F.I.E.R.O. Fire PPE Symposium

2019 Presenters

Presenter are subject to change prior to the symposium.

For a detailed symposium schedule, please visit the schedule page. For details on each presentation, please visit the topics page.

David Bernzweig
Director of Health & Safety

Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters

Battalion Chief

Columbus Fire Department

140 E. Town St., Suite 1225
Columbus, OH 43215
Ph: 614-774-7446

David Bernzweig

Chief Bernzweig started his career with the Columbus Fire Department in 1997 and has risen through the ranks to his current assignment as a Battalion Chief. He was the Department's Safety Officer from 2014-2016. He began his fire service career in 1986, having served the Chesterland VFD (Chesterland, OH) the Clinton Townnship Division of Fire (Columbus, OH) and the Jackson Township Fire Department (Grove City, OH).

Chief Bernzweig is actively involved in many fire service organizations. He has been the Director of Health and Safety for the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters since 2014. Other involvement includes:

  • Member of NFPA Technical Committee for Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health (2010 to present); serving as a Task Group Chair for NFPA 1500, 1521 and 1584
  • Member of NFPA Technical Committee for Respirator Protective Equipment (2004 to present)
  • Member of NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation's Project Panels:
    • Analysis of Fire Fighter Eating and Sleeping Patterns
    • Validation of Cleaning Procedures for Fire Fighter PPE
    • Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control
  • Member if the IAB (Interagency Board)
  • Member of the FDIC Advisory Board (2006 to present)
  • Member of the NFPA Fire Service Section Executive Board (2018 to present)

Chief Bernzweig is active in IAFF Local 67, having served as an officer and trustee. He has presented at many conferences and received numerous service awards.

Chief Bernzweig has received two BA degrees: An Economics degree and a Political Science degree--both from Ohio State University.

Chris Case
Assistant Chief

Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services
5 Second Street
Chatham, Ontario, N7M5X2
Ph: 519-436-3270

Chris Case

Chief Case has been an operational officer for 27 years. He spent 25 years in the UK in Merseyside Fire & Rescue (Liverpool, England) working in operations, training, administration and then became a Divisional Officer (Battalion Chief) working on joint (Special) operations.

Chief Case created Europe's first fire and explosives crime team combining Police, Fire and Counter-Terrorist personnel to deal with an emerging threat from the criminal use of explosives. He expanded this team to create a joint agency crime team with a wider remit of tackling arson, explosives safety, attacks on firefighters, low-level crime and public order.

In 2016, Chief Case moved to Canada to become the Operations Chief for Chatham-Kent Fire in South West Ontario.

Additional appointments included as a Trustee and Director of the Royal Armouries (Her Majesties Collection of Arms and Armour) with special responsibility for the UK National Firearms Centre. He continues to hold visiting lecture positions at the UK Fire Service College and a number of UK Universities on joint operations and risk management.

Chief Case has a Master's of Science Degree from the University of Bedfordshire and a Diploma in Hazardous Materials Command from the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He is a Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators, The International Association of Arson Investigators and a Fellow of the Institute of Explosives Engineers.

Derrick Chapman
Fire Captain

Los Angeles County Fire Department
504 W Avenida de Los Lobos Marinos
San Clemente, CA 92672
Ph: 949-923-0067

Derrick Chapman

Captain Derrick Chapman has been a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 20 years. He is currently a Fire Captain assigned to a Truck Company.

Captain Chapman is responsible for the R&D of turnouts, structure gloves and structure hoods. As a co-coordinator of the department;s equipment development committee, he has assisted in the development of the wear trial standard utilized by his Department's Equipment Development Committee (EDC).

Captain Chapman has been a member of the EDC for over 15 years and recently was involved in the materials testing, wear trail and redesign of the Southern California Area Personal Protective Equipment Consortium (SCAPPEC) turnout specification that is used by Los Angeles City, Ventura County and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. He was previously responsible for nozzles, appliances, forcible entry tools and high rise firefighting equipment.

