and reduced staffed fire ground operations at the local, state, and national level. Scott is a FDIC presenter/lead HOT instructor and contributing author to Fire Engineering magazine.
Kevin Whalen
In August 1993 Kevin was appointed to the NYPD serving in the 63 precinct in Flatbush Brooklyn as a Police Officer. In October 1998 he was promoted to Sergeant working in the 42 and 43 precincts in the South Bronx. Kevin was appointed to the FDNY in November 1999.   As a Firefighter assignments include Hook and Ladder 147 in Flatbush Brooklyn,  Tower Ladder 31 in the South Bronx and Engine 264 in Far Rockaway Queens. Kevin is a Qualified Ladder Company Chauffeur and New York State Instructor. He is a Fire Investigator Level 1 currently assigned as a Fire Marshal in City Wide South Command. This command investigates all fires in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan South of 110th Street to determined Origin and Cause.
Ray Gretz
Ray was recently promoted to Deputy Chief. He previously served as Battalion Chief in the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department's 4th Battalion. He has extensive experience in command, engine and truck company operations. He is in the EFO program at the National Fire Academy and is nearing completion of his master's degree in Homeland Security from Naval Postgraduate School.
Pat Pauly
A 44 year veteran of the fire service, Pat recently retired from the the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy where he worked since 1988. He is a nationally certified Firefighter III, Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor II, and EMT. He has served as a chief officer in the Lewistown (PA) FD. He is the Fire Chief at the West Granville Fire Company in Lewistown, PA.
Jonathan Hart
Jon has been involved in the fire service since 1981, when he joined the Gettysburg (PA) Volunteer Fire Department as a junior member. Jon went on to join the Chillum-Adelphi Volunteer Fire Department in Prince Georges County, Maryland, where he ascended to the rank of Volunteer Chief, a position he held from 2000 – 2004. Jon worked for the Baltimore County Fire Department (MD) from 1987 to 2012. He retired as a Division Chief in Operations, where he commanded a shift of 240 career personnel from 25 fire stations. The Baltimore County Fire Service is a combination system which includes 33 volunteer stations in addition to the career stations. Jon has a bachelor degree in political science and a master degree in policy sciences, both from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is a graduate of the NFA’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He is certified as a Level II Instructor and Fire Officer IV. He currently is the Director of Fire and Rescue Services in Washington County, MD.
Pete Reid
Pete is a Captain with the Bluffton Township (SC) Fire District. He previously served as a Fire Lieutenant and Paramedic with the Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue Department. He is also a practicing attorney admitted to the South Carolina Bar and Registered to Practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Pete began his legal career in 2002 and his emergency service career in 2006. Pete is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Pete is also an IFSAC Hazardous Materials Technician and Nationally Registered Paramedic. Pete has merged his fire and EMS knowledge with his legal knowledge to develop custom training programs for fire and EMS services, and has worked as a consultant for several fire and EMS agencies to develop their documentation, reporting and compliance policies and procedures.
Buster Cooper
Buster Cooper recently retired as a Captain with the Conway (AR) Fire Department. With over 25 years of service, he is a state certified Firefighter I & II, Officer I, and Instructor I He is an adjunct instructor for the Arkansas Fire Academy and lead instructor for their Firefighter Standards Forcible Entry, Ventilation and Firefighter Survival hands-on programs. He has been lead instructor for CFD Fire College and Pulaski County Fire College Forcible Entry, Firefighter Safety & Survival and Ventilation programs and a prior Rescue 3 International Swift Water Instructor. He has been a FDIC classroom instructor for the past three years.
Phil Parr
Phil is a retired Battalion Chief with 25 years’ experience in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). During his tenure with the FDNY he has been assigned to four (4) of the five (5) boroughs allowing him to garner vast operational experience in fire operations and mitigating emergency situations in a variety of circumstances. Chief Parr’s career has allowed him many unique opportunities. He was selected as part of the team to formulate company officers exams (Lieutenant/Captain) and was designated as a Deputy Director at New York City’s Office of Emergency Management and ranking Fire Department member in that organization. Upon his retirement Chief Parr he worked as a FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer where he was designated to lead disaster response and recovery activities for disasters and emergencies declared by the President of the United States.
Steve Schellenberg
