The Continuing Challenge Hazmat Workshop 2020 Instructor List
Biography : Mr. Brian Abeel’s HazMat experience spans 31 years working with various Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as the California Public. In 1988, Brian began his working career for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), as a student assistant while attending college. After graduating in 1990 from the University of California at Davis with a Biochemistry B.S. degree, Brian continued his career with DTSC as a Hazardous Substances Scientist inspecting hazardous waste generator, treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, and investigating hazardous waste crimes. In 1999, Brian transferred to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services working in the Hazardous Materials Section as a Hazardous Substances Scientist, and then, as a Senior Emergency Services Coordinator, planning and coordinating emergency response and recovery, implementing spill release reporting and community right-to-know laws, inspecting and training HazMat teams, and responding to major HazMat incidents and disasters in the State of California. In 2018, Brian returned to DTSC, where he works as a Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist in the Emergency Response Unit, assisting local agencies with chemical removal actions at Off-Highway and Illegal Drug Lab incidents, and residential and business properties damaged by disasters (e.g. fires and floods).
Biography : Scott Bauer graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Natural Resources in 1997. For the next eight years, Scott coordinated a Watershed Restoration Program for the California Conservation Corps in Klamath, California. In 2005, he went to work for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, where he worked for almost ten years on timber harvest plan review, lake and streambed alteration agreement permitting, and coho salmon recovery. Scott joined the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s newly created Watershed Enforcement Team in 2014 to work full time on enforcement and regulation of cannabis cultivation operations. He currently supervises a team of scientists that assess the environmental damages of illicit cannabis cultivation sites.
Biography : Hazmat instructor at CSTI. Retired from the USCG.
Kenneth R. (Ken) Beutler
Biography : An American Board of Industrial Hygiene - Certified Industrial Hygienist, with over thirty years of experience training and providing on-site health and safety support to first responders, regulatory agency inspectors, and hazardous waste workers. Areas of expertise include: indoor air quality, ergonomics, PPE selection, bloodborne/airborne pathogen infection control, hazardous waste remediation, confined space work, lead and asbestos health hazard awareness, abandon mine site hazard awareness, advanced first aid in remote locations, and as an outdoor guide.
C Scott Bunning
Biography : Scott has been with AristaTek for nearly 10 years as their Director of Marketing and Sales. In that time, he has trained 1000's of PEAC users all over the world on best practices in using the PEAC software in hazmat and CBRN scenarios.
Biography : -26 Years in Environmental Protection/Response, State of California -28 Yrs. U.S. Coast Guard Reserve -10 Yrs. Paid-call/volunteer firefighter -CA certified Haz-Mat Technician -CSTI certified outreach instructor
Biography : Fire Service background with current employment with CalOES/CSTI in the Haz-Mat Division as an Instructor II.
Biography : An advocate for progressive behavioral health practices with first responders, Tina Casola and her team at First Alarm Wellness provide education to individuals, departments, businesses and other organizations desiring a better understanding of emotional distress. The team is experienced in facilitating effective evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other stress related disorders with Veterans, Emergency Service Personnel and Civilians. We understand concerns of a First Responder’s family and that life itself throws curveballs on a regular basis. Whatever your concern, you can feel at ease knowing that we will understand every aspect...not just the label of the job. Interpersonal conflict, infertility, pregnancy loss, grief, family concerns, and substance misuse are just some of the other reasons why people reach out. Whatever is on your mind…we are here to help! Tina has affiliations with several emergency services departments in California and speaks across the country in support of first responder wellness. Additional services available are program consultation: creation, troubleshooting and continued support; crisis services: acute & long-term; Program management and oversight, our Sentinel program takes a behavioral health benefit from a checkbox to real people who ‘get’ you. “As for Tina Casola, I really enjoyed hearing her speak. Her cutting-edge knowledge of this topic was riveting. She spoke to, but not at us with what appears to be a genuine caring for us. She was enthusiastic and eager to share her experiences as well as a hope for a better method to help and treat our Brothers and Sisters in the future. It appears that this enthusiasm has ignited a mental health discussion between not only the individuals who were able to attend her lecture but also the crews who have heard about it from their officers. I look forward to her continuing involvement in our department in the future.” -Lieutenant Fire Service
Biography : Armando Chévez, MPH is a Research Scientist (Social/Behavioral) with the Environmental & Occupational Emergency Preparedness Team (E&O EPT) at the California Department of Public Health. E&O EPT is a multi-disciplinary team, whose goal is to identify and reduce risks from chemical releases and other hazards in California and to minimize their health impacts on workers, first responders, communities, and vulnerable populations. Armando provides expertise in community resilience and emergency preparedness and response related to hazardous material releases and how these impact vulnerable communities. Armando participates in statewide surveillance and public health investigations of environmental and occupational incidents.
Biography : 15 years of experience in the US Army, National Guard and law enforcement in Explosives, CBRN, and dangerous drugs. Currently a training specialist for First Line Technology providing training and developing evolving tactics, techniques, and procedures in CBRNE/HazMat and Emergency Response based on the latest decontamination technology.
Biography : With 30 plus years of Haz Mat response and as a retired CUPA program manager Greg brings to the classroom a common sense approach that combines response, clean up and regulatory requirements. As a instructor Greg has certified over 8,000 people in various HAZWOPER levels.