Chad Christensen

Los Angeles County Fire Department
33094 Red Rock Cir
Menifee, CA 92584
Ph: 951-285-3001

Chad Christensen

Captain Chad Christensen has been a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 19 years. He is currently a Fire Captain assigned to operations.

Captain Christensen is responsible for the R&D of turnouts, structure gloves and structure hoods. As a co-coordinator of the department's equipment development committee, he has developed the wear trail standard utilized by the Departments Equipment Development Committee (EDC).

Captain Christensen has been a member of the EDC for over 8 years and recently was involved in the materials testing, wear trail and redesign of the Southern California Area Personal Protective Equipment Consortium (SCAPPEC) turnout specification that is used by Los Angeles City, Ventura County and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. He is also a member of the UL-FSRI Coordinated Attack technical panel and was a member of the UL-FSRI Fire Attack technical panel. He has taught HOT classes at FDIC, Firehouse Expo and Firehouse World for the last 4 years.

Michelle K. Donnelly
Fire Protection Engineer

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Fire Research Division
100 Bureau Dr, Stop 8661
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Ph: 301-975-6480

Michelle K. Donnelly

Michelle K. Donnelly is a fire protection engineer in the Fire Research Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of Maryland College Park, and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

As a researcher in NIST's Fire Fighting Technology Group, Michelle is currently studying the effects of high temperature environments on fire fighter equipment. Her previous work at NIST includes measuring fire signatures, investigating refrigerant flammability, and measuring the effectiveness of flame suppressants. She participated in the World Trade Center Fire Safety Investigation and the Station Nightclub Fire Investigation.

In 2008, Michelle received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award. She is also a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Electronic Safety Equipment.

Crystal D. Forester
Research Chemist

National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL)
1095 Willowdale Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
Ph: 304-285-5999

Crystal D. Forester

Crystal began her chemistry career in an environmental wastewater testing laboratory in 1992. In 2001 she came to NIOSH and has worked on many successful projects involving indoor air investigations. Her background in water and gas-phase chemistry and experience with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry has allowed for a smooth transition to textile chemistry involving turn-out gear.

Crystal is a graduate of West Virginia University for both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in chemistry. Recently she has worked on a collaborative project with the Fire Protection Research Foundation entitled "How Clean is Clean" where she developed laboratory contamination and extraction procedures for semi-volatile organic chemicals from outer shell fabrics. Currently, she is currently working on a second collaborative effort with FPRF and with Jay Tarley to continue laundering effectiveness on structural and wildland gear.

Casey C. Grant, P.E.
Executive Director

Fire Protection Research Foundation
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169
Ph: 617-984-7284

Casey C. Grant, P.E.

Casey Grant is the Executive Director for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, both in Fire Protection Engineering, and he is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of California and Tennessee.

Casey is a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a Fellow in the Institute of Fire Engineers, and has one fire protection related U.S. patent.

Prior to joining the Research Foundation in 2007, Casey was the Secretary of the NFPA Standards Council and Assistant Chief Engineer, where his responsibilities include oversight for the approximate 300 NFPA codes and standards.

Lee A. Greenawald
Physical Scientist

National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL)
1095 Willowdale Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
Ph: 304-285-5932

Lee A. Greenawald

Lee A. Greenawald, Ph.D. is a Physical Scientist with the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She received her B.S. in Forensic Chemistry from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from West Virginia University. She has worked with NPPTL for 7 years.

Lee's initial experience involved conducting a variety of respirator certification tests as part of NIOSH's Respirator Approval Program. She has since conducted research on developing inexpensive end-of-service-life indicating technology for toxic gases, evaluating stockpiled personal protective equipment (PPE), analyzing chemical contaminants exposed to fire fighters, and evaluating performance of various types of PPE against agents of interest.

Craig A. Haigh
Fire Chief

Hanover Park Fire Department & University of Illinois Fire Service Institute
6850 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, IL 60133
Ph: 630-823-5801

Craig A. Haigh

Craig A. Haigh, is a 35-year veteran of the fire service, is chief of the Hanover Park (IL) Fire Department and a field staff instructor with the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute.

