The 2020 SHS Section Election will be for three at-large director seats. Eligibility information for this position can be found on the 2020 Elections page.
The elected at-large directors will serve three-year terms, beginning at FRI 2020 in Phoenix, AZ.
The 2020 SHS Section election will be run exclusively online; the voting period opens on May 18 and closes on June 18. Please contact Taylor Munday at [email protected] with any questions regarding the 2020 elections.
Candidates appear here in alphabetical order by last name.
Jeffrey (Jeff) Armstrong, Rio Vista (CA) Fire Department
Fire Chief, CFO, FM, MIFireE
I currently serve as the Fire Chief for the City of Rio Vista in Northern California. I have been a Fire Chief in California for just over 7 years, serving in both combination and career fire departments. I am currently designated as a CFO (Chief Fire Officer) and FM (Fire Marshal) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Commission on Professional Credentialing. I hold an associate degree in Fire Science, a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration and am currently completing my master’s degree in Homeland Security. I am a certified Chief Officer, Fire Officer and Fire Investigator II through the California Board of Fire Services, along with numerous other State and Federal Certifications. Most notably, I am certified as both an Incident Safety Officer (ISO) and a Health and Safety Officer (HSO). In 2015, I was selected by the Board of the California Fire Chiefs Association to re-engage the Operations Section.
Throughout my career, I have been an advocate for Firefighter Safety, enacting “first-time” programs and equipment to address the Health and Safety of Firefighters and First Responders.
Robert Fite, Grand Prairie (TX) Fire Department
Fire Chief, EFO
Prior to becoming Fire Chief for Grand Prairie in 2012, he served as the Fire Chief in Georgetown, Texas since 2009. Chief Fite has been a firefighter/paramedic since 1988 serving first in Lancaster, Texas and then in Richardson, Texas. Chief Fite is very proud of the recent accomplishments of the Grand Prairie Fire Department to include receiving the American Heart Association Gold Award for the 5th year in a row, being named a Heart Healthy community by the North Central Texas Regional EMS Council, and receiving the highest Insurance rating of an ISO 1.
For the past three years Chief Fite has taken on the firefighter cancer issue and travels the state of Texas as well as the nation to help educate firefighters and local departments on the best practices to help mitigate the cancer exposures. In addition to his education campaign, he assists firefighters with their job related cancer claims and testifies when asked at their employment hearings to help assure their cancer claim is accepted.
Chief Fite is an Executive Fire Officer Graduate from the National Fire Academy, as well as a licensed paramedic and master firefighter. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Midwestern State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration from Western Illinois University.
Edward Hadfield, Rincon (CA) Fire Department
Fire Chief, CFO, CFC, MIFireE
If elected as At-Large Director with the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, I will continue to meet the ongoing challenges facing our fire service by continuing to find solutions to reduce the unnecessary exposures to our firefighters. I will strongly advocate for greater cancer prevention and detection methods. My charge will be diligent in our efforts to provide and promote awareness to behavioral health needs and the effects of post-traumatic stress injury on our firefighters. My goal is to assure we have programs and education available for overall physical and behavioral health for our members during their career and into retirement.
Working for you as a member of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, I will remain intensely focused on those elements and conditional threats to fire service members. It’s imperative as an At-Large Director, I maintain a strong presence, providing outreach to our members while remaining collaborative in our efforts. I will ensure IAFC Divisions are assisted in providing critical information, solutions, support necessary for outreach to their members. I want to assure we are giving all members the tools to have successful and safe fire service careers on and off duty.
I promise my efforts will build upon the amazing progress of the members who have held the positions before me. I will be diligent in my efforts to work collaboratively within the committee, the IAFC and with stakeholders in achieving current and projected goals to enhance the safety envelop for our members.
Jeffrey Hevey, Harris County (TX) Emergency Services District No. 48
Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator, BS, CFE
My name is Jeffrey S. Hevey and I currently serve as Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator with Harris County Emergency Services District No. 48 (HCESD No. 48), located in Harris County, Texas. I started my Fire Service career in February 1974.
