FIRExTalk PDX Speakers

Brian Beyer:  Factory MSA representative for the Fire service in the Pacific Northwest.  I live in Woodburn, OR and cover OR, WA, ID and MT.  I specialize in SCBA, Thermal-Imaging, Portable gas detection, and CAIRNS Fire helmets.

First Responder Sales Manager – Pacific NW

MSA North America Office Phone:  503.981.3595  Mobile Phone:  503.989.3368

Chris Barney is a Captain with Portland Fire & Rescue assigned to Engine-31 in the Rockwood neighborhood and a Division/Group Supervisor with the Oregon State Fire Marshal Type-2 IMT/Green Team.  He started his career in the fire service as a volunteer with Boulder Rural (CO) Fire & Rescue.  After graduating college, Chris worked several contract wildfire & structural firefighting positions both inside and outside the U.S before being hired as a career firefighter with South Metro (CO) Fire & Rescue.

After getting hired with Portland Fire & Rescue in 2003, Chris was assigned as a firefighter to Engine-24, has served as a Lieutenant in the Training Division and at Engine-9, helped coordinate the recent Disaster Management policy update, is an instructor in the Career Development Program, and sits on the High-Rise Task Force.

Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from Portland Community College, and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Administration from Eastern Oregon University.  Chris has previously taught at FDIC and internationally for Global Mission Readiness.

According to his lovely wife LeiLani, in the few moments he isn’t thinking about work, they enjoy skiing, traveling together and trail running with their dog Kona.

Captain Jeffrey M. Dana M.S., EMT-P

Gresham Fire and Emergency Services

21 years fire fighter/lieutenant/captain/hazmat tech, 22 years paramedic, 24 years RN, 10 year AA Ambulance

Patrick Fale has been a professional firefighter for the past 18 years. He worked as a Firefighter/ Paramedic for the City of McMinnville until 2001 when he made a move to Tualatin valley Fire & Rescue.  Patrick Currently holds the rank of Captain and oversees service for the community of Raleigh Hills. For the past 10 years Patrick has committed himself to the study and art or leadership encompassing small unit concepts and organizational leaderships practices.

Steve Fisher is an Engineer/Paramedic at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in the Portland Oregon Metro Area.  Steve has been in the fire service since 1986 and started as a volunteer in Colorado.  He has held the position of Firefighter Paramedic in Florida before relocating to Oregon in 1998.  He has been a Water Rescue team member, Haz Mat Team Member and Safety Committee Member.

Steve Currently is the Vice President of Regions West for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) and also serves as the FCSN’s State Director in Oregon.  The FCSN’s main mission is to support firefighters and their immediate family members in the event they are diagnosed with cancer.  They also provide awareness and education to firefighters on exposure reduction principals.  Their training is available to professional and volunteer firefighters alike.

Richard Goerling has served in civilian law enforcement for twenty years. He’s held both federal and municipal level positions and has served as a criminal investigator, patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, detective lieutenant, and currently serves as a patrol lieutenant in Hillsboro, Oregon. Over the last decade, Richard has spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness training into policing in the United States as part of a cultural shift toward a preventative, resiliency model of hand-heart-mind fitness. Richard has trained across the nation on this topic and continues to be a thought leader in the arena of police officer resilience.

Richard has built innovative partnerships with academia and the private sector that fuel and facilitate positive cultural change for policing in America. He serves as an affiliate associate professor at Pacific University in his work with the Institute.

Richard has served as a member of the United States Coast Guard for 27 years, both active and reserve, and retired in 2015 at the rank of Commander while assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC.  His early active-duty tours include serving as a deck watch officer and law enforcement officer aboard a high endurance cutter, and as an instructor at the Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement academy.  He left active-duty to pursue a civilian police career. After September 11, 2001 he was recalled to active-duty for two years serving as an intelligence officer. He had the privilege of serving as a strategic planner during the nation’s response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill within the National Incident Command at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC.

He holds an adjunct faculty position at Portland Community College teaching in the Criminal Justice program. There he developed groundbreaking curriculum in a course taught both on the ground and online titled Leading Police Resilience. Richard also serves as guest faculty for the Engaged Mindfulness Institute. Additionally, Richard serves as an Affiliate Assistant Professor at Pacific University, School of Professional Psychology.

Richard has earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and a graduate degree in Business Administration. He recently completed a mindfulness training program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Richard facilitates a blog at and has written for various publications. He is an avid swimmer and meditator, and a content introvert that enjoys time with his family to recharge.

Steve Haddix -Chairman and Chief of Operations Officer of ATIRA Systems Inc.  While attending Oregon State University in the 70’s, Steve transitioned from sleeper to professional firefighter, engineer, and paramedic.  A business opportunity drew Steve away from the fire servie in 1980.  He returned to the fire service in 2008 to focus on Sustainable Fire Solutions.  Now, in addition to corporate duties, Steve operates several Type-3 VIPR contract engines.  He is also a member of CalFire San Diego County’s “Gel Taskforce One.”