He has managed volunteer, combination and career departments, served as Interim Village Manger, implemented intermediate and paramedic services and is a frequent partner with the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute's Firefighter Life Safety Research Center and the Skidmore College First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory. He is a published author and a national speaker.

He has a BS degree in fire and safety engineering and an MS degree in executive fire service leadership. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, is a nationally certified paramedic and an accredited Chief Fire Officer and is a member of the Institute of Fire Engineers. He was named the 2012 Illinois Career Fire Chief of the Year.

Gavin Horn
Director of Research

IFSI Research University of Illinois Fire Service Institute
11 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Ph: 217-265-6563

Gavin Horn

Gavin Horn has served as the Director of IFSI Research since August 2004, after receiving his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests lie in the areas of firefighter health and safety and First Responder technology development. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and given presentations at professional conferences around the world.

Gavin is a member of NFPA's Technical Committees on Special Operations Clothing & Equipment and Fundamentals of Fire Control within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Board for UL's Firefighter Safety Research Institute.

Gavin also serves as a firefighter/engineer with the Savoy (IL) Fire Department.

Jim Juneau
Founding Partner

Juneau, Boll, Stacy & Ucherek, PLLC
15301 Spectrum Drive Suite 300
Addison, TX 75001
Ph: 972-866-8333

Jim Juneau

Mr. Juneau is a Dallas, Texas board-certified trial lawyer who has specialized in cases involving products liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Sciences from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Alabama. He has been recognized as a "Texas Super-Lawyer" by Texas Monthly magazine, a "Dallas' Best" trial lawyer by D Magazine, and he was inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in recognition of his many multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements.

Over his 35-year legal career, he has developed a special expertise in fire apparatus, firefighting equipment and PPE, and he has handled many serious injury and death cases involving such products. In addition to maintaining an active private law practice, he currently serves as a principal member of the NFPA Apparatus Technical Committee and the NFPA Technical Committee on Ambulances, which committees write the recognized national design and safety standards for U.S. fire apparatus and ground ambulances. Mr. Juneau is the designated legal counsel to the Fire Apparatus Manufacturer's Association, and to the Fire & Emergency Manufacturers' and Services Association. Mr. Juneau's many articles on fire apparatus safety and design have been published in numerous fire service magazines, and he has been interviewed on TV, radio and web-based programs discussing fire apparatus design and firefighter safety issues. He is a frequent speaker to professional fire service organizations regarding apparatus design, firefighter safety, personal protective equipment, liability, leadership and related topics, and he presents his "Arrive Alive" training programs to firefighters and fire service professionals across the United States and Canada.

Before becoming a trial lawyer, Mr. Juneau served briefly as a deputy sheriff and narcotics investigator in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a PADI certified SCUBA instructor, divemaster and rescue diver, and an IANTD certified technical diver. He holds a current FAA commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. He serves as an Angel Flight command pilot, voluntarily providing free air transportation to medical patients, and their families, when medical care is required in locations distant from the patient's home. He also serves as a volunteer pilot with the Homeland Security Emergency Air Transportation System, providing emergency disaster-relief air transportation services.

Richard Kesler
Research Scientist

IFSI Research at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute
11 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Ph: 217-300-6141

Richard Kesler

Richard Kesler is a member of the IFSI Research team at the Illinois Fire Service Institute. His research focuses on biomechanics, health, and physical performance, specifically examining the physiological demands of firefighting activity and the impact of firefighting equipment on the firefighter.

Richard is also a volunteer firefighter with the Savoy Fire Department and is the head of physical training for the Illinois Fire Service Institute's Basic Operations Firefighter Academy. He is a PhD student in the University of Illinois' Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research group, examining the effects of firefighting on muscle protein remodeling, repair, and recovery.

Dan Madrzykowski, Phd., P.E.
Research Engineer

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
6200 Old Dobbin Lane, Suite 150
Columbia, MD 21045
Ph: 301-252-8914

Dan Madrzykowski, Phd., P.E.

