2020 Instructors Biographies
Rob Backer is a 17-year veteran of the fire service and currently serves as a Captain with Thornton Fire Department in Thornton, Colorado. As the owner and lead instructor of First Due Intelligence, llc, he has taught with Dave Dodson to assume responsibility for continuing the instruction of his popular program "The Art of Reading Smoke" nationwide, in addition to classes on size-up.
Ted Collins is a professor at Los Rios Community College District, Cosumnes River College. Ted has 34.5 years in the fire service serving as Firefighter, Engineer, Captain (company officer), Captain (management staff) and acting Battalion Chief and served on the Solano County Haz-Mat Team as a Haz-Mat Specialist. Ted led a sUAS course here last year at FSW then co-instructed at the Bakersfield Training Officer’s Symposium. He has been an instructor at the Northern California Training Officer’s Conference in San Jose in addition to his own organization wherein he led the way in technological development from the desktop computer mapping systems and records to deploying sUAS in the emergency environment. In addition, through his company Red Dawn Aviation, Ted provides sUAS consulting and training for public agencies.
Bryan Duquin, Jr. EMT is an Education and Training Specialist for VFIS, a subsidiary of the Glatfelter Insurance Group, responsible for the national delivery of educational and training programs, curriculum development, and information analysis. Duquin is an active Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and volunteer Firefighter in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Currently, he serves as an Assistant Fire Chief in an all-volunteer organization. Duquin comes with experience in education and has taught Fire and EMS personnel all over South Central Pennsylvania as an EMS educator with various educational
institutes and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy as a local level Instructor. Duquin has held many ranks in both the Fire and EMS industries, including an operations chief for a rural EMS organization and several ranks within the fire service. Duquin is working towards his Associate’s degree in Fire Science and hopes to achieve that goal within the next year.
Mark Emery is the Fire Chief at East Valley Fire Department in Yakima, WA. He authored The Ten Commandments of Intelligent and Safe Fireground Operations, is co-developer of the Integrated Tactical Accountability System (ITAC), and creator of the Command Competency Clinic. BC Emery is a regular contributor to Firehouse magazine and has provided articles for the FDSOA Health & Safety Newsletter and FireRescue magazine. Chief Emery is a fourth generation career fire fighter, a NFA Executive Fire Officer, and the Region 10 Director of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.
Crosby Grindle, MPA
Crosby Grindle is the President of Cooperative Services, LLC and is on the Board of Directors for the Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association (FEMSA). He consults for Sourcewell, where he leads their public safety cooperative procurement initiative. He recently served as the President of NPPGov, a national cooperative public procurement program and served on the Board of Directors for the National Cooperative Procurement Partners (NCPP).
Previously, he has held several leadership positions in public safety association management including Director of Professional Development for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). His local government career began in the fire service where he served as a chief officer and project manager for city administration.
Crosby received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Virginia Tech and completed the four-year National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program.
Scott Harrison brings with him over 46 years of experience, education, and knowledge in all aspects of the fire sprinkler industry. This includes estimating, design, service, project and branch management as well as inspection, product development, forensic investigation, sales and technical consulting. He holds a BA Degree in Communications and Business from San Diego State University and is a U.S. Army Veteran.
Scott is the National/International FlameGuard CPVC Technical Specialist for Spears Manufacturing and provides technical consulting and training to architects, engineers, AHJs, designers, contractors and end-users internationally who use the FlameGuard CPVC Fire Sprinkler Products.
Robert Krause, Ed.D., Toledo Fire & Rescue
Bob Krause's knowledge and experience is built on over 37 years of working in emergency services. He's an active firefighter, fire officer, paramedic, EMS instructor, firefighting instructor, lecturer, researcher and published author. He has held positions as an Engine Company Officer, Fire Training Officer, Fire & EMS Academy Program Director, Fire & EMS Communications Supervisor, Chief of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Medical Services Educator. Bob is currently assigned as a battalion chief to Battalion 1, A-shift. Dr. Krause's doctoral research focused on firefighter fatalities, identifying common themes, related causes and the development of potential methods to minimize the risk of a fatal incident for firefighters. As an author, Dr. Krause's work has been published in professional journals, magazines and textbooks
Dave Lind retired in 2013 from the North Shore Fire Department in Wisconsin after spending over 17 years as their Fire Marshal. Dave was responsible for day to day fire inspections, ensuring all company inspections were completed on time, part of the fire investigation team, plans review and municipal code enforcement activities. The North Shore is a consolidated department made up of 7 different communities and their respective governing bodies.
