The Continuing Challenge Hazmat Workshop 2022 Instructor List
Biography : Cris Aguirre is a retired 30 plus year veteran of Miami Dade Fire Rescue. He was a lieutenant on the department's full time hazmat unit for over 20 years. Cris was one of the co founders of the patented HazMatIQ system. He has instructed various public safety, military, federal agencies, and corporate audiences worldwide. Cris has now developed the patent pending BioIQ system complete with the Biological Response Guide (BRG) and accompanying Biological Safety Data Sheets (BSDS). He is the president of ThreeFourThree, LLC
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-five years of experience in providing training and 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.
Biography : Gareth is a thought leader in the field of crisis management, emergency response and human factors. Gareth’s Master’s Degree in Homeland Security and Crisis Management, alongside his lecturing work at Coventry University means he is at the cutting edge of developments in the field. Gareth has a unique ability to turn his wealth of academic experience into simple, practical, and intuitive solutions for clients, ensuring they remain in the forefront of crisis management practice. Gareth has received accolades for his work with the National Health Service, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a wide range of incidents whilst also working on policy and procedural developments of national and international significance. More recently Gareth has worked with clients in the chemical, oil and gas, university, and public sector, creating inventive and intuitive solutions to maintain their crisis readiness. Gareth specialism is in the psychology of command, exploring the impact of stress on our ability to make effective decisions under pressure, such as in a HAZMAT or crisis situation.
Biography : I retired from the Santa Monica Fire Department in July, 2014 as a Battalion Chief and Hazardous Materials Specialist. I currently am a Senior Instructor with the Industrial Emergency Council/IEC, teaching all the hazmat classes on the CSTI roster. With my extensive work experience as a firefighter, fire captain, battalion chief, paramedic, and hazardous materials specialist and my formidable experience as an innovator of ideas, including the introduction of a creative learning environment to the classroom, all add to making the classes I teach first rate. A few of my accomplishments include being the first paramedic to teach the Emergency Medical Technician/EMT course in Ventura County, being the first paramedic in the City of Camarillo and being selected firefighter of the year twice. I also developed and coordinated several regional hazmat exercises in Los Angeles County. At my retirement from Santa Monica FD, I was presented a California State Assembly Proclamation for my work in the field of hazardous materials response. This will be my 15th time presenting at the Continuing Challenge.
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 : Steve Byers is currently a Captain with the City of Fresno Fire Department and is co-owner of Cali HazMat Training. He has been involved in the HazMat arena for 30 years. Steve has been involved with hazmat response on several hazmat teams, managed two OES Type 1 teams and is a past chairman of the FIRESCOPE HazMat Working Group.
Biography : Andy Byrnes retired as a Special Operations Battalion Chief from the Orem Fire Department in Utah. He was a sworn Law Enforcement Officer for 18 years and Paramedic for 16 years. He is currently a Professor in the Emergency Services Department at Utah Valley University (UVU). He is the Director of the Firefighter Recruit Candidate Academy program at UVU. He is a course designer and instructor for the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, MD specializing in Hazmat/WMD Chemistry and Advanced Science. He has reviewed and contributed to several textbooks related to Hazmat/WMD chemistry and response and is a frequent course reviewer, researcher, and subject matter expert in the areas of Hazmat, Firefighting, Leadership and Management. He is a member of the NFPA 470 Hazardous Materials Standards for Responders Technical Committee. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and holds an Associate degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor’s degree in Public Emergency Services Management and a Master’s degree in Education from Utah State University.
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 : Ms. Callan is a Program and Quality Assurance Analyst at Chainbridge Technologies, the contractor for the ChemResponder Program. Her experience includes a variety of federal client work in the emergency response space, including FEMA, US EPA, US DOE, and DHS S&T, among others. She most recently supported the Technology Experimentation and Characterization Field Trials (TECFT) in their use of ChemResponder. She is responsible for ChemResponder outreach and trainings, integrations with equipment manufacturers, and user support.
Biography : Fire Service background with current employment with CalOES/CSTI in the Haz-Mat Division as an Instructor II.
Biography : Cody Cole is a Nuclear Consultative Professional at Berkeley Nucleonics. Through work assisting departments in honing in on their equipment needs, as well as providing trainings in the United States, he is aware of the contemporary landscape.