Greg Lacquement is a 13 year veteran of the Fire Service and is currently serving as the A-Shift Captain at the Portland Airbase Fire Department.  Greg is a USAF veteran serving 2 tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  While deployed Greg served as a Rescue Air Mobility Squad Member where achieving the impossible required critical thinking, sheer willpower and absolute dedication to his training, the mission and his fellow team members.  Greg is a Fire Instructor III and has developed and instructed company, battalion, and department level classes.  His commitment to the Fire Service is matched only by his commitment to his family.  He is a proud father of two amazing children (Makenzie and Krew) and a husband of a super patient wife (Ashley).

Chief Jason McGowan is a 23 year veteran of Gresham Fire & Emergency Services in Gresham, Oregon.  He has a long history of emergency response both as a line firefighter and company officer before becoming a chief officer in 2010.  In addition to his duties as a battalion chief, he is also a flight paramedic for the largest not-for-profit air medical transport company in the United States.  Chief McGowan was the Incident Commander for Fire and EMS Operations at the Active Shooter Incident at Reynolds High School on June 10, 2014.  He has taken this incident and created a very informative class with the goal of preparing other agencies for what he experienced at Reynolds High School.

Todd D. Meyer is a Battalion Chief with Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.  He has 21 years of fire service experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Central Washington University.  Throughout his career Todd has provided instruction in various topics including extrication and ICS, and has written for Fire Rescue Magazine.  Todd has deployed to larger incidents and is qualified as a Division Group Supervisor.

Battalion Chief Robb Milano has over 20 years in the fire service and currently oversees the shift operations of “B” shift and the district health / safety programs for Marion County Fire District #1. He holds multiple Associates Degree’s, Bachelors Degree in Fire Administration and is currently completing a graduate degree in Management and Leadership. Chief Milano has consumed his career with training development, mentorship, firefighter safety and officer development. During his off time, Chief Milano stays busy with his wife (Jessica) and four kids (Sydney, Skylar, Misha and Conrad) boating, traveling and managing their family farm.

Chief Milano will be presenting on the topic of the importance of mentorship. His talk will dive into the importance of a successful mentoring program for all positions, importance of having a “One up” and “One Down”, importance of being ready for your next position and will conclude with successful strategies.

Captain Wayne Morris is a Company Officer of Firehouse 4, Eugene Springfield Fire.  He is a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. Captain Morris has 17 years’ experience in the Fire Service, is a Paramedic and a veteran of the United States Army.

Captain Morris’s presentation on leadership focuses on the use of instinct on emergency scenes, how to trust your gut feeling, and how to effect change.

Carl Niedner is a founding member of Coelo Company of Design, a 16 year-old startup focused on creating great technical solutions, and dedicated to putting creative technical people in control of their own destinies. He has participated in Coelo’s growth from solo consultancy to 15-person software house, and has led the launch of the Code3Simulator software for resource planning in municipal fire/EMS agencies. Prior to Coelo, he has been active in software development since 1983, serving as developer, architect, and development manager for Digital Equipment and Simplex/Tyco, among others. On the WIN Board, where he is proud of his honorary distinction as the “Chairman of Uncool,” his interests include building the peer/peer education and internship/mentorship aspects of the innovation community. He’s an undistinguished but enthusiastic trail runner and has been a volunteer in the fire service since 1979; he currently serves on the downtown engine/ladder company at Corvallis Fire Department and is a member of the department’s technical rescue team.

Brian Olson is a career firefighter with the Eagle Fire Department in Eagle, Idaho. He is a die-hard Idahoan whose family has lived in the state for over a century. Brian is also an instructor with Brothers In Battle, llc. and a member of the Treasure Valley FOOLS. He is passionate about many aspects of the fire service but none capture his thoughts, actions and enthusiasm as much as search. Brian is a proud husband to his wife Heather and loving Father to his two sons, Easton and Elijah. In his time away from the fire service you can find him wandering, hunting and climbing in the endless mountains and backcountry haunts of Idaho. “The only thing we don’t have to search for is the reason why…”.

Lt. Rob Root began his fire service career in 2004 as a volunteer with Corvallis Fire and Rescue. After graduating from OSU in 2007 he began working with Portland Fire and Rescue in early 2008. After working several years in the Mt. Tabor neighborhoods at Engine 19 he promoted to Lieutenant in 2013. Currently he is assigned as a line officer working both in operations and the training division. He lives in Oregon City with his wife and two daughters.

When a new firefighter begins their career they are often left to their own direction and career planning. Each member is thus left adrift in their career, asked to plan and devise their own plan for growth and professional development. The benefits of career development benefits both the organization and the firefighter. It is absolutely vital to the health of the firefighter, officer, chief officer and department that all members be supported in their professional growth. To this end, Lt. Root will be explaining what makes career development and how all members of organizations can benefit from mentoring, leadership development and formal education.