I am most proud of my dedication to the health and safety of all first responders who I have served with and those who I supervised over my 46 years. In 1989, I was an original member of the Southeast Wisconsin Health and Safety Committee formed by the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association.
As I have progressed in my career, I was able to assist in the development of Department policies involved with the use of Tobacco products, since both Wisconsin and Texas had presumptive heart and lung laws, it made sense to limit the hiring of new personnel to be non-smokers and tobacco users.
Currently with HCESD No. 48, I have worked with my command staff and personnel to have policies in place to eliminate the use of tobacco products and smoking for new hires since 1/2017.
I have established policies following the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) for protective clothing; purchasing two (2) sets of PPE for all suppression personnel; mental health support team and access to clinicians for employee mental health support; use of breathing apparatus in area where air is contaminated; allowing our training division to instruct personnel on reading smoke, understanding building construction and fire behavior.
Steven Hoffmann, Town of Farmington (CT) Fire Department
Director of Fire & Rescue Services
I am employed with the Town of Farmington as the Director of Fire & Rescue Services. In this role I have been tasked with being responsible to the Town Manager for all fire, rescue and emergency medical services in the Town of Farmington. Other tasks assigned include strategic planning; budget preparation; policy development; fleet management, coordinating the training and physical fitness programs of the department; improve efficiency in operations, recruitment and public relations; develop specifications for needed equipment and determine purchase requirements; evaluate risk management issues; develop annual budget recommendations; and develop strategic and tactical plans for future equipment and facilities. In this position I also hold the title of Assistant Emergency Management Director and Deputy Fire Marshal with the associated responsibilities for these positions.
I have been engaged in the municipal and Industrial emergency services such as police, fire and EMS departments for over 20 years. Training and Safety have always been a topic of importance to me. Since my appointment with the Town of Farmington we have enhanced the safety and health of the department through numerous initiatives to include establishing a Health & Safety Committee, appointment of a Health & Safety Officer, cancer awareness/prevention, established a Risk Management Plan, Instituted a Health & Wellness Program, adopted an EAP program for all department members and their families and annual reviews of Directives pertaining to the safety and health of department members. The department continues to progress and adopt new ways to enhance the safety and health of its firefighters.
Dan Kerrigan, Upper Providence Township (PA) Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Chief of Fire and Emergency Services
I am humbled to have represented you over the past three years on the SHS section board of directors. Over that time, my efforts include serving as section PIO, where I have grown our outreach efforts and worked to increase membership and participation through programs including our staging area, serving as the co-chair for the Safety Stand Down program and serving as co-chair on our section’s PPE Workgroup collaboration with representatives from the turnout gear industry. I have also implemented the “Section Spotlight” program to highlight successful health and safety programs departments have implemented across the country.
As a peer fitness trainer and international speaker on the topic of firefighter health and wellness, I am committed to educating and training our firefighters on the importance of physical health, behavioral health and exposure reduction. Additionally, work with colleagues to eliminate workplace harassment, improving collaboration with partner organizations, and improving diversity and inclusion at all levels is ongoing.
My commitment to improving the health and safety of our firefighters does not waver. I strive daily to not only be a champion for improvement as a SHS board member, but to lead by example in my own department as well. It’s been an honor to represent the fire service as we continue to identify ways to reduce the frequency of line-of-duty injuries and deaths. The tide is rising, but there is much more to be done, and I would be honored to have your support and vote to continue working for you.
Todd LeDuc , Broward (FL) Fire Rescue & Emergency Services Department
Chief (ret.), CFO, FIFirE
Chief LeDuc has served for the last 15 years on the board of directors of the Safety, Health & Survival Section, the last two terms serving as Board secretary. He was instrumental in the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section’s Healthcare Provider Guide to Firefighter Physicals and represents the Section on the physicals advisory board of the First Responder Center of Excellence, an NFFF affiliate. Chief LeDuc holds a masters degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership, is a credentialed Chief Fire Officer and holds Fellow status in the Institute of Fire Engineers. He is a peer reviewer for both agency accreditation and professional credentialing. He is the Editor of the Fire Engineering Surviving the Fire Service.