Biography : Biography Jim Cornish Applying Fourier Transform Infrared Gas Analysis (FTIR) for quantification and identification of gas measurement to the tool kit of Emergency Responders is a relatively recent event. Although the technique of FTIR has been around since the 1960’s, it has until very recently remained a laboratory analytical technique. Advanced design of the inner workings of the FTIR (Interferometer) in conjunction with today’s powerful computer processors now allow this powerful analytic technique to be used in the field by emergency responders whom can rapidly assess toxic gas concentrations at sub-ppm levels or utilize the technology to assist identify “unknown” gases at an incident site. Jim Cornish holds a B.Sc. degree in Applied Chemistry received from Deakin University, Geelong in Australia. Working initially as a Petroleum Chemist with Esso and SANTOS and gaining hands-on experience with gas chromatography and other laboratory instruments before switching continents and professions. Since 1986, Jim has been actively involved in the field of environmental instrumentation as applied to air, water and soil remediation. Through this period, Jim has gained comprehensive first-hand experience in applying various field analytical measurement technologies including Gas Chromatography UV fluorescence and optical measurement technologies such as NDIR, Photoacoustic IR, NIR, UV and more recently FTIR. In 2008, Jim joined Gasmet Technologies inc., the North American subsidiary of Gasmet Technologies Oy, a manufacturer of industrial FTIR gas analyzers and systems. Jim’s core job function is to provide application & instrumentation support to Gasmet’s diverse users in Hazmat, Environmental Health, Environmental & Research communities. Jim’s presentation includes discussion of the many What’s & Why’s of the technology including : What is FTIR? How does it work? History of FTIR When is it a useful technology? Advantages over other types of detection equipment What are it's limitations? as applied to hazmat and emergency responders making use this new field technique in their site assessment tool kit.
Biography : Robert Daniels is a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and is currently assigned to Commercial Vehicle Section at the CHP headquarters in Sacramento, CA. Sergeant Daniels currently coordinates statewide training for the CHP's commercial enforcement program and the hazardous materials emergency response program. He has been with the CHP for 22 years and is currently a certified hazardous materials specialist, a national and state hazardous materials enforcement and response instructor, and a CSTI certified instructor.
Biography : In 2010, Jeff Dill founded Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA). Jeff travels the United States & Canada holding workshops to educate firefighters & EMS about behavioral health awareness and suicide prevention. In 2010, FBHA began tracking and validating data on all FF, EMS and dispatcher suicides across the United States. In addition, FBHA offers seven workshops for first responders, counselors/chaplains, family members and preparing for retirement. Jeff Dill holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling, is a retired Fire Captain at Palatine Rural Fire Protection District in Inverness, Illinois. On July 1st, 2021 Jeff was appointed the new Behavioral Health Administrator for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
Biography : Board Member Manuel "Manny" Ehrlich U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) Manuel "Manny" Ehrlich was a Board Member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). Member Ehrlich was nominated by President Barack Obama in January 2014 and confirmed by the Senate in December 2014. Before joining the CSB, Mr. Ehrlich spent much of his career with Badische Anilin Soda Fabrik (BASF) Corporation. During his time at BASF, Mr. Ehrlich worked in a variety of roles, including plant management and eventually leading emergency response efforts across North America. Prior to joining BASF, Mr. Ehrlich served as the on call chemist for the Chemical Transportation Emergency Response Center (also known as CHEMTREC) in the U.S., a 24-hour service that assists responders on the scene of chemical incidents. He also served as a member of the National Fire Protection Association’s committee that develops competency standards for chemical emergency responders. Mr. Ehrlich attained his B.S. from Drexel Institute of Technology; completed graduate studies at Temple University, St. Joseph's College, New York University and attained his Ed.M. and M.A. from Columbia University. Mr. Ehrlich is a board member of the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute.
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 International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters. He is also a member of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council and the NationalTriba l Toxics councylSince 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.
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 : Juan Garcia Associate Health Physicist California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch Radiological Assessment Unit I currently support environmental radiation monitoring, decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities, confirmatory surveying/sampling, radiological dose and risk assessment, and offsite environmental radiation monitoring at nuclear power plants. A large portion of my current duties specifically include supporting Branch emergency planning as well as community outreach and training on radiological preparedness.