A third generation firefighter with the Washington DC FD, Steve served for over 28 years before retiring as a Battalion Fire Chief from the 6th Battalion. With 15 years of Engine Company experience at the ranks of private, technician and Lieutenant, five years of Truck Company experience at the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain and a year of experience in the Rescue Squad at the rank of Sergeant. He is a level II Instructor having served as an adjunct instructor to the Training Division. Steve chaired the Department’s Truck Company SOP’s committee and co-authored the PPV procedures for DCFD.
Pete Lund
Pete died in the line of duty on Tuesday, June 14, 2005. He was working inside the burning attic of a house with the Woodmere Volunteer Fire Company on Long Island, NY. Minutes after putting the fire out and stepping outside for air, he collapsed, the victim of a heart attack. One of the "original" Task Force 1, Inc., instructors, Pete began his career in FDNY in 1973. He served as a firefighter in Rescue 2, a LT at Rescue 3 from 1984 to 1995 and LT at Rescue 2 from 1995 to 2003. He also served on NYTF-1, FEMA, USAR from 1994 to 2003.
Mick Mayers
Mick Mayers recently retired as the Deputy Chief of Operations with the Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire and Rescue Department and a Deputy Director of the South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force’s Urban Search and Rescue Program (SC-TF1). Chief Mayers began his emergency service career in Bridgeport, PA in 1980. Chief Mayers is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and holds a degree in Fire Science Technology from Savannah Technical Institute. In addition to instructor certifications in emergency management and technical rescue, he maintains professional certifications as a chief fire officer, hazardous materials technician, and paramedic. Chief Mayers is a co-founder of the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance, a consortium of US&R teams from over 40 states and served as the first Board Vice-Chairman.  Chief Mayers is also the Chairman of NFPA 1006, Professional Qualifications for Rescue Technicians and is a Principal Member of the NFPA Professional Qualifications Technical Correlating Committee.  He is an author and consultant, as well as hosting his popular blog at
Chuck Wehrli
Chuck Wehrli is a fourth generation firefighter. He starting out as a volunteer in 1971, fulltime starting in 1977 and retiring in 2006 from the Naperville (IL) Fire Department. During his career he has been the Supervisor for Fire Investigation, Engine and Truck Officer, Alternate Shift Commander and Technical Rescue Team Coordinator. He is a National Fire Academy Instructor and specializes in Tactics and Strategy, ICS, NIMS, Leadership, Structural Collapse and Trench Collapse. He is a former FEMA US&R Safety Officer for MOTF-1 and was deployed to “Ground Zero” on Sept 11, 2001. He also is a founding member of State Urban Search and Rescue Alliances and serves as one of the Board of Directors. He is also a member of the NFPA 1006 committee on Technical Rescue.
Dan Sheridan
Dan Sheridan is a 30 year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, currently assigned to the sixth division as a Battalion Chief. He is a National Instructor II. He is a member of the FDNY IMT. He has written numerous articles for Fire Engineering as well as a monthly column for the Fire Engineering web site. He authored the chapter in the new Fire Engineering Essentials Book on Forcible Entry. He travels throughout Latin America lecturing and teaching firefighting essentials. He is also a FDIC HOT instructor/lecturer.
Andrew Starnes
Andy is a second generation firefighter with over 24 years of experience in the fire service. He is a Battalion Chief with the Charlotte (NC) Fire Department. He is passionate about teaching, encouraging and supporting up and coming firefighters with biblically principled messages on where to draw our strength from and why living a God centered life is extremely rewarding. Andy believes to be a great firefighter & leader, we need to be more than one dimensional. Firefighting tactics are important and great, but not enough to be a great servant leader. Andy is a Level II instructor with an associate degree of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology. He is very knowledgeable on modern fire behavior and also serves as a member of Kill the Flashover Project and the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. Andy and his wife Sarah reside in Charlotte, NC with their daughter Emma.
Chris Bedard
A fire service veteran of 18 years, Chris worked in FDNY's Engine 88 in the Bronx for his first six years. After six years on the engine, he worked at Ladder 38, also in the Bronx, for 7 years. He served as a Lieutenant for the past 3 years in Brooklyn at Ladder 107 in East New York. Lt. Bedard was involved in the PSS (bail out) system that the FDNY uses to this day with Captain Hayes of Ladder 38 and also Captain Tommy Dolan of Ladder 175 in Brooklyn. Chris recently retired from FDNY.
Scott Flowers
Scott is the Safety and Security Director at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Raleigh, NC. He served with multiple law enforcement agencies including 16 years with the Chapel Hill Police Department where he also served as a Police Academy Instructor. He is an active shooter experienced instructor.