Biography : Joseph Crisologo is a registered Professional Engineer with over 32 years of experience in the areas of regulatory compliance, water quality and resource management, environmental engineering program management, emergency preparedness and response, hazardous waste/substance and site management, homeland security, and health and safety program management. Joseph is currently in the role of Emergency Coordinator/Senior Homeland Security Engineer with the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water. With his colleagues, they work at enhancing public water system capacities and capabilities in security and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, resulting in better resilience. This is accomplished through training, outreach, information dissemination, coordination, and collaboration. Better resilience ensures better public health by working towards safe, clean, wholesome potable water, and that it is delivered reliably and adequately. In Joseph’s long career in service to the State of California, he has also functioned as a District Engineer with the CDPH, regulating public water systems; a project manager with the CYA, training staff, remediating LUFST sites, and managing the environmental compliance program; and as a project engineer with the DTSC, investigating and remediating hazardous waste sites. Joseph has his Baccalaureate of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.
Biography : Keith Davis is a certified Bio Recovery Master. His is certified in mutable technologies including Radical Oxygen Species Disinfection and many others. Keith is a licensed Hazmat Contractor. And teaches Volunteers how to stay safe in Hazardous situations, including, mercury, fentanyl and meth contaminated buildings and houses. And vessels of transport at borders.
Biography : Sean joined Chainbridge Technologies in 2017, where he supports CBRN programs through project management, training design and delivery, exercise support, and end user engagement. Sean is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and has his master's degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Prior to his work in emergency response he was an educator who taught middle and high school in Mississippi, Washington, DC and Chicago.
Biography : Robert Eckroade is a Market Specialist for GORE® CHEMPAK® Products in Fire Service, Law Enforcement and Department of Defense Consequence Management applications. Robert seeks to understand the operational capabilities and CBRN PPE needs of first responders in both hot and warm zone environments; he is a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators and author of Understanding Performance Standards for Law Enforcement CBRN Protective Apparel (The Police Chief/July 2010). Robert has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Delaware and has worked for W. L. Gore & Associates for over 38 years. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Biography : Brian Escamilla is a retired Criminalist from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Laboratory of Forensic Services. While serving as the Lead Criminalist with Sacramento County in the Controlled Substances section, Mr. Escamilla responded to and analyzed the evidence for over 200 clandestine laboratory scenes. Mr. Escamilla has extensive knowledge in the assessment, processing, and sampling of clandestine laboratories and a court qualified expert in the areas of controlled substances, blood alcohol, and clandestine laboratories. Mr. Escamilla has also researched and manufactured methamphetamine, PCP, MDMA, methcathinone, fentanyl, euphoria, and various other drugs in a controlled laboratory setting. In addition, Mr. Escamilla has published over 30 papers, conducted over 70 workshops, and given numerous presentations related to narcotics and clandestine laboratories at conferences all over the United States. During his 19 years of service with Sacramento County, Mr. Escamilla also served as the Laboratory Safety Officer and was in charge of all hazardous waste handling, hazardous waste storage, health and safety programs and associated training, and ensuring the Laboratory complied with all OSHA regulations. This also included the maintenance of all respirators, air monitoring equipment, fume hoods and biological cabinets, fit-testing of employees, and record-keeping requirements. Mr. Escamilla has Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Chemistry, both from California State University, Sacramento. Brian has been an instructor with NES since 2002 and has trained thousands of personnel across the United States in various narcotic related classes. Brian is currently the Clan Lab Program Manager and a Principal Instructor with NES.
Biography : Formally with The Dow Chemical Company for 38 years, Scott Etzel transitioned to the new Corteva Agriscience company on Day One last April. His role in Corteva Agriscience includes lead for Distribution Emergency Response Team and program for the United States and Canada. Scott works closely with transportation partners to ensure that any incidents in transportation (rail, highway, marine, and air) involving Corteva products are promptly and fully supported. Scott also leads the Chlorine Institute CHLOREP (CHLORine Emergency Plan) response team and program for California. With a degree in engineering and extensive experience in chemical manufacturing, Scott brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the response community.
Biography : Charles D. Fator is the Grandson of John D. Hanby the Founder and Inventor of the Hanby Environmental TPH Field Test Kits for the immediate detection and analysis of hydrocarbons in water and soil samples. Hanby Environmental TPH Field Test Kits have been manufactured and deployed the world over for the last 34 years. In addition to working in his Grandfather's laboratory in high school, he began his college studies in Environmental Science. He obtained a BA in Finance from Sam Houston State University after which he was The President of Two Commercial Banks prior to acquiring half his Grandfather's business. Together they developed a hydrocarbon fingerprinting device that utilizes the same chemistry as the Field Test Kits, which Charles owns multiple patents upon. Upon the passing of his Grandfather in 2015, Charles now owns all of The Hanby business. In Nov of 2017 Charles released a mobile application he developed to complement the Hanby Field Test Kits to increase the level of accuracy and documentation of the results. Charles continues to innovate upon The Hanby technologies and is creating a Paradigm Shift in The Remediation, Emergency / Spill Response Industry by implementation of "The New Hydrocarbon Remediation / Spill / Emergency Response."