Dr. Daniel Madrzykowski is a research engineer with the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. He has been conducting research in the areas of fire suppression, fire investigation, and fire fighter safety for more than 32 years.

Dan is a member of the NFPA and serves on the technical committees for Fire Service Training, Structural Fire Fighting, and Fire Investigation. He is a member of the ISFSI and co-developed the "Understanding and Fighting Basement Fires" training course. He was named ISFSI Instructor of the Year in 2009.

Dan holds the rank of Honorary Battalion Chief with the FDNY and received the IFSTA Granito Award for Excellence in Fire Leadership in 2012. In 2013, He was invited to the White House in honor of receiving a Service to America Medal. He received a President's Award from the IAFC for his firefighting research in 2014 and in 2016 developed on-line training programs for IAFC on Fire Dynamics and Firefighting Research.

Dan earned his BS and MS from the University of Maryland and his PhD in Fire Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

Dr. Meredith McQuerry
Assistant Professor

Florida State University
344 West Call Street 236 Sandels Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1492
Ph: 850-644-6838

Dr. Meredith McQuerry

Dr. Meredith McQuerry is an Assistant Professor in the Retail Entrepreneurship program at Florida State University (FSU). She completed her doctorate in Textile Technology Management at North Carolina State University in the College of Textiles, where she worked in the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC)—January 2014-August 2016. While at TPACC, Dr. McQuerry worked on FEMA/DHS AFG sponsored projects to reduce heat strain and improve the physiological comfort of structural firefighters.

Her current research focuses on engineering better performing PPE for firefighters, industrial workers, and athletes. She collaborates with many major fire service PPE manufacturers and component suppliers. Dr. McQuerry's work has been published in Fire Technology, Fire Engineering, Textile Research Journal, Applied Ergonomics, and Journal of Testing and Evaluation. Her research on ventilation in structural turnouts received the 2016 J.W. Weaver Paper of the Year Award from the AATCC Journal of Research.

Dr. McQuerry also holds a master's degree and two undergraduate degrees from the Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles program at the University of Kentucky (UK). She has six years of experience as a Senior Lab Technician and Supervisor of the Textile Testing Laboratory at UK. She is Six Sigma Green Belt certified and has experience attaining ISO A2LA Lab Certification.

Dr. McQuerry recently completed an NFPA FPRF funded project. She is the recipient of the 2018 FSU Undergraduate Research Mentor Award and a former F.I.E.R.O. PPE Symposium presenter.

Jeremy Metz
Division Chief

West Metro Fire Rescue
433 S Allison Parkway
Lakewood, CO 80226
Ph: 303-961-5337

Jeremy Metz

Chief Jeremy Metz has been in the fire service for over 25 years and currently serves as Division Chief of EMS for the West Metro Fire Rescue in Lakewood (CO). He is the chair of the NFPA Technical Committee on Special Operations Protective Clothing and Equipment which oversees the revision of NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Clothing Elements.

Chief Metz is also the co-chair of his department's PPE strategic planning team and responsible for PPE, uniform, and safety equipment specifications. He is a graduate from the Executive Fire Officer Program (2017) at the National Fire Academy. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration from Colorado State University in 2008.

Ritch Moore

Cary Fire Department
100 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC 27511
Ph: 919-896-2292

Ritch Moore

Captain Ritch Moore manages the PPE project for a 250+ person fire department that is one of the only departments in the region that handles its own advanced inspections and in-house repairs on PPE.

Captain Moore has been with Cary for 20 years and been managing the PPE program for over 8 years. He is also a member of the Wake County PPE Consortium that develops PPE specs for the members of all Wake County Departments, Town of Cary, City of Raleigh, City of Fayetteville, Town of Chapel Hill, and the City of Concord.