Chief LeDuc spent thirty years with Broward County, FL Fire Rescue services throughout the ranks were his last rank was Executive Assistant Chief and he now serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Life Scan Wellness Centers, one of the Nations largest provider of firefighter and law enforcement physicals and early detection. He publishes and speaks frequently throughout North America on topics of firefighter health, safety and survival. He humbly asks for support to continue his passion and representing the Section members on the Board.
Stan Mettinger, Brooksville (FL) Fire Department
District Chief, CFO
My Fire Service journey began in Warrenton Virginia in 1971 as a “junior firefighter” with Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company where I volunteered for 28 years. I held various officer positions, including Fire Chief for two years. I became a career firefighter with Prince William Fire Rescue in 1979, where I retired as a Captain. I then worked on a Military Base Fire Department as a Captain before moving to Florida and in 2002 I went to work for Brooksville Fire Department where I am currently a District Chief and a member of the Department Safety Committee. I served as interim Chief for 10 months (Oct 2017- June 2018). I have 48 years of experience in the Fire Service. I hold an Associate’s in Fire Science, a Bachelor’s in Fire Administration and CFO credentials from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Certifications include Fire Officer IV, Fire Investigator, Fire Inspector, and Instructor IV through Florida or the National Pro Board. I am a Florida Advocate for the National Fallen Fire Firefighters Foundation. I am a section member and recently participated in the curriculum development group for the “Respect Our House-Extinguish Bullying” course developed for IAFC.
If selected for a board position, I pledge continuing support to the section and its work to improve firefighter health and safety as well as our continuing efforts to reduce Firefighter LODD. I feel the work of the section is critical. It is time for me to step up and provide support as a board member.
Kenneth E. Morgan, Meriden (CT) Fire and Emergency Services
Fire Chief, CFO, EFO
I have 35 years in the fire service. I currently serve as the Chief of a 128-member combination department, with six career companies and one volunteer company. I have been a member of the SHS Section for several years and proud do have served on the SHS Board. I am encouraged by the influence the SHS section has on the fire service physical, and mental health platforms.
I have, and continue to advocate for firefighter safety. It is critical for us to remain committed to continued cultural change with regard to occupational safety, physical, and mental health issues. Safety Culture must start at the top, thus, I completed the FDSOA ISO academy on 2020.
As a result, I have strengthened our safety policies to include mandatory SCBA use during overhaul, an assigned safety officer at all working fires, mandatory gross decontamination post fire, and the advanced cleaning of gear after each fire. Additionally I have facilitated the development of trained several peer counselors in our organization.
I will continue to advocate for a global approach to health & safety within our occupation. As fire service leaders, we must continue to work together to stay ahead of the visible threats. Additionally we must fight to protect our firefighter’s mental health, the threat that is not always visible. I would like to advocate for you and our brothers and sisters in the fire service. Therefore, I am asking for your vote so I can continue our campaign for firefighter health and safety.
Paul Nelson, Port Neches (TX) Fire Department
Fire Chief, MS, CFO, EFO
My name is Paul Nelson, Fire Chief, Port Neches (TX) and am submitting my name for a Board of Director – At Large position in the upcoming elections.
I bring over 33 years of experience in the health and safety field from a wide range of occupations and professions. This experience includes a BS in Occupational Safety and a MS in Industrial Health. I have worked as both a safety professional and industrial hygienist in foundries, automotive industry, national laboratories and refineries, in addition to the fire service. Additionally, I have served as Region V Advocate for Everyone Goes Home from 2011-2015 and currently as a Texas Advocate. I also served as Western Director for the Fire Department Safety Officer’s Association from 2011-2014. Furthermore, I helped organize and chair the Safety Section of the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association (2008-2014) and serving as Association President from 2014-2015.