Biography : Lead Instructor Biography: Haynes, Michal, Air Quality Insp. III, Toxic and Waste Unit Lead Instructor: Asbestos Compliance Class Current Assignments: Lead Smelters, Bridges/ Overpasses, Aerospace/Refineries, 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: [email protected] 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 : Dr. Scott Hartley is the Chief Executive Officer of Proengin Inc where he is responsible for the overall management of Proengin's product and business lines in the United States. He is passionate about teaching and educating on detection technologies and helping solve problems. Prior to working at Proengin he worked in various management, business development, program management and engineering roles at BAE Systems and Gentex Corporation. Dr. Hartley has undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics, Master's degrees in Finance and Operations Management and his Doctorate in Technical Systems Management. He has been published multiple times and holds 12 United States Patents.
Biography : Brian Heinz is the owner of Chemical Safety Training and Heinz Laboratories. Chemical Safety Training has been in business since 1989 and provides first responder and employee training regarding chemical safety and emergency response. Heinz Laboratories is a contract laboratory for testing and supplies. Heinz Laboratories is the exclusive inventor and distributor of the Heinz 5-Step Method kit, developed by Dieter Heinz.
Biography : Battalion Chief (Ret.) Joel Hendelman - During his 34-year career with the City of Fairfax and Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department in Fairfax Virginia Chief Hendelman served in every operational career capacity from firefighter/driver-operator to Captain. He transferred for 5 years into Fire Prevention and Arson Investigations, obtaining the rank of Chief Fire Marshal before his return to emergency operations and was ultimately promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief in 2003. He served in that capacity until retirement in January of 2009 but continued to serve in the City of Fairfax Volunteer department for an additional year as Deputy Fire Chief. Chief Hendelman is recognized as a regional expert in flammable and combustible liquid firefighting operations; teaching hazardous materials tactical operations, incident management principles, and mitigation techniques at national and regional conferences from 2003 to present. He was a significant contributor as a subject matter expert to the NOVA (Northern Virginia) Regional Fire Departments Flammable Liquid Firefighting Tactical Operations Manual originally released in 2002 and revised three times since its inception. The manual is still in use today by 15+ jurisdictions within the Northern Virginia region protecting almost 4+ million citizens and has been shared with countless other local, regional, and state emergency response organizations across the USA. Now in his 45th year in emergency services, Chief Hendelman continues to travel the United States as a technical consultant and subject matter expert teaching Incident Management, Emergency Operations Center Management, mitigation techniques and Ethanol Emergency Response Safety training emphasizing strategy, tactics, management, and mitigation.
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 : Dr. George Lane is Research Associate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management (CCRM) at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Lane’s research using standoff chemical-specific detectors at CCRM was funded by the California Office of Emergency Services in 2019 to mitigate gaps in chemical security at deepwater ports in California (“Enhancing Chemical Security at California Ports Using Standoff Chemical-specific Detection”; 2019). Dr. Lane is collaborating with DC Fire & EMS and the D.C. National Guard 33rd Civil Support Team Weapons of Mass Destruction unit to provide a 3-mile radius of chemical surveillance for the District of Columbia from DC Fire HQ, which includes the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and other CI/KR using a single standoff chemical detector. Dr. Lane received his PhD in Public Policy in 2000 at Southern University in Baton Rouge as a NSF Fellow, received his MS in Emergency Management in 2021 at Tulane University as Air Quality SME for the CCRM Deepwater Horizon Study Group during the BP Oil Spill, received his MS in Chemistry at Southern University in 1998 as a NASA Fellow at the Stennis Space Center, and received his BS in Chemical engineering in 1970 LSU in Baton Rouge. Dr. Lane has 25 years of experience in chemical security management at the University of California at Berkeley, Tulane University, the University of Georgia, and LSU in Baton Rouge.
Biography : Monique holds a degree in Emergency Management and Environmental Response coupled with 20 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 : John Lund is a contractor to the DOE TEPP program. Mr. Lund retired from the Idaho Falls Fire Department in January 2014 after serving 28 years. During his tenure with the IFFD, he served twenty three years as an EMT-Paramedic and thirteen years as a Captain. Lund is a state certified instructor for three levels of Hazardous Materials Response: Awareness, Operations and Technician; as well as a certified Emergency Medical Services instructor. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Idaho and the College of Eastern Idaho (formerly Eastern Idaho Technical College). Lund is a past Team Leader for the State of Idaho Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team covering the nine counties of the North East Region. He worked for Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as an Emergency Room and Flight Paramedic and has been delivering radiological training to first responders and hospital personnel since 1997.
