Bob Athanas is president of SAFE-IR, INC. a thermal imager training and consulting group that has been training firefighters on the safe, tactical application of thermal imagers since 1996. Bob has taught thermal imaging in several countries including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, Czech Republic and Taiwan. He consults with thermal imager core and fire service camera manufacturers and organizations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the US Department of Commerce, NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program.
After more than 35 years of service he recently retired from the FDNY spending the last 29 years assigned to Rescue Co 3. He was the lead instructor for thermal imager training programs at the FDNY Fire Academy and was involved in the evaluation, testing and training of the new thermal imagers recently purchased by the FDNY.
Bob served as the chairman of the NFPA Technical Committee on Electronic Safety Equipment which developed NFPA 1801: Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service.
PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT.
Lt Brian Belhumeur has been involved in the fire service since 1994, beginning as a call firefighter in the Town of Auburn MA. He became a Providence Firefighter/EMT C in 2002 after graduating from the 46th Providence Training Academy.
Lt Belhumeur has served on both Engine and Ladder companies in Providence and is currently assigned to the Heavy Rescue, Special Hazards 1. He is also employed by Northeast Rescue Systems in Dedham MA where he demonstrates, instructs on, and sells firefighting gear and equipment throughout the Northeast. Lt Belhumeur is also a member of the MA District 7 Technical Rescue Team.
Lt Belhumeur is a Pro Board Certified Fire Instructor. He has assisted in teaching the MA Statewide RIT initiative and also the MA District 7 Recruit School. Lt Belhumeur has also taught numerous classes in RIT, Extrication, and Technical Rescue for the Providence Fire Dept.
LOCK-IT-DOWN CONSULTING LLC
Steven Cileli grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and graduated magna cum laude from Roger Williams University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. He is a 1995 graduate of the 55thProvidence Police Academy where he graduated top of the class. He has been decorated numerous times for outstanding performance in the line of duty. Beside numerous commendations, some of his decorations include the Rhea Archambault Award, (2) Commissioner’s Awards, City Council Award, Citizen’s Award, FTO Award, FOP Award, Outside Agency Award, Community Service Award, and the Department’s Combat Ribbon. In 2001, he received the Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work with the Providence Police Explorer Program. Before becoming a police officer, he worked as a maximum-security correctional officer for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Steve also served his country as a United States Marine Corps Infantryman on active duty with 2nd Bn 5th Marines and also as a scout sniper in the Marine Corps Reserves.
While serving with the police department, he obtained numerous trainings and certifications that have assisted the department, other law enforcement agencies, and the community. Steve was a member of the Special Response Unit (S.R.U.) for over twenty years and was the lead tactical team instructor. He has developed numerous certified training programs for S.W.A.T. and patrol. He has also taught numerous police academies as a full-time instructor. In 2007 he was assigned to the Weapon’s Bureau / Homeland Security Office until his retirement in 2017. The bureau was responsible for departmental training in firearms, use of force, active shooter, S.W.A.T., operational planning, and numerous homeland security responsibilities. He is currently a Sergeant with the Veterans Affairs Police in Providence and is a firearms and active shooter instructor.
Steven is the President of Lock-It-Down Consulting, LLC. His company provides security consulting and also trains civilians, police, fire and military personnel in Active Threat Response.
CHICAGO FIRE DEPT.
Dan DeGryse is a retired Battalion Chief following a 30 year career with the Chicago Fire Department. Throughout his fire career, Dan has been an advocate of awareness, education, and proper treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring issues. He speaks locally and nationally on these topics. He has written many articles on topics such as stress, cortisol, suicide, relationships, and peer support as they pertain to first responders. Dan has led local, regional, and national trainings for fire and police departments and is one of the Master Instructors for the IAFF Peer Support Program. He was a team member that collaborated on the MHFA “Fire and EMS” module for the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Dan has over 30 years of clinical experience working in the field of substance use and mental health disorders providing individual, group, and family therapy since receiving a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He also is a certified addictions counselor in Illinois and nationally certified as an employee assistance professional. In 2014, Dan collaborated with Rosecrance to design the Florian program, a specific approach in a residential treatment facility to address the complex biopsychosocial issues unique to the culture of first responders and military personnel. Since its inception he has directed the program.