Dr. R. Bryan Ormond
Assistant Professor

N.C. State University Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC)
1020 Main Campus Drive Campus Box 8301
Raleigh, NC 27695
Ph: 919-524-1569

Dr. R. Bryan Ormond

As a researcher in the Textile Protection and Comfort (TPACC) over the past 11 years, Dr. Ormond has focused on developing test methods, standards, equipment, and ensembles for first responders to address protection from chemical, particulate, and thermal hazards. His doctoral research with TPACC focused on developing N.C. State's Man-in-Stimulate-Test Facility to evaluate the whole ensemble protection provided by hazmat ensembles.

Dr. Ormond has secured numerous grants and contracts with federal and industrial agencies and organizations to develop protective equipment such as a novel chem/bio sock liner system, an NFPA 1994 ruggedized Class 2 ensemble, and a smoke resistant turnout ensemble to address the cancer concerns in the fire service. Currently, he has an AFG grant to study the protective hood from all angles--specifically the particulate protection and thermal burden.

Jim Reidy

San Antonio Fire Department
2914 Meadow Thrush
San Antonio, TX 78231
Ph: 210-313-9695

Jim Reidy

Jim Reidy is a Lieutenant in the San Antonio Fire Department assigned to Ladder 46 with 31 years on the job. Currently, he functions as Quartermaster over Firefighting protective clothing for SAFD. He is the chair of the SAFD Firefighting PPE Committee, is a member of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Firefighter Advisory Committee, and represents the Texas State Association of Firefighters on the NFPA 1971 and 1851 committee. He is also a South Texas representative for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

Josh Simpson
Battalion Chief

Concord Fire Department
100 Warren C. Coleman Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027

Executive Board Member, Education and Outreach,
NC Firefighter Cancer Alliance
1166 N. Oak Ridge Road
Oakboro, NC 28129
Ph: 704-622-7114

Josh Simpson

Battalion Chief Josh Simpson has 22 years of fire service experience. This includes 15 years at Concord Fire Department and 11 years as a fire service instructor. He has taught cancer awareness and prevention for 9 years. He previously served 4 years as Safety Officer for Concord Fire and has co-chaired the SCBA evaluation and selection team. He has also authored several CFD SOGs.

Chief Simpson has an A.A.S. degree in Fire Protection Technology from Central Piedmont Community College and a B.S. degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration from Fayetteville State University.

Denise Smith
Director & Professor

Skidmore College First Responder Health & Safety Laboratory
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Ph: 518-580-5360

Denise Smith

Dr. Smith is a Professor of Health and Human Physiological Sciences and the Tisch Family Distinguished Professor. She also serves as Director of the First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory.

Dr. Smith earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in exercise physiology and has coauthored an Exercise Physiology textbook and an Advanced Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology textbook. She has also published more than 70 scientific peer-reviewed articles and been awarded over $10 million in research funding from FEMA-AFG, DHS S&T, NIOSH and DOD.

Dr. Smith is a leading researcher in cardiovascular health in the fire service and has led multiple projects investigating the role of technology in improving firefighter health and safety. She received the Dr. John Granito Award for Excellence in Fire Service Leadership and Management Research, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, serves on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health Committee, is on the Advisory Board for the Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute, and regularly conducts fatality investigations for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Andy Starnes
Battalion Chief

Charlotte Fire Department

Insight Training, LLC
205 Belvedere Ave. Shelby, NC 28150
Ph: 704-507-7156

Joe Starnes

Andy is a lifelong student of the fire service and has been involved with the fire service as a volunteer since 1992 and as a career firefighter since 1998. He is a fire service website contributor on the topics of thermal imaging, fire behavior, leadership, behavioral health, and faith-based devotions.

Andy is also the founder of www.bringingbackbrotherhood.org, a nonprofit organization designed to encourage and provides guidance for firefighters in the area of behavioral health, counseling, and more. He serves on the CISM team, peer support team, and assists members within his own department in the area of behavioral health.

He is passionate about Fire Behavior and assisting in instructing others on understanding the complex terminology of modern fire behavior on a regular basis.

Andy has been featured on numerous podcasts: Firefighter Wellness radio from Fire Engineering, The Firefighter Training Podcast, The Firefighter Podcast, Firefighter ToolBox, and most recently on the 5-Alarm Task Force podcast. He has presented tactical thermal imaging courses at numerous fire service conferences across the US, Germany, Canada, and Poland.