Biography : Alan Finkelstein retired in 2016 after 34 years in the fire service. He had worked for the Strongsville Fire and Emergency Services Department in Ohio since 1986. Mr. Finkelstein performed inspections, code enforcement, responded to fire and hazardous material emergencies, develops and implements emergency plans, , and serves on county and state advisory committees as a subject matter expert on topics such as hazardous materials, WMD and continuity of operations. His background also includes extensive experience in emergency response, command and control, and emergency planning.. Mr. Finkelstein is vice chair of the Cuyahoga County Local Emergency Planning Committee and sits on the Emergency Management Advisory Board, and is a member of the International Association of Firefighters, the Northeast Ohio Fire Prevention Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters. Since 1993 Mr. Finkelstein has been a USEPA certified CAMEO instructor. He has been an instructor and course developer for Louisiana State University’s CAMEO training program since 2003 and has presented programs at numerous hazmat and emergency planning conferences including one in India. Alan also is a hazmat instructor at the Center for Domestic Preparedness.Currently he is the owner of Broadview Hazmat Training and a partner in F and M Safety Consulting.
Biography : Sheldon Fung spent 21 years as an FBI Special Agent serving in Los Angeles and Sacramento. He was a Special Agent Bomb Tech for 15 years and WMD Coordinator for 10 years. He has experience in counterintelligence and counterterrorism cases. He is currently the WMD Coordinator for the State of California Office of Emergency Services and is also retained as a member of the FBI JTTF in Sacramento.
Biography : Erik Gaull is the Principal leading the Emergency Management practice at Cadmus Group. He was formerly an independent consultant and educator specializing in CBRNE/WMD, counterterrorism/homeland security, public safety, organizational resilience, and enterprise risk management. He has led and provided CBRNE/WMD subject matter expertise on projects for the Defense Threats Reduction Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has also worked on projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the World Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, U.S. Navy, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and numerous local governments and private sector clients in the United States, Europe, Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Erik holds a Top Secret/SCI security clearance and four premier peer-conferred professional designations – Certified Emergency Manager®, Certified Protection Professional®, Certified Business Continuity Professional®, and Project Management Professional®. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Additionally, Erik has earned FEMA’s Master Exercise Practitioner, Master Continuity Practitioner, Advanced Professional Series, and Professional Development Series recognitions. Erik is a seasoned law enforcement officer, Nationally Registered Paramedic, Pro Board-certified Fire Officer III and Fire Instructor III, and hazardous materials technician.
Biography : Lead Instructor Biography: Haynes, Michal, Air Quality Insp. III, Toxic and Waste Unit Lead Instructor: Asbestos Compliance Class Current Assignments: Lead Smelters, Battery Manufacturing Plant, Wastewater Treatment Plants and VOC Contaminated Soil Remediation Projects Certificates: Hazwhopper, Asbestos Contractor Supervisor, Haz Waste and Homeland Security-Bio Terrorism Agency/Company: SCAQMD Mailing Address: 21865-Copley DR. City: Diamond Bar State: CA Zip Code: 91765 Phone: 909.396.2369 Email: MHAYNES@AQMD.GOV I (Michal Haynes) am a 20-year plus, veteran in the Engineering and Compliance Division -Air toxic and Waste unit of the SCAQMD, a regional Governmental Agency. As a Senior Compliance officer/ Inspector assigned to the Toxic and Waste unit I perform and/or participate in High priority Complaint and Process/ APC equipment breakdown investigations, joint agency audits, team compliance inspections and Toxic/Haz wastes investigations. Currently, I am assigned to investigations and compliance audits that require an elevated level to details/ knowledge/ sensitivity. I have and currently serve as one of the agencies expert witness in hearing board/court/depositions regarding asbestos, lead and contaminated work sites. Also, I teach the asbestos contractors compliance class and perform outside speaking engagements regarding Asbestos and Asbestos related rules and regulations. I have expert knowledge of AQMD rules and regulations and have OSC experience on Emergency response investigations and have working experience regarding remedial actions associated with DTSC, Cal-OHSA, Fed-OSHA, DOD, DOE, Classified and Biological contaminated waste sites and Landfills. I interface with AQMD Executive officers, Attorneys, Managers and Staff, providing them with final reports and status updates as needed. Also, I meet with and discuss AQMD rules and regulations with General/ Demo contractors, DOSH-Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC/CSST), DTSC/ EPA/ Fireman/ Corporate Environmental Officers, Health Department and other Business and Government representatives. I have excellent communication and public relation skills. Investigation Types: • Asbestos Release • Site Inspection /Preliminary Compliance Actions • Site Stabilization • Site Sampling (Asbestos Survey) • Survey Results • Mitigation/ Cleanup Plan • ACWM Storage • Haz and Non-Haz Manifest / Disposal Sites • Final Compliance Actions • Fines and Penalties • Rules/ Regulations Handling an Emergency Chemical Release/ Spills at Port facilities, Refineries, Chemical plants, Trains and Airports.
Biography : Steven Hamilton has worked for the Los Angeles City Fire Department for 20 years as a firefighter/paramedic and currently as a inspector II within the CUPA Unit. He has a background as a hazardous materials specialist and FAA Certified drone pilot. Currently he is working with companies like FLIR and DJI to assist with the advancements of hazmat drone abilities. Steven Hamilton is one of 6 Los Angeles City Fire Department certified drone pilots.
Biography : I am a retired Fire Captain and Hazardous Materials Specialist for the Alameda County Fire Department. Retired in 2006 and started Air Instrumentation California in 2007 as a service, sales and training company .
Biography : Ben is a 19 year veteran of Lancaster County\'s (PA) Hazardous Materials Response Team currently serving as the chief of the department and is the Radiological Planner for Lancaster County managing response plans to events at Peach Bottom and Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Stations.