Dave was an active member of several fire service organizations. He is a Past President of the Wisconsin Fire Inspectors Association and Past Executive Board member of the International Fire Marshals Association. Dave served as a representative on several State and National Fire Service related committees and groups. He served as a Principal Member on many NFPA Technical Committees.
Dave was certified by the State of Wisconsin as a Fire Inspector, Commercial Building Inspector, Residential Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector and Electrical Inspector. Dave served for 13 years as a Building Code Official before joining the Fire Service. Dave held certifications from NFPA as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Certified Plans Examiner and as a Subject Matter Expert on the test and credentialing committee.
Shannon McQuaide, FireFlex Yoga founder and director, grew up in a fire family. Shannon is a successful entrepreneur, educator, functional and resiliency expert with 20+ years’ experience creating empowering instructional programs for corporations, public schools, community groups and first responders.
She is an inspiring thought leader and advocates for using science-based yoga techniques to deescalate stress and support peak performance in high-risk environments. She brings her deep understanding of the physical and emotional toll on fire and their families to her work with FireFlex Yoga.
Shannon has written articles for the California State Firefighters’ Association, Fire Rescue Magazine, the Scotts Valley Press Banner, and she currently writes a monthly column for Fire Engineering's On-line Magazine. She is a certified functional movement trainer and has a master of arts in leadership and psychology.
Steven Nicholas, Ed. D., MFT, NCC
Dr. Nicholas has his doctorate in Counseling and Educational Psychology. He has been practicing as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) since 2007 and has immersed himself in the phenomena of trauma and the potential growth from adverse events. His trainings are aimed at normalizing the cultures of stress and trauma exposure. His copyrighted model, Living Ideation, is a positive contrast to the common suicide prevention models; Living Ideation aims to discover existing strengths within a person and then amplify those abilities for resilience. Ultimately, balance and strength out compete depression, burnout, and suicidal thoughts.
Additionally, he is the in-house mental health clinician for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District in Northern Nevada. In recent years, he has worked with BLM wildland firefighters as a national trainer for preseason readiness. Throughout his studies and teachings, Dr. Nicholas has worked with
individuals, couples, families, and organizations impacted by the co-occurrences of substance use disorders and mental health diagnoses. In addition to doctoral publications analyzing how families create greater relational connections after suicide loss, Dr. Nicholas was a contributing investigator for the DSM-5. Dr. Nicholas has resided in northern Nevada for over forty-five years and has a comprehensive private practice in Reno.
Jesse Quinalty is a Master Instructor and the owner of Red Helmet Training in Southern California which houses four classrooms and a command training center. He specializes in Company Officer Training as well as table top and digital fire simulations. He is a Captain with the San Bernardino County Fire Department working in Battalion 10 and was the Operations and Training Captain at his previous department.
Jesse has also been fortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has been the Incident Commander for multiple structure fires and other incidents, including city-wide flooding during two monsoon storms. He was involved in a burnover during the Sawtooth Incident and credited with saving the engine crew with his command presence.
He has presented at several conferences including the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), Firehouse World San Diego, Firehouse Expo Nashville, Fire Rescue International (FRI), Fire Shows West – Reno, Fire Rescue South Carolina and the Virginia Fire Rescue Conference.
He has authored several articles in fire service magazines and is currently writing a book.
Steven Peavey retired from the City of Altamonte Springs Florida after spending over 38 years in the fire service. Up until his retirement in June of 2016 he had spent the past 21 years as the Deputy Fire Marshal in Altamonte Springs where he was responsible for all of day to day fire inspection, investigation, plans review and city code enforcement activities.