Andy's work and curriculum are now in use in the From Knowledge To Practice program in Ottawa Canada and has written in the subject of Thermal Imaging in Euro Firefighter 2, and numerous fire service publications (Fire Engineering, Fire House, Fire Apparatus Magazine, & International Firefighter Magazine).

Andy currently serves as a Battalion Chief with the Charlotte Fire Department and is the founder of Insight Training LLC which is internationally recognized for thermal imaging training and education. He also serves as the Deputy Chief for KTF Burns Division, and holds a Level II Thermography Certification, consults & teaches in the areas of Tactical Thermal Imaging. He is a certified NC Fire Officer III and has a bachelor's degree in Fire Science Administration.

Jeffrey O. Stull

International Personnel Protection
P.O. Box 92493
Austin, TX 78709
Ph: 512-288-8272

Jeffrey O. Stull

Jeff was an officer in the Coast Guard from 1979-1988. During his service, he was assigned to the Office of Research and Development and was responsible for managing PPE projects. From 1988 to 1993, he was President and Program Manager TRI/Environmental where he led several PPE projects and ran the PPE laboratory.

In 1993, he formed his own company, International Personnel Protection, Inc. As President of the company, he has been heavily involved on PPE for emergency responders. He is an active member of several NFPA Technical Committees that develop PPE standards.

Jeff's awards include:

  • Coast Guard Commendation medal (1987)
  • ASTM Award of Merit (1999)
  • NFPA Service Award (2007)

Jeff's education includes: a BS degree in Physical Science from the Coast Guard Academy in 1979; an MS degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1983; and, an MS degree in Engineering Management from Catholic University in 1988.

Rick Swan

Wildland Fire Fighting Safety & Response
1750 New York Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Ph: 202-824-8631

Rick Swan

Rick Swan is responsible to provide technical support for IAFF legislative, administrative and research actions on Urban Interface/Wildland firefighting issues that advance fire fighter health & safety, training, and working conditions.

Rick is responsible for the administration and coordination of IAFF representative for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The IAFF has more than 60 representatives on over 40 committees working on over 120 documents. He also represents the IAFF on many NFPA, and International Organization of Standards (ISO) Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment committees and several current DHS/FEMA PPE research programs.

Rick retired as a CAL FIRE Deputy Chief with 33 years of experience. He started as a Firefighter and has Program experience in Operations, Aviation, Camp, Paramedic and the Fire Marshal. He was responsible for 22 fire stations, over 500 paid and volunteer fire fighters.

Rick has over 25 years as a union leader for CAL FIRE Local 2881 representing the more than 6000 men and women of CAL FIRE, reaching the position of General Vice President. He represented the union on many CAL FIRE PPE and Safety committees.

Jay Tarley
Jay Tarley

National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL)
1095 Willowdale Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
Ph: 304-285-5858

Jay Tarley

Jay Tarley has been a Physical Scientist, National Personal Protection Laboratory since 2014. During this time, he has focused on SCBA and PPE Evaluations. Prior to that, he was a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist in Division of Safety Research and a Fire Fighter Fatality Investigator from 2001 to 2014.

Jay is a member of the following NFPA technical committees:

  • NFPA 1500
  • NFPA 1981
  • NFPA 1971
  • NFPA 1977

Jay is also a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Equipment Technology Committee.

In 2013, Jay received the Bullard-Sherwood Award for "Enhancing the Performance of Fire Fighter Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Face Piece Lenses". His publications also include:

  • "Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters by Establishing Collapse Zones at Structure Fires", DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2014-120
  • "NIOSH Alert: Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters using Risk Management Principles at Structure Fires", DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2010-153
  • "Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program: Leading Recommendations for Preventing Fire Fighter Fatalities, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2009-100
  • "Preventing Deaths and Injuries of Fire Fighters Working Above Fire-Damaged Floors", DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2009-114
  • "Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in Acquired Structures", DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2005-102
  • "Divers Beware: Training Dives Present Serious Hazards to Fire Fighters", DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-152