Biography : Battalion Chief Peter (Pete) Jensen Ventura County Fire Protection District in Camarillo, California Chief Jensen has been in the fire service for over 27 years. He started his career on the Ventura Co. Fire Dept. on the hand crew fighting wildland fires. In 1990 he joined the Point Mugu Fire Dept. at NAS Point Mugu as a civilian federal firefighter and progressed up to the rank of Captain. During his tenure there he was a plank holder in the creation of that department’s hazmat and urban search and rescue (USAR) teams. After almost 9 years with that department he started over as a rookie firefighter with the Ventura County Fire Dept. and again has promoted back up through the ranks through Captain, the department’s Hazmat Officer and now a Battalion Chief in Operations. Chief Jensen has a Masters degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University, a Bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach in Occupational Studies and an Associate’s degree in Fire Technology from Oxnard College. He is a certified instructor from the California State Fire Marshal, The California Specialized Training Institute, FEMA and the National Sheriffs’ Association. As part of his service to the fire service and the hazmat communities, Pete serves on a number of committees and working groups with the most notable being Firescope’s Hazmat Working Group, NFPA 470 Technical committee, The International Association of Fire Chief’s Hazmat Committee and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Services Sector’s Information Sharing and Cyber Working groups. Pete is a certified Hazmat Specialist and a CSTI Outreach Instructor. He is also a qualified Division Group Supervisor, Strike Team Leader, Type 3 Safety Officer and Type 3 PIO through the federal NWCG incident qualification System ( ICS).
Biography : Dan Keenan has been a firefighter and Hazardous Materials Specialist/responder for the Oakland Fire Department, Oakland, CA since 1991. He is certified by CSTI (California Specialized Training Institute) as a Hazardous Materials Instructor for the entire Technician/Specialist curriculum. Dan felt a need to promote hazardous materials training with the use of live chemical demonstrations, and this interest fueled the development of his course called “Fun With Chemistry” http://www.efilmgroup.com/HazMat-Hazwoper/Fun-With-Chemistry-Video.html for which Dan received the James H. Meidl “Instructor of the Year” Award in 1999 – sponsored by CA State Fire Marshall. Dan’s expertise in chemical demonstrations has been featured in the Emergency Film Group’s video, “Introduction to Hazardous Chemicals” and the “Hazmat Operations” series of films. Dan Keenan is a member of the Emergency Film Group’s Technical Committee. Dan was a Faculty Member in the Fire Service Technology Department for Chabot Community College, Hayward, CA, where he taught the course “Fundamentals of Fire Protection Chemistry” - Physical & Chemical characteristics of matter and fire. Dan received his formal Chemistry education from the University of Rochester, New York. Dan is a consultant to HazTech Systems Inc., manufacturer of the HazCat Kit ®. He has been teaching “Field Identification of Unknowns” classes for over twenty years and was featured in the American Chemical Society’s “What Chemists Do” Video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CWy2R23qlI He has made use of his experience and expertise to teach Advanced Field Identification of Unknown Hazardous Substances to federal EPA On-Scene-Coordinators at their Nationwide Training conference, and is called upon to teach Field Identification of Unknowns during CSTI’s Technical Reference Specialist Course. Dan was a consultant with Davis Defense Group where he taught response to Chemical Warfare Agent laboratories to the CST’s. He is also a consultant for the Industrial Emergency Council and has taught countless “Basic Chemistry” and “Applied Chemistry” courses, each a 40 hour curriculum, to responders throughout the State of California. In addition to teaching all the HazMat Tech/Spec modules, Dan teaches HAZWOPER and Haz Comm Standard to private & public sector employees. Dan is a Subject Matter Expert on the California Specialized Training Institute’s curriculum review committee for the rewrite of the Hazardous Materials Technician 1A – Basic Chemistry course. Dan has been a member of the Environmental Crimes Investigator’s Association and has taught a course called “Practical Chemistry for Environmental Investigators & Field Officers” to several Environmental Crimes Task Forces including San Diego, Imperial County and has put on seminars at the annual CHMIA conference. In 2018 Dan was awarded the William J. Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to the individual who has dedicated a “lifetime” of commitment and sacrifice in creating and/or promoting innovations and achievements in hazardous materials response, management and/or leadership
Biography : Biography: Matt Krimsky Completed a full, rich, and rewarding career of 30 years with the San Francisco Police Department, retiring September 01, 2012, in the rank of Inspector-Sergeant. He served as a Patrol and Traffic Officer, Field Supervisor, Training Sergeant, and Detective, specializing in Traffic and Environmental crimes for over 1/3 of his career. He remains a P.O.S.T. subject matter resource in HazMat and WMD In October, 2012, he was hired as a full time Instructor-Coordinator II with the California Specialized Training Institute. At CSTI, he manages the Technician C/D Weeks, Technician-Specialist Refresher, and WMD Technician-Specialist Terrorism Classes. Matt was honored with the James Meidl “Instructor of the year” award in 2003 and was the Keynote speaker in 2008 and 2018.
Biography : As a fire inspector I am responsible for ensuring all businesses are compliant and as one of the original cannabis inspectors for Sacramento Fire I have been there learning from the beginning.