Biography : William Miller began his Fire Service career in 1991 as a FireFighter/EMT with the Tacoma Fire Department (WA) and joined its HazMat response team in 1995. At the time of retirement in May 2017 he specialized in HM/CBRN 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 primarily to Fire Dept. based HM/CBRN response teams.
Biography : Michael is the Course Manager for the Specialist F&G weeks, ASO, and Railcar Safety courses. Serving as the Haz Mat Lead, Michael is responsible for managing the CSTI Field Training Facility, CSTI partner sites, coordinating with other Haz Mat Program Managers, and preparing updates to the training curriculum . He has a background in Fire/Haz Mat, with over 27 years experience in response, mitigation, and management. Michael is retired from the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department.
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 : As the Technical Support & Training 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, general industry, 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. He also acted as the Terrorism Liaison Officer from 2003 to 2019. Prior to his retirement he was the technical expert for the department on mixed waste, methamphetamine cleanup, XRF use, off-road driving, infrared camera use, 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.
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 over ten years.
Biography : Patrick A. Ryan is the Hazardous Materials Manager at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. His responsibilities include oversight of hazardous waste on campus, and at related offsite locations. He has worked at MSU over 14 years and has actively worked with Hazmat over 26 years. He has extensive experience with large-scale chemical lab cleanouts and hazardous materials and waste management. He is a certified hazardous materials manager (CHMM), certified safety professional (CSP), and certified industrial hygienist (CIH). His professional experience includes work in the domains of industry, government, and academia. He has a strong passion for continuous learning and improvement.
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 Sharp is the co-founder of Hazard3, a small business specializing in developing and delivering risk-based response training programs. Hazard3 training combines scientifically sound, street smart tactics, with easy to follow response guides. Gary develops training solutions that include on-site courses with hands-on, virtual instructor led training (VILT), and microlearning. Microlearning is based on 5-minutes modules that students complete using an app on their smartphone or tablet. More information is available at www.hazard3.com Previously Gary served as the Senior Director of Training and First Responders Solutions for a defense and homeland security contractor and as a career Deputy Fire Chief. He currently volunteers as the Program Manager for the Oakland County HazMat Team, a multi-agency joint police/fire team located North of Detroit, Michigan. Gary is a member of the NFPA Hazardous Materials Technical Committee and is addicted to Starbucks.
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 is currently involved with a Chemical Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Dept. of Homeland Security. One of our goals is to develop methods and means for local response teams to engage faster and more purposefully with the industrial facility and the regional, state, and federal responders when dealing with catastrophic hazmat events.
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. Chief Talbot served on the FIRESCOPE Hazardous Materials Working Group and the FIRESCOPE High-Rise Working Group during this same period. 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 was promoted to Battalion Chief in July of 2009 and was assigned to the Indio Battalion. In November 2015, Chief Talbot was 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, Desert Hot Springs, and 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. Over four hundred Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department personnel are 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 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 : Chuck Tobias Assistant Fire Chief, Fire and Rescue, Special Operations Hazmat and Urban Search and Rescue, CalOES Chuck joined the CalOES Fire and Rescue Branch in 2018. He has served as the manager of the Cal OES Regional Hazardous Materials Response program. This successful program oversees 12 Cal OES Hazardous Materials Response Teams located throughout the State of California. Chief Tobias recently completed a 36 year career with the Fresno City Fire Department. During his tenure in the Fire Service, he served in numerous capacities which include; Hazardous Materials Response Team Chief Anti-terrorism and Homeland Security Chief Metropolitan Medical Response System Program Manager FIRESCOPE High Rise Specialist Group Chair FIRESCOPE Hazardous Materials Specialist Group Member CICCS Safety Officer, PIO, and Strike Team Leader CSTI and SFT Outreach Instructor Paramedic Working for a large municipal fire department with an extremely busy emergency response load and his diverse background have provided Chuck with numerous opportunities to serve with national, State, regional, and local jurisdictions. He has represented Fresno, the State of California and FEMA Regions VIII, IX, and X at many meetings and conferences. He developed two Type 1 Hazmat Response Teams, one Type 1 USAR Team. Chuck graduated from Fresno City College and Columbia Southern University, Summa Cum Laude, and resides in Fresno, CA.