Keith Tyson
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (ret.)
VP Education, Research & Outreach

Firefighter Cancer Support Network
10217 SW Fernwood Avenue
Port St. Lucie, FL 34987
Ph: 786-351-3276

Keith Tyson

Keith Tyson, retired from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in 2008, after serving 34 years as a Paramedic/Firefighter, and within 6 months of retirement, was diagnosed with both prostate cancer as well as several skin cancer issues. He immediately began researching different cancer issues in the fire service, only to find alarming rates of cancer not only in his home agency, but in other departments as well.

In 2009, he formed the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Florida Chapter (FCSN), where is currently serves as the State Director as well as the Vice President for Education, Research and Outreach for the national Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

He was actively involved in the 2103 White Paper developed by the FCSN, "Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service" which was lauded as "one of the most significant documents to be published for the fire service in this decade" by Janet Wilmoth of Fire Chief Magazine.

He has taught his "Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service", an "on-duty" class to thousands of firefighters across the country. This is a class that no one "thinks" they want to listen to, or need, but for those that do attend, they immediately change the way they do "business." The class has been extremely well received by the newest, as well as the most senior, members of every department.

He is actively involved with the Florida Professional Firefighters in gathering data to work towards a firefighter cancer presumption law for Florida's firefighters and has submitted some of his own personal research to national research centers, such as the University Of Miami.

Andrea Wilkinson
Project Manager

First Responder Health & Safety Laboratory
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Exercise Physiologist
St. Peter's Hospital, CVICU
Albany, New York

Ph: 518-580-8043

Andrea Wilkinson

Andrea Wilkinson is the Project Manager for the First Responder Health & Safety Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Denise Smith at Skidmore College. Prior to starting her work with Dr. Smith, she spent nine years at Alfred University, serving as the Head Athletic Trainer and Clinical Coordinator for Sports Medicine. She continues to serve as an adjunct instructor for Alfred University. \

Andrea attended The University of Akron where she earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Sports Medicine for Athletic Training and Exercise Science as well as a Master's of Science in Exercise Physiology with a concentration in Cardiac Rehabilitation. In 2008, she was named an honorary member of Outstanding Women in Education and is an alumnus of Leadership Lorain County. She has extensive experience in sports medicine as well as cardiac rehabilitation through her work with St. Peter's Health Partners in the CVICU. Andrea has a special interest in preventative medicine for the tactical athlete and first responder.

Patrick Woods

270 Main Street
Roosevelt Island, NY 10044
Ph: 212-570-9440

Patrick Woods

Captain Woods was appointed to the FDNY in 1985 and is currently assigned to the Special Operations Command. He reports directly to the Chief in Charge of FDNY Rescue Operations. This Command includes five Heavy Rescue Units, eight Rescue Squad Units. He oversees the daily staffing of nearly 500 officers and firefighters within the Rescue Command.

Captain Woods is also responsible for ensuring the proper maintenance and preparedness of all the myriad support vehicles and equipment assigned to the Command. This highly specialized equipment covers the gamut from weather-related emergencies, high-rise and high-angle emergencies, subway and tunnel emergencies, above and below water emergencies to a terrorist attack affecting any of the above. Every member, every vehicle, and every piece of equipment within the Rescue command is maintained at the highest level of preparedness for quick deployment and mitigation.

During his 34 years of service to the New York City Fire Department, Captain Woods has acquired a varied and extensive wealth of experience. From the much-storied streets of the "South Bronx" to the vastness of the borough of Queens to the daunting and unique challenges of Manhattan, he has 'seen it all'.

Throughout his career, Captain Woods volunteered to help the Department with many important programs and initiatives. He has served as a lead rope instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy and as the Executive Officer of the FDNY Probationary Fire School. He was an integral part of the team that worked to design, develop and test the FDNY Personal Safety System (PSS). He also participated in the accelerated training of 11,000 FDNY Firefighters and Fire Officers in proper care and use of the PSS and accomplished this training in under one year.

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