These experiences have provided me the opportunity to participate in other activities, such as the Tampa II Conference, where I helped with the Company Officers breakout. I have taught numerous Courage to Be Safe Courses, LACK and FDSOA ISO and HSO courses. I was also an adjunct instructor for the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and taught safety courses in their degree program.
Thank you in advance for your support in the upcoming election for the SHS Section. Through my professional background and education, I feel that I can be a beneficial asset to IAFC and to the fire service as part of the Board of Directors.
Nick Perkins, Travis County (TX) Emergency Services District No. 2
Assistant Fire Chief
My name is Nick Perkins and I am seeking a position with the IAFC Safety, Health, and Survival Section’s Board of Directors. I am a twenty two year veteran of the fire service. I currently serve as the Assistant Fire Chief with the Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2, a suburb outside of Austin, Texas. I am a passionate advocate for outcome based improvement in firefighter health and safety programs. During my career I have worked hard at developing comprehensive NFPA physicals, and health related fitness programs for firefighters. In recent years I have focused largely on improving access to behavioral health resources, as well increasing awareness, monitoring of behavioral health for firefighters in my region, with an emphasis on using data. I believe the team of Fire Chiefs and medical professionals that I work with have set a good standard for applying health and safety programs for small to mid sized fire departments.
It is my goal to support the sections five strategic initiatives I am eager to take on the action items identified in the plan and the challenges of the SHS section. Previous work from the SHS section has provided tremendous resources for the fire service in the areas of safety, physicals, and occupational cancer awareness. I believe this work must be continued, and the emerging topic of behavioral health remains an area to be worked on.
Continuing to serve on the SHS board would be an honor and I ask for your support.
Cory Schmidt, Grand Island (NE) Fire Department
Fire Chief, CFO, EFO
Cory J. Schmidt is a 28 year veteran of the fire service. Cory began his fire service career in the United States Air Force where he served four years as a fire protection specialist (firefighter). After his enlistment, he was hired by the Grand Island Fire Department (GIFD) in Grand Island, Nebraska. Over the years, Cory progressed through the ranks. In 2012, Cory was promoted to Fire Chief, which is the rank he still holds today. The GIFD is a full career department of 70 members. The GIFD provides all hazards response including ALS transport. Under Chief Schmidt’s leadership, the GIFD became the first department in Nebraska to achieve a Class 1 rating from ISO.
Chief Schmidt earned an Associate degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor degree in organizational management as well as an MBA. Chief Schmidt is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer from CPSE. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. Chief Schmidt was the recipient of the Executive Fire Officer Program 2017 Outstanding Research Award and the IAFC’s Don Manno Award of Excellence for his work on addressing the behavioral health needs of the Grand Island Fire Department.
Chief Schmidt implemented several key programs at the GIFD that represent his commitment to firefighter safety, health and survival. Specifically a peer support team, chaplain corps, cancer prevention program and several other programs were created. Chief Schmidt would consider it an honor to represent IAFC members in the SHS section.
John Schmidt, Pasco County (FL) Fire Rescue
Reducing firefighter’s exposure to carcinogens is my Top Priority! Cancer among firefighters is becoming an epidemic; I want to be on the front line to reduce the risks. I have served as a firefighter since 1987. The roles for which I have served are: EMT, Driver, Lieutenant, District Chief, Training / Safety Chief, PCHMRT (Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Response Team) Commander and now, Division Chief. I have also had the privilege to serve on the Florida Fire Chiefs Association – Health & Safety Section, the IAFC SHSS and the Firefighters Against Cancer Epidemic (FACE Team). However, of all positions served, the Training / Safety and Division Chief have been most rewarding. In both positions, I have had direct impact regarding the safety of firefighters. This included identifying: activities, actions, and processes that put our firefighters at increased risk of exposure to dangerous particulates; while addressing solutions to reduce or eliminate those exposures.
Most recently, at PCFR I have played an integral part in developing the Decon 1(gear delivery) program which includes a FTE on a purpose built response vehicle. My goal is to collaboratively develop systems / processes that significantly reduce firefighter’s exposures to carcinogens, and are scalable to every fire department nationally / internationally. My experience as a Training Chief, association with Pinellas County Training Chiefs Association and FSFSI, has provided me with valuable insight to the importance of properly training our members. If elected, I will work collectively with other members to promote Health and Safety among all firefighters.