BRIDGEPORT FIRE DEPT.
Nick Esposito is a second-generation firefighter, with almost 30 years of experience in both volunteer and career departments. He has worked for the City of Bridgeport, CT Fire Department since 1999, and currently serves as the Captain assigned to their Rescue Company. Nick has lectured throughout the country at various fire service conferences and teaches truck company-related classes throughout the New England Region.
HAMILTON TWP. FIRE DIST.
Aaron Heller began his fire service career in 1984. He is a captain with the Hamilton Twp. NJ Fire District #9 where he has served since 1990. Capt. Heller is a NJ Level 2 instructor, fire official, and EMT. He is a past chief of the New Egypt Volunteer Fire Company and past chairman of the Plumsted Township Board of Fire Commissioners. Heller is a senior instructor with the Mercer County Fire Academy. Capt. Heller instructs and has been a presenter at several national, regional, and local training events throughout the United States and abroad. Captain Heller has been published in Fire Engineering Magazine, Fire & Rescue Magazine, The Fire Department Training Network, and several local publications. He is a co-host of Fire Engineering’s Humpday Hangout on Training. Aaron is a founding member of the Jersey F.O.O.L.S chapter of the Fraternal Order of Leatherhead Society. Heller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University. He is the owner of On Scene Training Associates, LLC
DEPUTY ASSISTANT CHIEF
PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT.
Kevin L Jutras is 40-year veteran of the fire service and a Deputy Assistant Chief in the Providence Fire Department. He has been a member of the Providence Fire Department for 32 years and is presently assigned as the Deputy Assistant Chief of the D Platoon. Previously he served in the Union Fire District as a volunteer starting as a junior member and holding various ranks in the organization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from Providence College and a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from the University of Rhode Island. He holds a Mariner’s Captain License Master to 50 Gross Tons. He is a Pro Board National Fire Protection Association 1041 Fire Service Instructor. He has been a Marine 1 Operator/Instructor for the Providence Fire Department since 2008. He has been an instructor for Providence Fire Department promotional schools for ranks from Battalion Chief to Lieutenant since 2011, presenting on topics including leadership, building construction, managing disciplinary issues, cyanide, air management, and reading smoke.
Since 2007 has presented on fire related topics in communities throughout New England, most recently presenting to the 2018 and 2019 Fire Department of New York Safety Battalion Chief Training Programs.
The Senior Firefighter is one of the most significant roles in the fire service. A member who carries this informal position can be a valuable source of experience, knowledge and leadership. Often their actions dictate the level of success that members of a company will achieve both individually and as a whole. James McNamara is a dedicated member of the FDNY who embodies the true characteristics of a senior firefighter. Jim joined the FDNY in 1994 and eventually was assigned to Engine 37. He currently serves in Ladder Co. 26 in Harlem. Jim is a long-standing member of the Division 3 Safety Committee and a Company and Battalion Delegate for the Uniformed Firefighters Association. He serves on the strategic committee for the FDNY’s Mental Performance Initiative and has developed the operational research component in partnership with Columbia University. Jim also serves as Human Performance Advisor for Leadership Under Fire. He attended Thomas College in Waterville, Maine where he played basketball.
PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT.
Battalion Chief Joseph Molis began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter for the Saylesville Fire Department in the town of Lincoln, RI during 1986. The following spring, he graduated from the Rhode Island Fire Academy (Class #11) as Firefighter I.
In August of 1991, he was accepted into the Providence Fire Academy and graduated 6 months later as a proud Providence Firefighter. Over the next several years he became actively involved outside of the fire department to improve his knowledge and skills becoming a certified instructor allowing him to teach for the Rhode Island Fire Academy. He also pursued numerous certifications to teach Hazardous Materials Operation level, Emergency Response to Terrorism as well as an instructor for live fire training evolutions. Joe enrolled in the Fire Science program at Providence College and became focused on learning more about firefighter safety and ultimately earning a B.S in Fire Science. He served a brief 2 year term as the elected health and safety advocate for the Providence Firefighters Local 799.
