Tell us about yourself.
I am currently serving as the Training Officer for the City of Springfield Fire Rescue Division in Springfield Ohio. I've been a member of Springfield for 19 years and the training officer for the past one and half year. I've worked as a Fire Instructor in Ohio since 2009 with Clark State Community College, Bowling Green State Fire School, The Ohio Fire Academy, and Howell Rescue.
Who or what has inspired you as a fire instructor?
Three people have inspired me to work as an instructor. My father was the first person who inspired me to become a firefighter and fire instructor, who has been in the fire service for 46 years. Since becoming a fire service instructor, a number of members have influenced me, but three particular members that have influenced my fire behavior side of fire service instruction is Brad French, Pete Van Dorpe, and Ed Hartin.
Why did you decide to become a member of ISFSI?
Both Brad French and Pete van Dorpe introduced me to ISFSI a few years back and have been encouraging me to get more involved with the opportunities that ISFSI provides.
What are some things you are working on in your department and how can others learn from that?
I'm currently working on changing how the department trains including a set day each week for fire service training using NFPA 1410 multi-company training. I've also introduced a process to review fires and write detailed reports on the tactics and strategies and how we can learn from our experiences.
Tell us about a project or training accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
The process I've created for training our members may seem small to many departments but it’s a large undertaking for our department based on our call volume and the lack of training over the years. Additionally, I am the founder of the IAFF Local 333 Educational Symposium that's been held for the past 8 years. This program was created out of the need for fire training and is supported by IAFF Local 333 and other local businesses. Through this program we reach out to firefighters throughout the state and surrounding states and has become the catalyst for programs being offered in Avon, Indiana, the Miami Valley Region of Ohio, and a few other areas.
What do you hope to accomplish as a fire service instructor?
My goal as an instructor is to make sure the members of my department and the surrounding areas receive the best fire instruction possible so that the citizens of our community receive the absolute best service possible when needed.
What is the biggest change you have noticed in the fire service since you started?
The biggest change in my department is how we now observe fire behavior and correlate our experiences with the research conducted by UL and NIST.
What advice do you have to give another instructor or to somebody who is just starting out as an instructor?
Don't be afraid to get involved. Don't expect anybody to make you the expert, you'll need to go after it on your own. Just because you aren't receiving positive feedback, especially from those members who are equal or above you doesn't mean your message is not impacting them.