FireRescue1 & Fire Chief Editorial Advisory Board
Executive Director, Brighton (N.Y.) Fire District
For 33 years, Ted Aroesty has been a volunteer for the Brighton Fire Department, serving as chief from 2003 to 2005. For the past 14 years, Aroesty has also served as executive director, responsible for the day-to-day administrative operations of the Brighton Fire District, working in conjunction with the fire chief to ensure that every aspect of their fire and EMS response is ready to meet the needs of the community.
Executive Director, Colorado State Fire Chiefs
Garry Briese is principal at Briese and Associates and executive director of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs. He served as the executive director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs from 1985 to 2007, where he was responsible for the organizational vision, development and implementation of the strategic plan, development of programs and services, communication with members, leading major partnership initiatives, coordinating public and governmental communications efforts on a national and international basis and assuring solid financial growth. He has more than 36 years of experience in all levels of emergency services, including local, state, national and international. He is a leader, author, and lecturer within the fire and emergency services community.
Ret. Fire Chief, German Township (Ind.) Volunteer Fire Department
Chief John M. Buckman III served 35 years as fire chief for the German Township (Indiana) Volunteer Fire Department, and 15 years as director of the fire and public safety academy for the Indiana State Fire Marshal Office. He is the Director of Government and Regional Outreach for IamResponding.com. Buckman is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a co-founder of the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section. In 1996, Fire Chief Magazine named Buckman Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. Buckman is an accomplished photographer, a co-author of the Lesson Learned from Fire-Rescue Leaders, and the editor of the Chief Officers Desk Reference. Buckman is the owner of Wildfire Productions.
Fire Chief, Fairfax County (Virginia) Fire and Rescue Department
John Butler is the fire chief for the Fairfax County (Virginia) Fire and Rescue Department. He formerly served as Howard County, Maryland’s, first internal fire chief, and first chief to have held every rank within the department. He is an active paramedic and holds a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, and certificates from the Johns Hopkins Public Safety Leadership Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, and the IAFC Fire Service Executive Development Institute
Battalion Chief, Wayne Township (Ind.) Fire Department
Captain Chief Cáceres began his career with the Wayne Township Fire Department over 25 years ago. After obtaining an architecture degree from Ball State University and working as an architect for a few years, he transitioned into a full-time career in the fire service. He has been promoted over the years to various ranks from private up to division chief. Cáceres has served as shift commander, division chief of Support Services and as division chief of Training and Safety. He is a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Indiana Task Force One (INTF-1) team as well as a member of the Indiana Smoke Diver Association. Cáceres is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy. He also earned a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University.
Deputy Chief, Loveland-Symmes Fire Department, Ohio
Billy Goldfeder serves as deputy chief of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Ohio. A 1993 graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, Goldfeder has served as a fire chief in Ohio, Virginia and Florida. He’s also a member of the board of directors for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), serving as chair of the Safety, Health and Survival Section. In 2001, Chief Goldfeder was honored with an appointment of honorable battalion chief of FDNY. He is a member of the board of directors of the September 11th Families Association as well as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), and provides expert assistance to the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. Goldfeder is a frequent contributor to fire service publications and serves as a consultant for Lexipol’s fire policy services. Goldfeder, along with Lexipol co-founder Gordon Graham, host and sponsor FirefighterCloseCalls.com.
Former Fire Chief, Riverdale (Georgia) Fire Department
Billy Hayes, also one of our columnists, has served as the director of public information and community affairs for the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department and as the chief of fire services for the City of Riverdale, Ga., and is a past-president of the Metro Atlanta Fire Chiefs Association. He is a graduate of Georgia Military College and the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. He additionally served as the Advocate Program Manager for the Everyone Goes Home campaign through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, where he was also a State and Region IV Advocate.
Assistant Chief, San Francisco Fire Department
Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac has been with the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) since 1997, beginning at the rank of firefighter/EMT. She graduated from the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program and obtained California State Fire Training's Fire Officer and Chief Officer certificates. She also earned her Master Instructor certificate through State Fire Training. Juratovac is a certified Hazardous Materials Specialist, and has certifications in Rescue Systems I and II, Trench Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Auto Extrication, Wildland, SCUBA and other specialties. She is a state subject-matter expert on high-rise firefighting, and is qualified to work on the SFFD Heavy Rescue Squad and Surf Rescue companies. Juratovac has taught at conferences, workshops and as an adjunct faculty member at the NFA. She has been an instructor at City College of San Francisco’s Fire Science Technology Program since 2003 and at its Fire Academy since its inception.
Fire Chief, Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department
Gary Ludwig serves as the fire chief of the ISO Class 1 Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department and is the 1st Vice President for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He has 41 years of fire, rescue and EMS experience. Ludwig previously serves with the City of St. Louis and Memphis fire departments as well as on the EMS Executive Board for the IAFC for 22 years. He has written over 500 articles for professional publications. His latest book is titled "Fully Involved Leadership."
Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell
President/CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute
Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell is president and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute, an organization that procures, assembles, analyzes and reports information from fire, rescue and law enforcement data. She previously served for 26 years as a senior executive with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), responsible for frontline interaction with elected officials fire chiefs, and local labor leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada. She began her career as a firefighter/paramedic with the Memphis (Tennessee) Fire Department. Dr. Moore-Merrell is considered an expert in executive leadership, emergency response system evaluation, public safety resource deployment, community risk assessment, data collection and analysis, strategic planning, costs and benefits analysis, advocacy, consensus building, policy development and implementation and generational differences in the workplace.
Fire Chief, Baltimore County (Maryland) Fire Department
Joanne Rund began her career in 1987 in Howard County, Maryland, and was recently appointed fire chief of the Baltimore County Fire Department. She has served in a leadership role for 26 of her 32 years of service. Before joining the career fire service, Rund served as a volunteer emergency services provider (EMS) in Carroll County, Maryland. At the national level, Rund works with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) as the Region III advocate, coordinator and instructor. In 2006, she was elected to serve as a director-at-large with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section for which she continues to serve. In 2018, Rund was accepted into the prestigious IAFC Fire Service Executive Development Institute Program.
Executive Director, National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation
Fire Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki, also one of our columnists, began his fire service career with the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 1978 and with 24 years of fire, rescue and emergency medical services operational experience, he has progressed through the ranks to chief. In July 2001, Chief Siarnicki retired from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department to take the position of executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Research Engineer, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
Keith Stakes is a member of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. As a fire protection engineer, Stakes studies the effectiveness of fire service tactics as well as advances in firefighter safety and fireground operations. He has a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland. Stakes has over 13 years of fire service experience as a firefighter and officer with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad in Maryland, where he currently holds the rank of battalion chief. He continues to serve on the NFPA Technical Committee for Fire Service Training and is a member of the NFPA, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Fire Chief, Past Chair, National Volunteer Fire Council
Phil Stittleburg joined the volunteer fire service in 1972 and has been chief of the La Farge (Wisconsin) Fire Department since 1977. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the NFPA, and the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), USA Branch. He also serves on the board of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
President, RealWorld Training & Consulting
Linda Willing is a retired career fire officer and currently works with emergency services agencies and other organizations on issues of leadership development, decision making and diversity management through her company, RealWorld Training and Consulting. She is also an adjunct instructor and curriculum advisor with the National Fire Academy. Linda is the author of "On the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories." She has a bachelor’s degree in American studies, a master’s degree in organization development and is a certified mediator.