Steve has been an active member of several fire service organizations. He is a Past President of both the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association and the Past President of the International Fire Marshals Association. Steve has served as a representative on several other State and National Fire Service related committees and groups. He served as a Principal Member to the NFPA 101 Assembly Occupancy Technical Committee from 2003 – 2016 and in 2008 he served as part of the original Forum for the development of Visions 20/20 National Strategies for Fire Loss Prevention.
Steve is certified by the State of Florida as a Fire Inspector and Fire Code Administrator. He also served for 36 years as an EMT and 13 years as a Certified Law Enforcement Officer. Steve currently holds certifications from NFPA as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist and is also Certified as a Fire Marshal by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.
David Popoff is currently serving as the Training Manager for The Response Group. 34 years of public safety experience as an Emergency Responder, Manager, Peace Officer, Fire Marshal and member and facilitator of type 3 incident management teams, Recognized by FEMA as an All Hazard Incident Commander, position specific and Integrated Emergency Management Program instructor. Recognized by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (FEMA) as a Gold Level ICS Instructor. Significant activities in the area of Emergency Response includes: Planning Section Chief Santa Fe School Shooting, Incident Commander for numerous natural & manmade disasters. Served as the State Coordinator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management Southeast Texas region.
Derek Reid is the President and Founder of the NNPSN. He is a career Fire Captain with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and has served in the fire and EMS industry for 25 years. Derek spent his first six years in EMS as a paramedic on an ALS ambulance with REMSA. Derek began his fire career in 1999 at Central Lyon County Fire Protection District and took advantageof further career opportunities with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Sierra Fire Protection District, and Reno FireDepartment. He has been an educator with Truckee Meadows Community College and serves as an Instructor / Facilitator for the Phi Theta Kappa International Public Safety Leadership & Ethics Institute.
Derek spearheaded the first comprehensive mental health wellness program for Truckee Meadows Fire. As founder and lead for their Peer Support Team, he was instrumental in starting the Chaplain program and on-boarding of Truckee Meadows Fire's first licensed psychologist. In addition, he is the former Water Entry Special Team leader, and Instructor for the Officer Development School at Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. Derek is also published / co-contributor of Fire Standards through the Nevada Department of Education. Derek's vision is to build unity within the first responder
Ray Reynolds currently serves as the Director of Fire and EMS for the City of Nevada, Iowa. He oversees fire department operations and serves as a sworn peace officer within the Nevada Public Safety Department.
Ray raised awareness of a state wide fire prevention message while serving as the State Fire Marshal for Iowa between the years 2010 and 2013. Ray developed a state-wide smoke alarm installation program within Iowa that was responsible for over 60,000 smoke alarms being installed in homes throughout Iowa. He will continue to implement community risk reduction programs within the City of Nevada.
Ray began his law enforcement service as a reserve deputy sheriff in 1987, and became a full-time municipal police officer in Mount Vernon, Iowa in 1988. Ray served as a police officer and Crime Scene Technician for the City of Iowa City from 1991-1996. He has been a member of the fire service since 1986, and held certifications as a fire inspector I, firefighter II, firefighter I, paramedic, bomb technician, hazardous materials technician, fire investigator I, Fire Instructor I & II, Fire Officer I, and is a certified public manager (CPM). Ray works part time as a paramedic/firefighter for the Bondurant Fire Department and has served on six different volunteer/combination fire departments in the last 25 years.
Ray joined the State Fire Marshal's Office in 1996, and was detailed to the State of Iowa Intelligence Fusion Center in 2006, where he has been assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Ray has received extensive specialized training in terrorism, intelligence, informants, explosives and other topics, and he has headed up two major cases within the JTTF during his tenure at the Des Moines FBI Office.