Biography : Monique holds a degree in Emergency Management and Environmental Response coupled with 18 years of experience implementing various effective planning strategies to include Pandemic Preparedness and ecological disasters. Monique is certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Master Continuity Practitioner (MPC) and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP #34184). She is a graduate of the Crystal Coast Fire Academy in Atlantic Beach, NC and has training in many technical rescue disciplines, including confined space rescue, high and low angle rescue, and industrial rescue. Monique has demonstrated insight into multi-faceted safety aspects of emergency planning and response. Out of lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina where she served on on-scene Incident Commander for her company's first 72 hours of field response, Monique developed the concept and implemented Sprint Nextel's Hazardous Materials Response Team and managed that team for three years. In her capacity as a HazMat Technician, Specialist, and Incident Commander she responded to several natural disasters and chemical release incidents that impacted company facilities, assets, and personnel. Monique's current positions as a principal consultant and Business Continuity Director for and Environmental, Health, and Safety consultancy based in Philomath, OR with offices in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, consists of consulting with industry professionals and expanding her knowledge base across various industries. Monique's passion for emergency preparedness and response still drives her on a daily basis.
Biography : Chris is a Captain at the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Dept. in Florida and has been teaching PropaneIQ for Federal Resources for the past several years. Chris has experience in Hazardous Materials Response including several Propane leaks.
Biography : Kenneth J. Loo, M.S. is a Fire Captain with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. He is an inaugural HazMat Team member working on one of the first CalOES HazMat Teams and has been teaching private/public sector emergency responders for over 2 decades. He has taught firefighters, law enforcement officers, public health department officials, and private sector personnel on various Hazardous Materials subjects including Incident Command, Terrorism Response, and the CSTI HM Technician Series. He is also an appointed member on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department Citizen Review Board with an educational background including a CA State Teaching Credential via San Jose State University, a Bachelors degree from UC Davis, a Masters degree from CSU Long Beach in Emergency Service Administration, and post graduate work in the field of Terrorism with additional coursework from around the country. He enjoys world travel to exotic locations and staying local watching his favorite San Francisco Bay Area sport teams with his family & friends.
Biography : William Miller began his Fire Service career in 1991 with the Tacoma Fire Department (WA) as a FireFighter/EMT and was posted to its HazMat response team in 1995. At the time of retirement in May 2017 he specialized in HM instrumentation, research/analysis, system integration, and grant writing. In addition to serving as lead HM/CBRN response instructor for TFD, he also taught at the Washington State Fire Training Academy covering subjects in chemical/ physical properties and CBRN/terrorism response. Education includes a B.S.in Business Administration from Central Washington University with extensive coursework in chemistry and biology. Mr. Miller also served on Washington USAR-FEMA Task Force 1 for 23 years starting as a Rescue Specialist followed by 12 years as a HazMat manager. Currently Mr. Miller provides training and advice to Fire Dept. based HazMat/CBRN response teams.
Biography : Robert C. Neumann is a retired U.S. Army Chemical Corps Lieutenant Colonel and is the Principal for Valkyrie Group International, LLC (VGI). VGI provides technical and tactical support for CBRN defense and countering weapons of mass destruction projects to the Department of Defense and others. He provides technical and training support to QuickSilver Analytics, the leading supplier of sampling kits for public health and tactical sampling of CBRN agents in the United States. He is a recognized subject matter expert in CBRN sampling and field identification. He is also an adjunct with the Joint Special Operations University at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL teaching courses on countering weapons of mass destruction. He served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a Special Operations Task Force. During these tours, he led or supervised sampling operations to identify possible weapons of mass destruction. He is a former instructor for the Civil Support Team’s Analytical Laboratory System Operators Course and is currently a certified instructor for the Advanced Diagnostic Level 1 course. He currently provides training for QucikSilver Analytics on their CBRN sampling kits and tools. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry form Norwich University and a Master of Arts in Military Studies (Special Operations) from the American University. He also has a certificate from Central Alabama Community College in Hazards Material Management.
Biography : Dr. Mark L. Norman is the Director of Field Forensic Applications for 908 Devices in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he investigated the infrared optical properties of upper atmospheric aerosols. He is an author on seven peer-reviewed publications, including a 2003 collaboration with global climatology scientists from NASA. For the past 19 years, Dr. Norman has worked with monitoring technologies for emergency response, and he holds two patents for the development of hazardous vapor identification systems. He has developed and delivered numerous scenario-based training courses for chemical detectors and has taught chemical sciences at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Norman’s areas of analytical expertise include FT-IR, Raman, IR lasers, mass spectrometry, and chemical sensing.
Biography : As the Technical Product Manager at Kappler, Miller’s current focus is on new product development, design improvement, and customized training courses specific to the needs of the end user. Through multiple projects with fire/rescue, medical, and law enforcement personnel, Miller has gained valuable insight in to the demanding applications existing in the workplace today. Miller has partnered with Kappler’s Technical Director, Mr. Philip Mann, in providing on-site educational classes at various facilities and training centers across the country since 2015 and has been a member of the Research and Development Board at Kappler since 2017.
Biography : Mr. Carl Palladino has over 25 years experience as an environmental consultant. He is a principal health physicist for The Palladino Company and provides a wide range of environmental, radiological, training, and emergency management services. Mr. Palladino has diverse experiences as a responder to hazmat emergencies; managing hazardous/radioactive waste investigation/remediation projects; consulting for emergency management projects including exercise design, implementation, and evaluation, as well as developing radiological response plans; and developing/conducting health and safety trainings. He is recognized as an effective trainer and has taught over 350 radiological, technical, and safety classes to thousands of professionals and emergency response personnel.