Luke Manion
Luke Manion began his career with the Houston Fire Department in 2001. He spent the first 8 years of his career assigned to Station 18, serving much of that time on Tower 18. In 2009, he tested for and earned a spot on HFD’s Technical Rescue Team. He was then assigned Rescue 42, where he currently serves on the B-Shift. Rescue 42 is one of HFD’s three dedicated heavy rescue trucks, with each truck covering one-third of Houston’s 654 square miles. Additionally, the team responds to surrounding Counties for large-scale rescue incidents and helicopter operations. Luke received much of his training in Technical Rescue Operations (USAR, High-Angle, Collapse, Trench, Confined Space, Rigging, Heavy-Vehicle Extrication, Machinery Entrapment, Helicopter and Swiftwater Rescue) through various agencies. He is certified as a Texas Commission on Fire Protection Instructor I, Structural Collapse Technician (Level II) and IAFF Fireground Survival Instructor. Luke specializes in teaching Technical Rescue Operations, Truck Company Operations, Large-Area Search, Fireground Survival and Rapid Intervention Team Operations. In addition, he is currently serving his 3rd term as Director, Position 6 and Health & Safety Committee Chairman for the Houston Professional Firefighters Association, Local 341.
Richard Kolomay
Rick Kolomay is a second generation firefighter starting his career in 1979 spanning 37 years as a career firefighter. Working 23 years with the Schaumburg (IL) FD as a firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, lieutenant, captain, and acting battalion chief assigned to engine and truck companies, however, a majority of his career was on a heavy rescue responsible for firefighting, Special Operations (High-Angle Rescue, Collapse, Trench, Confined Space, Rigging Operations) and Haz-Mat Technician incidents locally, within MABAS Division 1, and Statewide response. In 2008, he was promoted to deputy chief with the Carol Stream FD (just south of Schaumburg) and in 2010 became fire chief. He was also the Task Force Leader for MABAS Division 12 and had responded on disaster task force incidents. Throughout his career, Rick has instructed for community colleges, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, the Illinois Society of Fire Instructors, the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Firehouse Expo/World, FDIC, and County Fire Tactics / HROC. He has had the experience of instructing major cities and states such as Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio, Burlington, Sacramento, Dayton, Austin, Ft. Worth, St. Paul, Alameda Cty CA, Oakland, Chicago, San Jose, Tucson, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, State of Massachusetts, and the State of Illinois in firefighter rescue and company officer operations. Presently retired from active service, Rick instructs with the Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Association (NIPSTA), Romeoville (IL) Fire (Regional) Fire Academy, the Illinois Fire Service Institute, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, and Fire Training Resources, Inc. In 2003 Rick co-authored a best-selling book, Firefighter Rescue & Survival (PennWell Publishing). He was a IDPH Paramedic, received an Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration. He presently instructs and consults in the areas of leadership, fireground strategy & tactics, and consults in line officer and chief officer development. Rick is from a generational family of firefighters; his father and two uncles were members of the Chicago Fire Department, and his son Brandon is the 3rd generation who is also a Chicago firefighter.
Gary Carter
Gary Carter has over 23 years of law enforcement experience and is currently employed by a large State Police Agency on the East Coast. Gary is currently a Troop commander where he hold the the rank of Captain. Gary has held various positions within the State Police. Gary has experience in Patrol Operations and extensive experience in Criminal Investigations. Gary is a Firearms Instructor and a Crisis Intervention Team Instructor. Gary has supervised numerous Criminal Investigation Units and Specialty Positions to include criminal investigators, forensic services, fire marshals, polygraph operators, criminal investigative intelligence officers and vice/ narcotics officers. Gary also served as a member of the Special Emergency Response Team for approximately 12 years. Gary served in numerous positions including Team Leader and Coordinator for the Eastern Tactical Team. Gary also held many certifications while on the team to include firearms instructor, less lethal/ chemical agent instructor and clan lab response team member. Gary also held the position of Section Commander for the Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations at which time he was the commander of the Special Emergency Response Tactical Teams and Negotiation Units, Hazardous Device and Explosives Section and the State Narcotics and Explosive Detection Canine Teams. Gary has an undergraduate degree from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College).
Jason Joannides

