Chief of Training and Safety in Seattle
Location:Seattle, WA, United States (Anywhere)Education level: College/University
Education field: Communication and journalism
Years of experience: more than 5
Attributes that best describes:
Beginning in 1975, during the school year, my professional skills began with becoming a resident volunteer firefighter/ Emergency Medical Technician. During the summer months, between 1975 and 1976, I worked as a Wildland Firefighter for the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In 1976, I obtained a job with Ernst Home Center as a sales clerk in the lumber division, while I attended college.
In 1977, I was hired as an apprentice within the floorcovering trades. In such, I learned to professionally install carpet, vinyl, laminate, hardwood, and ceramic tile. After serving my flooring apprenticeship, I move to Bremerton and began working for a flooring company until the recession hit the economy in 1980 (high interest rates - little to no construction work). In the spring of 1981, I hustled and found a contract to complete the floorcovering in a condominium project containing over 200 units which needed to be completed with flooring. The project lasted over a year to complete. At the end of the project, I invested every cent I had at the time to open my own floorcovering business. During the same year, I also began volunteering as a firefighter with the City of Port Orchard, WA. In 1982, the business had grown to a size requiring a larger facility.
During the summer and fall of 1982, I acquired and remodeled a 20,000 s/f building to house the growing floorcovering business. After working the business for eight years, the business was lost to a Arson Fire, where I gained a education in Insurance claims, adjusters, insurance companies, and the process of recovery as a whole.
In 1988, I returned to college at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA., and once again utilized my Wildland firefighting skills to work for DNR during the summer months, install floorcovering during the school year on weekends, while taking a full class load (12+ credits a quarter) to finish my degree. My Bachelor of Science degree was a mixed degree within three schools of discipline: Occupational Safety and Health, Communications, and Education (interactive video/ e-Learning).
The summer through fall of 1992, I was hired by Snohomish County as a Safety and Health Intern within the Safety Division. After completing my internship with Snohomish County, December, 1992, I was hired by Kitsap County Fire District #2 [Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD)] as the Training and Safety Specialist for the fire department. While with BIFD, I developed both the Safety and Training programs, from scratch, for the organization. While working for BIFD, I received IFSAC certification as a Fire Instructor I and II, Hazardous Material Instructor, Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention (EAVP), and Incident Safety Officer. I was also promoted to the position of Lieutenant and instructed at the Washington State Fire Training Academy. Additionally, I was assigned to work with the Seattle Fire Department in assisting them to develop their Safety and Health program, Training programs [I.e. Passport Accountability, National Incident Management System (NIMS), etc.] In 1996, I was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief, and transferred my position to Pierce County Fire District #21 [Graham Fire and Rescue (GF&R)]
While serving at GF&R, I designed and developed the following programs (policy, procedure, tasks, and fiscal budget), including Instructional Design and Curriculum Development: Fire, Health and Safety, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Training, Specialty Rescue Training, Hazardous Materials Safety and Training, Wildland Fire, Fleet and Facility Management, Chain Management, Fire Fighter I and II, Officer Development, Public Education, etc. As an administrator, I developed policy and procedures, managed Information Technology (IT) system administrator, collective bargaining units, Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigations, fiscal budgets, facility design and apparatus specifications and procurement, tax levy lifts, capital improvement projects, mitigated emergency incidents, logistically worked with city, county state and federal legislative bodies in lobbing for Fire Service/OSHA/ WISHA/ DOSH. and NFPA rule changes/ support. In 1998, I was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief. In 1999, I was promoted to the Washington State Patrol International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) Washington State accreditation committee and Board of Governors. In the year 2000, I lost my sister and brother-in-law in the aircraft accident of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 off the California Coastline. This event would prove itself to impact my thought process in recalibrating my life priorities.
In 2001, I resigned from GF&R and began working with a private company call Homeland Fire and Resource Management Group, Inc., (HFRMG) While working with HFRMG, I continued developing written educational programs for the Fire Service along with the development of interactive multimedia programing for general industries. In 2001, I began developing the training program in conjunction with the National Wildland Coordinating Group (NWCG) and the federal agencies assigned to the National Incident Fire Center in Boise, ID., for Wildland Fire Fighter 2 (WLFF2) "Red-Card" qualification. In 2003, the WLFF2 series was released and has since served organizations worldwide in maintaining Wildland fire qualification training. Additionally, in 2003, I developed a hybrid on-line educational Learning Management Systems (LMS) platform with e-blended design features for traditional delivery (instructional toolkit), blended learning delivery methodologies, and e-leaning. The platform was named "On-Demand In-service Training Server (ODITS)" ODITS contains over three hundred programs pertaining to emergency service occupations. However, the server can support any occupation assigned. Between 2001 and 2005, I produced over one-hundred and forty-seven (147) educational programs for the emergency response industry. Additionally, my administrative responsibilities extended into managing the day-to-day operations of HFRMG. My responsibilities including the oversight of approximately 40 staff members ranging from the positions within marketing and sales to accounting; from legal to script writers; researchers to Structured Query Language (SQL) programmers; videographers to editors, graphics to distribution; and instructional designers to content experts. When I resigned in 2005 to accept an Assistant Fire Chief position in Homer, AK., HFRMG had grown 186% in shares and was producing six million ($6,000,000.00) dollars annually in revenue.
In 2005, I accepted the position as the Assistant Fire Chief with the City of Homer, Alaska. The general purpose of my position was two-fold: Develop programs for Training and Safety. In addition to developing the Training and Safety programs within the department I also was responsible for managing the volunteer recruiting and retention efforts of the organization, along with the responsibilities of managing the daily operations and readiness and response of the department. During my stay in Homer, I also built two new custom homes, and compete countless floor covering projects during empty weekends. In 2009, I retired from the Fire Service due to a Heart-Attack and returned to Washington State. Prior to leaving Alaska, however, and mostly due to the economy at the time, I elected to kept the two houses on Alaska and created a small business renting the properties through "Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), which was very successful dollar wise. In 2009, My wife and I returned to Washington State and settled in Yakima, WA. Since 2009, I started a construction company (PacWest Interiors) and remain as busy with construction projects as I desire.
In 2017, I accepted a position with the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Washington in Yakima, WA. My position with OIC of Washington is to instruct disadvantage youth through the YouthBuild USA program on how to build low-income housing. With the utilization of Habitat for Humanities, I instruct thirty (30) youths, each calendar year, for nine-months, in the practical application of building a house from the point of excavation to the final move-in turn-key product. Throughout the duration of the project the youths learn how to construct a foundation, framing, roofing, windows and door installation, sheetrock, finishes, and even flooring. In between designing and building custom cabinets and furniture, I also fabricate DuPont Corian™, and Quartz countertops. I also continue to design and remodel Kitchens and Baths, build new homes/ commercial facilities, and install ceramic tile.
In addition, I still continue to build training and safety programs, write policies and grants, consult with organizations regarding program implementation and evaluation, training program accreditation process, and training facility design. I continue to develop the ODITS server, and I continue to sell the Wildland Fire Fighter 2 qualification training series.
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