Biography : Michael Pixton worked for the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control from 1989 to 2019 conducting hazardous waste inspections, enforcement, and emergency response. Prior to his retirement he was the technical expert for the department on mixed waste, methamphetamine cleanup, XRF use, off-road driving, and chemistry.
Biography : Firefighter Poganski Started in the fire service since 1999, Firefighter Jonathan Poganski started his career as a Fire Explorer with the Newcastle Fire Protection District and worked through the ranks as a volunteer and part-time firefighter from 1999 to 2009. He also spent two years, from 2003 to 2005, with Cal Fire as a resident firefighter. He joined the Placer County Interagency Hazmat Team as a volunteer in 2003 and still remains active within the agency. In 2005, Jonathan joined the UC Davis Fire Department as a full-time firefighter and hazmat specialist, and still finds time to be a part time firefighter with the Placer Hills Fire Protection District.
Darrell K Pugh
Biography : I have worked as a scientist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for 35 years. After 15 years with the Analytical Chemistry department, I worked for 12 years with an physics group, doing field instrument development for radiation detection, measurement, and analysis. I started with the Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) as a team scientist while working with this group, and eventually came to work with RAP full time, currently as the Teaching and Outreach Coordinator for DOE RAP Region 7.
Biography : I've been with the LA City Fire Department for over 18 years. Been an engineer for 10 years and now as a captain for 2 1/2 years. I'm currently assigned to the Joint Hazardous Assessment Team (JHAT) and Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC) as the Intelligence Section Captain. I've been a Hazmat Specialist for over 10 years, and I have a Bachelor's Degree from San Diego State University.
Biography : Karen Riveles is a toxicologist with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and works on emergency planning, preparedness and response. Karen's work focuses on the identification, characterization, and risk assessment of toxic air pollutants and assessing health effects and characterizing risk to public health and the environment from toxic chemical releases in the environment. Karen also helps to develop public health messages during and after chemical releases. Karen has been teaching at the Continuing Challenge for ten years.
Biography : Before joining the Cody Police Department in 1995, Perry worked as an officer with the Mesa Police Department in Mesa, AZ, where he worked as a patrol officer, a motorcycle officer and a bicycle officer. He also served as a full time deputy sheriff with the Pennington County Sheriff's Department, Rapid City, SD, and the Custer County Sheriff's Department, Custer, SD. After joining the Cody Police Department in 1995 Perry served as a patrol officer, detective and the Assistant Chief. During his tenure as Chief, he established the Cody Police Department Bomb Squad, which serves the City of Cody and is also a part of the Wyoming Homeland Security Region #6 Response Team. The Bomb Squad provides protection and safety to the surrounding cities, towns and counties; to include the northern half of Yellowstone National Park. Perry also established the Cody Police Department Tactical Team, which will respond on preplanned events and high-risk incidents. As a detective, Perry served as the lead investigator in the investigation of homicides, armed robberies, sexual assaults and aggravated assaults. He was promoted as Chief of the Cody Police Department on May 31, 2004 and served as the incident commander for the 2006 Hell's Angels World Run, 2012 child abduction, 2014 Hells Angels USA Run, and various tactical operations and high-profile investigations. In 2010, Perry implemented a new operational philosophy for the Cody Police Department. The impact of this change has improved the working relationships with other agencies and has had an impact on lowering crime and reducing the recidivism rates with juveniles and assists the department in identifying and helping vulnerable adults. This philosophy is still in use by the department today. Perry has also been involved in several areas outside police operations. He served as a board member for Crisis Intervention, Park County Drug Court and Yellowstone Behavioral Health. He also worked with other community leaders in establishing the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic in Cody, which is a free medical clinic for those who either do not have medical insurance or are underinsured in Cody. Perry was honorably discharged from the United States Marines as a Sergeant in 1983.
Biography : John Rolando is the Vice President of Technology Development at Spectral Labs Incorporated. During his time at Spectral Labs, Mr. Rolando has led the development of the Realistic, Adaptive, Interactive Learning System (RAILS) and derivative software training products. Mr. Rolando's education background includes a B.S. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego, and career experience includes scientific programming, algorithm development, software architecture design, data analysis. He now runs the Technology Development group of Spectral Labs focusing on computer based and VR training applications for the Military, First Responder, and Hazmat communities.
Biography : Mike Schlags started his career working with both private and state EMS / paramedic service providers for ten years before starting his fire service career. Mike retired from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department with 30-years of service, retiring as a Suppression Fire Captain and one off the first certified Hazardous Materials Specialists in the State of California. During Mike’s fire service career, he worked as a firefighter paramedic and was involved with the development of the department’s hazardous materials response team and vehicle. Mike was involved as one of the original course developers and statewide instructors with the California State Fire Marshall’s Office Hazardous Materials Technician Program. Mike currently teaches hazardous materials EMS response and Hazwoper courses nationally, including Hospital for Healthcare with Enmagine.
Biography : I have been in the propane industry for the past 35 years. I have been involved in all different aspects of the industry from training new employees to regulatory liaison. For eleven years I worked in the ASME, DOT cargo tank manufacturing industry. Currently I serve as the consultant to the Western Propane Gas Association on hazardous material issues. I am also an instructor for certified employee training for the Western Propane Gas Association, as well as an instructor for the propane transportation emergency response program. I am an instructor for the California Dept. of Forestry propane fire safety training class. I am a member of U.S. DOT (COHMED) group this is a cooperative effort between DOT enforcement and industry on hazardous material issues and also serves as a cargo tank instructor for the Transportation Safety Institute. I have also written risk management programs for compliance with the clean air act 112 (r) of the US EPA and Fire Safety analysis.