Paul Sullivan, Jr., Middle River (MD) Fire & Rescue
Chief (ret.), MS, CFO, CSP, MIFireE, CFPS
I have been active in the fire service for over 30 years, having started my career in 1987, in Frederick, Maryland as a volunteer and working my way up through the ranks. For the last three years, I have held both the Assistant Chief and Chief positions for Middle River (MD) Fire & Rescue. I have also been a dedicated safety professional for over 20 years having previously worked for federal OSHA and Maryland OSHA prior to entering the private sector.
Some of my educational accomplishments include a Master of Science in Safety Sciences. I currently possess certification as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Safety & Health Manager (CSHM), and an Occupational Hygiene and Safety Technician (OHST). I am an active member of the American Society of Safety Professionals, the National Safety Council and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.
Currently, I serve as the Maryland Director for the Eastern Division IAFC and the President of the Maryland Fire Chiefs Association. I enjoy educating my fellow fire service professionals. As an Emergency Services Instructor with the University of Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute (MFRI), I enjoy teaching various safety officer and management level classes. In addition to teaching for MFRI, I also am a Paramedic Instructor with a local college and hold certification as both an NREMT and Maryland Paramedic.
In closing, the safety and health of our members is paramount to me. I appreciate your time, consideration, and vote to the SHS Section Board.
Greg Willis, Wetumpka (AL) Fire Department
Fire Chief, EFO, CFO
Since 2006, I have been honored to serve as an active member of the SHS Section including representing the Section on the Program Planning Committee, national meetings on the topics of health, nutrition and physicals, and serving as the Chair of the Elections Committee. Now, I am respectfully requesting your support as I seek a formal leadership position as a Board member.
While enrolled in the Fire Protection & Safety Engineering program at Oklahoma State University, I became a strong advocate for promoting a culture of safety & health in the fire service. This effort is reflected in a 30+ year career through the following:
- Advocating for fire sprinklers as a presenter/educator and as Executive Director of the Alabama Fire Sprinkler Association.
- Service on ISFTA committees for training manuals on Code Enforcement, Strategy & Tactics, Incident Safety Officer & Organizational Safety, Health & Wellness.
This commitment has included implementation of measures in my own department where I have served as Chief for the past 13 years. Examples include retrofitting stations with fire sprinkler & exhaust capture systems, new fitness facilities and providing NFPA 1582 physicals for all personnel.
I am proud of the significant progress that our Section has made. As a board member, I will support our mission of promoting strategies to reduce preventable LODD’s and injuries. I will courageously insist that the importance of our Section’s mission be heard and understood by all who can affect our success. I would appreciate your vote. Thank you.
Andy Woody, Columbia (MO) Fire Department
My name is Andy Woody, Fire Chief in Columbia, Missouri. I am respectively asking for your support during the current IAFC election. I am seeking election as a Director-At-Large in the Safety, Health, and Survival Section (SHS) of the IAFC. I have long been committed to the safety of the fire service. I believe in the goals of the IAFC and I believe in the mission of the SHS. We MUST prevent preventable accidents. I am committed to safety initiatives established by the SHS as well as researching and implementing new ways of enhancing safety through the use of technology, science, and professional credentialing.
The data we have at our disposal is more readily available, thorough, and relevant than ever before. It is critical that we review this information and create meaningful change within our industry. We must work with current and future fire department leaders and encourage them to truly evaluate everything they do. We should gauge the message that is being sent administratively; from writing and enforcing policies to prioritizing and establishing a budget to meet mission critical safety items. We should consider operational changes that could be impactful such as aggressive gross decontamination, enhanced emphasis on traffic control, or additional driver’s training.
I am committed to help shape the future of the SHS by working with leadership and listening to members on how the section can best address future challenges. Thank you for your time.