Ray served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Central Iowa Chapter. In July of 2015 he was elected to the prestigious Fire and Life Safety Section board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Tim Shurr, MA
Tim Shurr is an award-winning expert in Leadership and Influential Communication. He’s authored several books including The Power Of Optimism, Get Out Of Your Way, and Sales Mastery. Tim is also an award-winning Hypnotist, and his results are so impressive, he’s been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the TEDx stage. Tim also partnered with the VCOS and IAFC this year in teaching "Mesmerizing Leadership Skills” to Fire Chiefs and Officers around the country. MesmerizingLeaders.com/
Dean Sparaco, CR Architecture & Design
Dean leads CR's civic and public safety design practice out of our Denver office, bringing 25 years of experience to the team. He has a passion for
sustainable design and construction in the Rocky Mountains, as reflected in his body of work, including government, commercial, multi-family, senior
living, custom residential, new urbanism, town planning and urban design projects. This history has afforded Dean extensive design, construction
management and administration experience on a wide variety of projects.
Paul Strong entered the fire service in 1990 and is a Battalion Chief with the Valley Regional Fire Authority in King County Washington. Paul has been an educator in the public and private sectors for over 25 years. He has served as a training officer, medical program specialist, hazmat technician, and a rope/dive rescue technician. He is also an adjunct instructor for the Washington State Fire Training Academy as well as the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Paul’s focus in education is providing energetic programs that keep the audience engaged through interactive participation and thought-provoking delivery. Paul has well over two decades of delivering effectual classroom and conference programs to police, fire, and EMS personnel as well as private business leaders and industry workforce.
Bob Sullivan is the Southwest Regional Director for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Mr. Sullivan has over 31 years of experience serving on fire departments in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado, including several years at the rank of Lieutenant. Prior to coming to NFPA, he served on the Thornton Fire Department in Colorado as the Senior Fire Protection Engineer and Deputy Fire Marshal, focusing on new development construction and fire code enforcement. Previously, Mr. Sullivan worked for National Foam Inc./Kidde Firefighting USA and Industrial Risk Insurers. He has a Master's Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist.
Paul Sullivan is Fire Chief of the Weber Fire District. He has 38 years combined Fire and EMS experience including 21 years with the Chandler, Arizona Fire Department where he retired at the rank of Battalion Chief. He has been a certified emergency paramedic for 36 years, currently holding certifications in both Utah and Arizona. Paul has been a fire service instructor for 26 years teaching command, WMD, truck company operations, leadership, and other topics. Paul has an Associates in Fire Science, a Bachelors in Public Safety Administration, and a Masters of Administration from Northern Arizona University.
Feike van Dijk
Feike van Dijk, from Wyoming he has a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a B.S. in Business Administration obtained at Dr. D.H. Groen College in Almelo the Netherlands. Feike experienced a house fire where he lost 2 young sons on July 15th 2014, he and his 9 month old twin son were life flighted to Salt Lake City where they were treated for 3rd and 4th degree burns. Feike shortly after the tragedy lost his job as Social Worker and after losing his job experienced severe depression in combination with his PTSD. Nine months after the dreadful fire, Feike applied for the local fire department because he wanted to help other people that are experiencing tragedy, but he also wants reach out to first responders dealing with trauma. Feike also serves as a Chaplain for the local Hospice, Chaplain for Fremont County Sheriff’s Department and Disaster Response member for the Wyoming chapter of the American Red Cross and disaster crew member for Team Rubicon.
NFPA has done a multiple series Podcast about the van Dijk family which has received National awards. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Home-fire-sprinklers/Fire-Sprinkler-Initiative/Survivor-stories/Survivors-podcast
Kevin Ward has been the fire chief for the Layton City (UT) Fire Department since 2004. Prior to his appointment, Chief Ward served 24 years with the Chandler (AZ) Fire Department, retiring as a battalion chief. He has served as an officer for over 36 years of his career. While in Chandler, Ward served as a training officer, public information officer, hazardous materials team coordinator, wildland fire program coordinator, administrative battalion chief, and emergency medical services (EMS) division chief. Prior to his promotion to battalion chief, Ward spent 18 years as a captain/paramedic on both engine and ladder companies. Chief Ward has achieved qualifications through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group as an engine boss, strike team and task force leader, structure protection specialist, and Type 3 incident commander. He has been an instructor for the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy Command Training Center since its inception. Chief Ward currently serves as Vice President of the Utah Fire Chiefs Association and chairs the Utah Fire Officer Designation Program.