Michael Snodgrass has served the Gresham Fire Department for 21 years.  He is currently a lieutenant at station 71.  Michael served as a wildland firefighter with CalFire for three years in Riverside County, CA before being hired by Gresham.  He is a member of the Gresham Fire US&R team, Technical Rescue Team, and First Whip FOOLS.  Michael started as an outlet for his passion for firefighting.  He knows training is the keystone to being a strong firefighter.

Olaniyi Sobomehin is a 2 year firefighter for the city of Gresham, a husband and father of 5, and a former OSU Beaver, PSU Viking and NFL New Orleans Saints running Back. He is extremely passionate about the power of the mind, and how a change in vision and beliefs can lead to the accomplishment of any goal. He has been fortunate to reach many goals in his life, and wants to share how we as firefighters can use our creativity, vision and internal resources to create REAL change, in ourselves, our departments and our cities.

John Stanislaw Jr. began his career in the Fire Service in 1990 as a volunteer with the St. James Fire Department on Long Island, New York. Over the last 25 years he has worked and/or volunteered for a variety of Fire & EMS agencies in New York, Montana, and Oregon. John served as a career Lieutenant/Training Officer for the Sheridan, Oregon, Fire District as well as an Engineer/Paramedic for the Canby, Oregon, Fire District. This past summer John decided to “change his latitude”, and take a position as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Yachats, Oregon, Rural Fire Protection District on the beautiful central Oregon coast.

John has always been an “Engine Guy”, and his TED Talk today reflects the love of “Making the Push”.  His presentation, “The First Line”, will challenge you to look at how much your department prioritizes the first line at a structure fire. John’s desire is that you return to your department with a renewed emphasis on always getting the first line right.

Scott Steiner is a Battalion Chief at TVF&R  with 5 years in this position and 21 years’ experience on the job.  I currently work A Shift in our North Battalion which encompasses Beaverton, our Northern Washington County area and some parts of Multnomah County.  I passionately believe that to truly be a Craftsman in this profession we never stop training and developing and my growing pursuit in the arena of Mental and Emotional Health is no different.  I am also engaged as one of our departments Peer Support Counselors for the past year and a half.

Two years ago I attended the north West Leadership Symposium and was rocked by one of the presenters named Kevin Gilmartin who delivered a lecture on Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement.  While Kevin’s background is in Law Enforcement his information translated very fluidly to our craft and I have spent the past two years immersed in these important and lifesaving concepts.

Cody Trestrail started his Fire Service career in 1995 at a small combination department, then was hired by FDNY, working on Ladder 119 in Brooklyn. He became a member of special ops command (SOC), assigned to Squad 1 in Brooklyn. Cody now works for Portland Fire & Rescue, assigned to Engine 31. He has instructed numerous subjects at company, battalion and department-wide levels.

Jim Walkowski has 29 years in the fire service and progressed through the ranks of Firefighter, Company Officer, and Chief Fire Officer.  He serves as the Assistant Chief of Emergency Services with Spokane County Fire District #9 where he is responsible for Fire/EMS Operations, Training, and Special Operation Divisions of the District.  He serves on numerous teams and committees including the Spokane County Type 3 Incident Management Team and Regional Urban Search and Rescue Team. Jim is also an instructor with Four Brothers Training which provides quality fire service instruction focused on task and tactical level functions necessary for a mission-focused fireground.

One of the greatest educational gaps in the fire service is the unwillingness or inability for experienced firefighters to pass along the necessary and often time lost “traditional” interior firefighting skill-set and knowledge to new firefighters. Unfortunately, tradition is often replaced technology, rhetoric, and gimmicks. “Passing along the Inside” focuses on what skills and abilities are being lost in today’s fire service and how to get them back!

Keith Watson joins the Elkhart Brass team with over 25 years of experience in the fire service industry, including twelve years as a regional manager with Scott Safety, and ten years with Northup-Grumman as a field engineer supporting military airborne LASER systems. Prior to that, Watson served in the U.S. Navy as a Petty Officer First Class, encompassing a wealth of experience in:  Shipboard Firefighting, Advanced Electronics, and Anti-Submarine Warfare.

Having been involved in the Fire Service for over 30 years now, initially as a Volunteer Firefighter for nearly eight years, Will has spent the last 20 + years on the Fire Service Sales and Marketing side of the business – all in the area of differing forms of PPE. Will joined LION in 2014 as a Regional Sales Manager covering Alaska, Northern California, Idaho, Northern Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Will Antunes is passionate about PPE and approaches his role as LION’s Regional Sales Manager with an interest of Educating the Fire Service community about their PPE ensemble capabilities and limitations.

Will holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts degree from Portland Community College in Accounting. Married with two adult kids, Will lives in the Portland, Oregon area.

Regional Sales Manager – LION (503)816-0582 (cell)