Jason Joannides is a 19-year veteran of the fire service and currently holds the rank of Captain of Training with the Lexington County Fire Service. Previously, he was assigned to Columbia Fire Dept, Truck Company 7. His primary responsibilities include the acquired building program, Ladder Academy, command simulations, shift training officer duties, and research and development. Jason has taught at numerous conferences to include: SAFRE, MAFFC, and FDIC. Jason is married to his beautiful wife, Candice, of 12 years with two children Rhett and Julia Grace.

Mike Torres
Mike is veteran member of the Chicago Fire Department. He instructs regularly instruct a wide array of training topics not in Chicago but in various venues across the country. Mike specializes in vehicle rescue and truck company operations.
Mo Davis

Maurice "Mo" Davis is a 25-year veteran with the city of Houston Fire Department, currently assigned to D-68 as a District Chief, the busiest chief car in the city. Previously he served as a Senior Captain on a heavy rescue, one of three rescue trucks for the city of Houston. He also spent much of his career as a senior captain on L-46 one of the top five busiest trucks in Houston and served as a Captain on E-46 the leader in the city in working fires and responses. Mo served as a training officer for the Houston Fire Department, he also served as a district training officer to new hires. While he specializes in technical rescue, his passion is sharing leadership, strategy and tactics information with new and upcoming officers. He had served an adjunct professor at San Jacinto Jr. College in the fire protection division. Currently holds a MS degree from University of Houston.

Nathan Bates
Nathan started his fire career in 2009 with the League City Volunteer Fire Department (TX) where he is currently the lieutenant of Tower 3. In 2011 Nathan hired on with the Houston Fire Department and is currently an Engineer/Operator at Station 21. Nathan has spent all of his career with Houston Fire Department in Districts 21 and 28 covering the areas around the Texas Medical Center and the Houston Galleria respectively. Before going into the fire service Nathan worked in private industry responding to toxicological emergencies (chemical plant fires/explosions, train derailments, and oil spills in populated areas) across North America.
Jeff Eckert
Jeff is a native of Philadelphia. He works for the Philadelphia Fire Department and is a member of Pennsylvania's Urban Search and Rescue Team, PA Task Force 1. Jeff teaches a wide array of programs topics include vehicle and machinery rescue, RIT, Truck and Engine Company Operations. He currently is assigned to Squad 72, the busiest company in Philadelphia.
Eric Dreiman

Eric is as veteran  of the Indianapolis Fire Department with over 20 years on the job. He currently serves as Division Chief for Training. Prior to this assignment Eric served on various companies throughout the city. A passionate instructor, he has instructed thousands of student across the country teach at FDIC, Firehouse Expo and Work and other training events.  His interests lie within  truck and engine company operations, RIT and firefighter survival.

Gabriel Salas

Since 2003, Gabriel Salas serves proudly as a Fire Fighter and EMT for the Philadelphia Fire Department. As a 15 year veteran, Gabe has been part of special operations for 12 of those years, specifically with Squad 72. As an assigned member to the squad company, he has extensive experience in rope, confined space, water, and collapse rescue. In addition, Gabe is a Hazmat Technician and part of FEMA PA-TF1.  His roles with FEMA are Rescue specialist and Heavy Rigging specialist.

Daniel "Cameron" Day

Daniel "Cameron" Day works for the Houston Fire Department. A native of Michigan and Army veteran, he previously worked for Charleston Fire Department in Charleston, S.C. He studied at Augusta Technical. He is passionate about truck and engine company work.

Marc Davidson

Marc has worked served at the Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Service in 1995. He has held various positions currently serving as the Officer Development Training Coordinator. A  Marine Corps veteran, Marc has a passion for Truck Company operations and leadership training. He has had several articles published and has presented nationally at FDIC, FRI and Firehouse Expo.


Anthony Rowett
Anthony is a Captain with the City of Mobile AL) Fire Department. Hailing from New Jersey, Anthony has spent his career honing his engine company skills for nearly 15 years. Sharing his experience across the country, he is dedicated to sound, effective engine company operations.
Andrew Nimmo
Andy is in his 28th year of being a part of the fire service starting out as a volunteer firefighter advancing to his current position of Deputy Chief of the Joplin (Mo)) Fire Department. He thrives on the opportunities to train and teach other firefighters and leaders. He has a passion for leadership/management training, critical incident stress awareness, and Mayday management and rapid intervention team practices.
Matt Kings

Matt began his work as a firefighter in Escambia County, FL in 2004. He then joined the U.S. Navy and was deployed in 2009 and 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2012 he was hired at Bryant, AR Fire Department  and worked there for a brief amount of time before accepting a position with Little Rock Fire Department in 2013. Within Little Fire Department, he has been assigned to engine companies in the downtown and midtown area of the city. He spent the past 4 years assigned to Truck Co. #1, a tiller truck that serves the downtown area. He current is assigned to an engine company.