Biography : Dr Christine (Christy) Tomlinson, Senior Biologist, CBRN Consequence Management Advisory Division, Office of Emergency Management, has been with EPA for 3 years. Since joining EPA, Christy has been heavily involved in the Agency's COVID-19 response, as well as several bio-agent incidents involving Ricin, Monkeypox, and Burkholderia, amongst others. She has been critical in helping form many policy and guidance documents for biological incident responses on behalf of the EPA. Prior to joining EPA, she served as a scientific advisor for various US Federal Government clients, including the US Army Special Operations Command, the Chemical and Biological Defense Division within the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Christy has supported programs involving characterization of biological threats, risk assessments of bioterrorism, viral evolution, synthetic biology, host response to disease, rapid chem/bio detection systems, and clinical diagnostics development. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina in Microbiology and Immunology in 2007. Prior to that, she received her BS in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University.
Biography : Jeremy VanAuker is the Field Forensic Application Scientist for 908 Devices. He earned both his Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas and is currently working on his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. After earning his B.S., he briefly worked at an explosives manufacturing facility as a Laboratory Chemist. He then worked as firefighter/EMT-basic in Joplin, Missouri for almost five years specializing in hazardous material response and technical rescue. Before joining 908 Devices, Jeremy was a Forensic Drug Chemist II for almost nine years with the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas where he analyzed unknown materials for the presence or absence of controlled substances.
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 : Dr. Chris Weber is a Field Forensic Applications Scientist for 908 Devices in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has been training emergency responders for over twenty five years for a variety of agencies. His past experience includes serving on the Washtenaw County (Michigan) Hazardous Materials Response Team for more than a decade in positions that include hazmat technician, training officer and deputy director. He has also served as a subject matter expert with the Longmont (Colorado) Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Response Team. He has been a firefighter for more than 30 years and is currently a member of the Hygiene (Colorado) Volunteer Fire Department. 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.
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 : Jennifer has an education in Engineering and Applied Science from Lehigh University. She has worked for W.L. Gore and Associates for 21 years in manufacturing leadership, process engineering, product development, and market facing education/training. Early in her career she focused on commercialization of game changing PPE for the HazMat and WMD community. She is currently the Market Specialist for both Structural Firefighting PPE as well as CBRN PPE at Gore.
Biography : Robert Wise has been a Federal On-Scene Coordinator with EPA Region 9 Emergency Response. Robert has 35 years experience in Superfund Emergency Response. 15 years as an EPA ER contractor and 20 years as an OSC. Robert is considered a national level expert on Mercury Response and serves on the EPA's Mercury Response Workgroup. Robert is also the Radiation Response Coordinator for EPA Region 9 and serves on the National Radiation Protection Work Group. Robert has designed and presented a number of classes at the Continuing Challenge, the CUPA Forum, Hazmat Explo conferences to name a few. During the COVID pandemic, FOSC Wise was instrumental in preparing the EPA Region 9 virtual 8-Hour HAZWOPER Refresher Training, Mercury Response and Cleanup and the Descent into Madness Classes that was made available for local, state and federal agencies nation wide. Robert has extensive experience in response operations. Robert was the Deputy Incident Commander for the Palestine Collection Base for the 2003 Space Shuttle Disaster, the Division Supervisor for the 2007 EPA San Diego FEMA Fire Recovery Fire Response, Deputy Area Commander for the 2015 Gold King Mine Spill and the High-Hazard Team Leader for a number wildland fire recovery operations in Northern California. Robert has also conducted over 100 CERCLA and OPA Removal actions over his 35 year career.
Biography : Sauda Yerabati is the emergency management lead for the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). She represents the Office of the State Environmental Health Director, working as a liaison in collaborative projects with partners from local-state-federal agencies and the private sector. Sauda manages the CDC funded Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) at CEH for preparedness, response, and recovery activities related to Food and Drug Safety, Radiation Safety and Environmental Management. Her work focuses on environmental health concerns in disasters, preventing and mitigating harm to public health from agents which span the CBRN spectrum. In her previous role as the Chemical Threat Response Coordinator for the Laboratory Response Network for Chemical threats (LRN-C), Sauda developed the L3 program for the state including building a partner network and protocols for notification and specimen submission. Sauda has over 25 years of experience spanning basic research in infectious disease, toxicology, statewide environmental epidemiology studies, management of clinical neuroepidemiology research, and more recently disaster response and emergency management. Sauda obtained her Masters’ degree in Public Health (MPH) specializing in Environmental Health Sci/Toxicology from UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She received her bachelor’s degree with Honors 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.