Biography : Gary served 32 years in the fire service, 20 as fire chief for the City of Watsonville. He also served as the City’s Director of Emergency Services and managed three federally proclaimed disasters. In 1987 Gary co-founded the Ammonia Safety & Training Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing or stopping chemical emergencies when they are small. Gary retired from the fire service in 2003 and continues to serve as President and CEO for ASTI today. ASTI collaborates with governmental, industry, and public safety responders (the “Tripod”) to perform training that supports the “prevent them all or stop them small” theme. ASTI provides services throughout the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and Australia.
Biography : FF/Hazmat tech NFPA fire Instructor President Air Instrumentation Inc. Operations Mgr Gases101LLc
Biography : Talbot Bio – 02-17-20 Chief Talbot started his career with CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department in April of 1985. Chief Talbot served as a Firefighter/Paramedic and Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic in various locations in Riverside County until his promotion to Fire Captain in 1989. In his almost 20-year tenure as a Fire Captain, Chief Talbot served as an Engine Captain, Truck Captain, HazMat Captain, and Training Officer. During this same period, Chief Talbot served on the FIRESCOPE Hazardous Materials Working Group and the FIRESCOPE High-Rise Working Group. The aforementioned groups developed nationally recognized standard command and control structures for hazardous materials and high-rise emergencies. Chief Talbot served on the Riverside County dedicated Hazardous Materials Response Team from 1991 to 1996. Chief Talbot promoted to Battalion Chief in July of 2009 and was assigned to the Indio Battalion. In November of 2015, Chief Talbot promoted to Division Chief and oversaw the West Desert Division of Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department. The cities of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, and Desert Hot Springs, along with large areas of unincorporated Riverside County, make up the West Desert Division. Chief Talbot received a promotion in November of 2016 to Deputy Chief of the Eastern Operational Area. The Eastern Operational Area consists of three Divisions, six Battalions, 32 fire stations, and the Oak Glen Conservation Camp. There are over four hundred Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department personnel assigned to the Eastern Operational Area. From January to August of 2018, it was Chief Talbot’s honor to be the acting Cal Fire Unit Chef and Riverside County Fire Chief. Chief Talbot worked diligently to keep the Department moving forward towards the transition to the permanent Unit Chief/Fire Chief. Chief Talbot retired from Cal Fire in November of 2018 after 33 years of service. Chief Talbot acknowledges that his career would not have been possible without the support of his wife Catherine.
Biography : Myles background includes involvement with the compressed gas industry since 1996. He has managed two DOT Licensed Hydrostatic requalification facilities testing over 2000 cylinders annually. Along with these facilities he has been teaching compressed gas cylinder safety training for Professional Cylinder Inspectors (PCI) since 2008. His background includes 7 years involvement with the Army National Guard's 103rd Civil Support Team (CST) – WMD where he served as the Operations officer and Deputy Commander. While on the 103rd CST, he was a member of the State of Alaska HAZMAT working group, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and multiple statewide exercise planning committees. Currently, he is an Army Reserve Liaison for the Department of Defense with FEMA Region 6. His certifications include Hazardous Materials Technician, a bachelor's degree in Emergency Management (University of Alaska), and a master's degree in Disaster and Emergency Management (University of Alaska).
Biography : Lead Trainer with HazMatIQ. Retired from the Fire Service and continues to stay involved by training other Emergency Responders on how to respond to and make decisions on a Hazardous Materials Call.
DANA VON KOLEN
Biography : Retired Phoenix Fire Department including 23 years on the hazmat team. Recipient of the Phoenix Fire Department Ricky Pierce Hazmat Award for outstanding contribution and excellence. Graduate UCLA and certified instructor since 1995. Certified in multiple technologies including IMS, GC/MS, IR, RAMAN, XRAY, etc. President of VON KOLEN Hazmat Training & Education since 2001 specializing in customized hazmat training & education. Continuing Challenge Instructor since 2003.
Biography : Al Van Heck is a Captain with the Bloomfield Twp. Fire Department near Detroit Mi. Where he has served for 25 years making his way up the ranks. He also has worked with the Oakland County, Mi Haz Mat Team for 20 years holding several key positions. Al has taught Hazardous Materials for several different agencies including Oakland Community College, the Michigan State Police and currently Federal Resouces. He has a Bachelors Degree in Public Safety Administration from Siena Heights University and has graduated from the Eastern Michigan University School of Staff and Command
Biography : Nick Vent retired after 28yrs as a Supervising Environmental Health Specialist with the County of San Diego. He managed the County of San Diego’s Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT), which responds to all hazardous chemical releases in a jurisdiction of 4200 square miles with 18 cities. Mr. Vent is a nationally recognized and award winning, state certified hazardous materials response instructor with 35 plus years’ experience training and certifying fire, law enforcement, and environmental professionals who respond to chemical emergencies. He currently is conducting Hazmat classes around the country, US Territories and even Europe. He has taught various environmental health courses at colleges in California and around the country. He holds degrees in Environmental and Occupational Health and Chemistry. But most he loves to travel the world and meeting people.