In January of 2000, he began working as a part-time employee as a Fire Data Analyst for the National Fire Protection Association. During his 20 year career at NFPA, he co-authored the annual U.S. Firefighter Fatality and Firefighter Injury Studies and worked tirelessly on numerous technical project panels and research projects on critical fire service topics that included; contamination control in the fire service, cancer in the U.S fire service, numerous analysis’ of firefighter deaths,the National Fire Experience Survey, and assisted with a published report on the evacuation study of the World Trade Center for 9/11.
Currently, Battalion Chief Molis is assigned to the Safety Battalion for the Providence Fire Department. He oversees several administrative components of the Health and Safety program and is a strong advocate and is passionate about the safety and well being of the nearly 100 firefighters on A-group.
PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT.
Dan Rinaldi is a 30 year veteran of the Providence Fire Department, spending 28 of those years assigned to Special Hazards 1. Dan is an instructor for the Providence Fire Academy teaching elevator rescue, forcible entry, basic and advanced auto extrication, and new vehicle technology. He also teaches FDIC H.O.T. classes and instructs for Dragon Rescue Management. Dan is an EMT-C, HazMat Technician, and has been awarded 16 Providence Fire Department medals. The Fireman’s Insurance Association has awarded Dan with a Meritorious Service Award as well as The Hero Hall of Fame Award. The Food Network, along with Tabasco Hot Sauce, named Chef Rinaldi the “Best Firehouse Chef in America” from 2002 to 2004.
CITY OF NEW HAVEN
Jason Rivera is a 27-year veteran of the fire service, serving in both career and volunteer departments. Jason is currently a firefighter for the City of New Haven, CT FD assigned to Rescue Co. 1. Jason retired as the Captain of Rescue 1 for the City of Stamford, CT FD and also holds the rank of Assistant Chief for the Newtown Hook and Ladder Fire Company in Newtown, CT. Jason is a Pro-Board certified Fire Service Instructor Level 3 and has presented at FDIC 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Jason was the winner of the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award at FDIC 2016. He is also a Rescue Specialist with FEMA US&R MATF-1 and co-owner of North East Squad Concepts LLC.
PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT.
Lt. White was accepted to the Providence Fire Department training academy in March 2002. After completing the academy and his EMT-Cardiac (simultaneously), he was sworn in as a Providence Fire Fighter and assigned to Rescue Co. 5. It was there that he honed his EMS skills and earned several unit citations. After several years, he transferred to Ladder Co. 8 were spent close to 9 years serving residents on the east side of Providence. During this time, he gained a passion for RIT training which continues to this day. During his time on Ladder 8, he was also awarded several city and mayoral citations for service to the city.
In 2015, he was promoted to Rescue Lieutenant and became the lieutenant for Recue Co. 4. During this time, Lt. White, in conjunction with the Providence Police, initiated and implemented the SWAT Medic Team.
This team included six individuals embedded with the SWAT Team for high-risk operations. After one year on Rescue Co. 4 Lt. White returned to the fire suppression side as a firefighter on Tower Ladder 1 but remained the team leader for the SWAT Medic Team. After a short stay on Tower Ladder 1, he was promoted to Fire Lieutenant and assigned to Engine Co. 7. It was while he was there that the need for a Rescue Taskforce Team was becoming very evident. Already having a background with SWAT, it was a natural fit for him to develop, train, and implement the Rescue Task Force. Multiple suppression companies were trained and equipped to respond to an active shooter/active threat situation. Extensive training was done in conjunction with the Providence Police. In addition to Rescue Task Force training, Lt. White also served as an adjunct professor for the EMS program at Roger Williams University.
Following his extensive training in fire and EMS operations, Lt. White was selected to be one of the training instructors for Providence Fire Department’s 52nd Training Academy. Post training academy, he returned to Engine Co. 7 where he obtained his HazMat Technician Certification and continued with expansion of the RTF program.
Lt. White is currently assigned to Ladder Co.5 in the south end of Providence. There he continues to serve the residents of Providence and works diligently to Train and maintain the readiness of the RTF.