Biography : With 25+ years of experience in strength and conditioning, sports performance and post rehab training, Coach Eve's dynamic experience allows her to bring a different element to her coaching. She is excellent at providing modifications for any person and any issue presented. Her coaching style focuses on proper technique, education, dynamic programming and motivation. Her areas of expertise and passion for health and fitness are Fire, Military and Police Fitness, Strength and Conditioning, Pilates Apparatus (Postural Awareness), Pre-Operation and Post-Rehabilitation, Speed and Agility, Olympic and Power Lifting, Nutrition Counseling, Fall Risk reduction (55+adults). Eve’s educational background consists of a Master’s of Science in Exercise Science (Rehabilitation Science and Sport Psychology Dual Concentration-Completion Spring 2020), Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology (Exercise Science), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS-NSCA), Sports Performance Coach (USA Weightlifting), CrossFit Coach Level 1, Certified Personal Trainer (CSUS), Certified Speed Specialist (NASE-CSS), Functional Movement Specialist (FMS), and Pilates Reformer 1 & 2 (Balanced Body). Eve keeps her knowledge current by continuing her studies at the graduate level and continuing education course throughout the year. She became interested in exercise science as a high school athlete on the wrestling team. Eve focused the first part of her career on special interest groups such as, clients ranging from San Jose Sharks Professional Hockey Team, CSU Sacramento, American River and Sierra College athletes from a variety of sports, Sierra College Regional Fire Academy Cadets (pre and post academy), South Placer Fire Department, Physician and Physical Therapists referrals with various health conditions such as, joint replacements, spinal issues (Stenosis, fusions, Spondylolisthesis, etc.), cardiac rehab, as well as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Stroke, Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Arthritis, COPD and Autism in children. Coach Eve has expanded the second half of her career to a lifelong dream and goal to be the Health and Fitness Coach for Sacramento Fire Department (SFD). She began her journey with SFD in 2016, and is looking forward to many more fulfilling years as part of the SFD family. Besides her professional experience, she has a competitive athletic background including, soccer, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, and softball. When Eve is not promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, practicing Jiu Jitsu, traveling and taking her dog with her on running adventures.
Biography : Dr. Chris Weber is the President/CEO of Dr. Hazmat, Inc. which specializes in hazardous materials training and consulting for emergency responders, the military, and industry. His experience includes serving on the Washtenaw County (Michigan) Hazardous Materials Response Team for over a decade in positions that include hazmat technician, training officer, and deputy director. He also served as a member of the Longmont (Colorado) Fire Department Hazmat Team for seven years as a SME and hazmat specialist. He has been a firefighter for over 30 years and is currently a member of the Hygiene Fire Protection District. He has extensive experience involving hazardous materials chemistry, including a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and biological chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Chris has authored the following books: Pocket Reference for Hazardous Materials Response; Hazardous Materials Operations (textbook); and Hazardous Materials Technician (textbook) and is a regular speaker at emergency response conferences around the world. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Biography : Bill Wennhold is a 42 year veteran of emergency services. He has served as a firefighter, paramedic, chief fire officer, emergency services manager and hazardous materials specialist. I was a founding member of an early inter-agency hazmat team serving multiple counties. In 2014 he was awarded the hazardous materials instructor of the year by the Continuing Challenge.
Biography : 30 years with the LA County Fire Dept.
Biography : Robert Wise has been a Federal On-Scene Coordinator with EPA Region 9 Emergency Response. Robert has 32 years experience in Superfund Emergency Response. 15 years as an EPA ER contractor and 17 years as an OSC. Robert’s fields of expertise are radiation and Mercury response. Robert has a BA in Biology and an MS in Environmental Science.
Biography : Sauda has been part of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program at CDPH for over 4 years. She works on building emergency preparedness capabilities for Environmental Health practitioners in California, which includes providing Environmental Health Training for Emergency Response (EHTER) training. She previously served as the Chemical Threat Response Coordinator for the Laboratory Response Network for Chemical threats (LRN-C), another PHEP-funded program spearheaded by the CDC. At the LRN-C, Sauda developed a statewide outreach and training program for lab-response to mass casualty chemical threat incidents. Sauda entered Public Health as an Environmental Health Scientist researching environmental risk factors of cancer. She also served as a clinical research project manager of neuroepidemiology studies of Parkinson’s disease. Sauda holds a Masters’ degree in Public Health specializing in Environmental Health Sci/Toxicology from UC Berkeley. Her Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) is in Applied and Human Biology from Aston University, UK, with majors in clinical biochemistry, immunology and endocrinology.
Biography : Tom is a Certified CAMEO Instructor and enjoys conducting CAMEO training classes all over the world. In 2014 and 2015, Tom conducted CAMEO training in Istanbul Turkey, Rabat Morocco, Nairobi Kenya, and Vilnius, Lithuania. Tom has provided CAMEO training in Szezcin, Poland as part of the USDOD Partners for Peace program attended by HazMat planners and responders from the nations of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. Tom has conducted CAMEO classes in 45 U.S. states, and for a number of military and U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, USEPA, NOAA, FEMA, and USDOT. Tom is the Lead Developer and Senior Instructor for the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Domestic Preparedness, “Introduction to CAMEO” courses delivered nationally by the National Center for BioMedial Research and Training (NCBRT). Tom has received several awards including the 2009 USEPA National Notable Achievement Program, CEPP State Partner Award and the 2014 Oklahoma Emergency Management Association Outstanding Contributor of the Year Award.