Career progression of chief mike
United States Army – Republic of Vietnam – 51M Military Firefighter.
Served as NCOIC for 21 man detachment to Long Binh Post, Vietnam FD, and as acting base fire chief during absence of Pacific Architects, & Engineers (PAE) contract chief.
Coordinated transition of 51Ms with locally hired Nationals to assume all duties, as drawdown took place, replacing American Soldiers with Vietnamese Nationals.
Steadfastly served as the NCOIC for Crash-Fire-Rescue standbys for the inbound and outbound flights when senior command staff came into Long Binh on rotary and small fuselage fixed wing aircraft. Special advanced fire protection was afforded to such dignitaries as Generals Westmoreland and Abrams, and Bob Hope and his entourage.
Received Outstanding Service Award, and gold-filled Honorary PAE Fire Chief’s badge for assisting in the rebuilding of scrapped vehicles into useful firefighting apparatus. The U.S. Army awarded two ARCOMs in addition.
City of Clinton, Iowa Fire Department. Fireman 1st Class.
Served as a Tillerman for an 85’ Hook ‘n’ Ladder, and one of the first EMTS in the state, including becoming the first firefighter to receive college based credentials as a fire & arson investigator from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Was the original NFPA “Sparky the Fire Dog” costume character in the state, promoting fire safety education through this unique medium to thousands of school children and adult venues.
Developed unique programs for fire safety regarding the elderly, invalids, and young children. Created a special baby-sitting program that is still in use nationwide.
Held all offices of the Clinton County Firemen’s Association, promoting the concept of mutual aid throughout farming community volunteer fire departments, and initiated/served as founding editor/publisher of the monthly newsletter entitled the “Playpipe”.
Served as co-chairman of the IAFF Firefighters’ Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy program. Coordinated the annual fund raising with local media and officials. Throughout the year assisted in distributing handicap medical equipment to stricken community members. Received the MDA Gold Pen award for outstanding service.
OLIN Chemicals – Lake Charles, Louisiana – Fire & Safety Technician
Served as fire brigade chief officer, implementing the national firefighter training standards to private industry (1st in Louisiana), to include EMT training, and incentive programs for volunteer brigade members, including specialized hazardous materials response training.
Developed and coordinated a comprehensive fire protection and emergency medical services program for ocean-going cargo ships and personnel, overcoming foreign language challenges with unique sign cards to describe emergencies and urgent conditions effecting sailors and crew members.
Rebuilt the structural fire engine into an industrial based unit, developed specifications for the new fire foam pumper addition, and designed/built four portable fire foam trailer units for the fuel oil storage tank farm.
Designed and built the industry’s first Hazardous Incident Team (HIT) response trailer. Then trained the fire brigade members in OSHA hazmat response procedures under CFR 1910.120.
Ward 1 Fire Protection District – Moss Bluff, Louisiana – Fire Chief
Originally served as volunteer chief (becoming fulltime in 1981), establishing a fire district approved by the state legislature for fire and rescue squad service in an 83 square mile area of five communities, lowering the fire insurance rating, and providing professional emergency services in many disciplines.
Developed an inaugural training program to implement female dispatchers and firefighters. First fire department in the state to utilize both female career and volunteer personnel in the ranks. Also first to have trained and certified female fire and EMS officers, including the establishment of civil service protection for the members.
Recognized the need for highway rescue squad service, and initiated a Heavy Rescue Squad of two specialized units, that pioneered fire-service based EMS/Rescue in the state. Was the first fire department based heavy rescue squad, known throughout many regions as a top notch ensemble of highly dedicated and trained personnel with unique equipment, being well respected by the Louisiana State Police for handling serious accidents.
Served as the first adjunct instructor for the LSU Fire Science degree program. Wrote curriculum and taught classes for municipal, industrial, and Federal firefighters throughout the state. Also wrote the first section in the Red Book Training manual regarding the Jaws of Life powered rescue tools and their application and special procedures for extrication of entrapped victims.
Served as the Night Operations Chief for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Well # 6 fire and blow-out in September 1978 at Hackberry, Louisiana. Coordinated the municipal firefighting support for ten straight days and nights, until the Wild Well Firefighting team of Boots & Coots could cap the wellhead.
PPG Chemicals Division –Westlake, Louisiana – Fire Chief
Directed the emergency brigade of 82 members to use state of the art methods of protection of the world’s largest chlorine production plant. Implemented EMT certification, pioneered the use of non-corrosive hardware and tools in toxic atmospheres, and equipped the department with OSHA Subpart L protective clothing and breathing apparatus, with industrial based safety training including college based courses of firefighting instruction with certifications. Also hosted and taught one of Russia’s premier fire chiefs in the protection of all three chlorine processes, under the former President Eisenhower’s People-to-People Ambassador program.
Served in all offices of the Southwest Louisiana Mutual Aid Association (recognized as the nation’s premier emergency response organization) and was the 1st President to be re-elected, in the history of the Association’s 30 years of service, to a second term in office. During office tenure, researched and published identification methods for the new ICS Command Post program, and established the use of the “Green Light” and “Green Flag” for command post identification which was adopted nationwide as today’s standard.
Served as the inaugural fire protection advisor on the world renown CHLOREP team. Started a wide scale testing program on the release and containment of liquefied chlorine, and experimented with various firefighting foams to test the compatibility and sustainment of various foam products for suppressing toxic vapors and chemical releases into the atmosphere. Published the results and worked with various fire foam manufacturers, which led to the introduction of hazmat foams for environmental protection.
U. S. Army Savanna Army Depot – Savanna, Illinois – Fire Chief
Directed and built a highly sophisticated fire and emergency services division at the DOD Center for Excellence, that involved the nation’s training and manufacturing center for both conventional and special weapons. Designed and constructed unique hazmat equipment to control exotic thermal reactions and incidents without environmental impact. Authored and published the only textbook regarding munitions and firefighting entitled “Explosives Involved in Fire”. Served as the chairman of the depot’s Employee Safety Committee, which worked on correcting many safety hazards, receiving numerous recognitions. Pioneered and established the first DoD Ice Rescue Team, because of the hazards faced by depot employees adjacent to the Mississippi River.
Has served continuously as a planning committeeman for the annual DoD Fire Chiefs’ Training Conference since its inception in 1993 for bringing together all the fire service branches and membership, including the DLA and VA. Coordinates programs of education with guest speakers, oversees the audio portion support, and conducts the “1st Water” initial orientation for newcomers and guest attendees.
Worked diligently on the MACI fire engine’s shortcomings to find corrective solutions to manufacturing and design defects. Took the depot’s engine and then built and modified over two dozen elements of safety and design improvement into the unit. Authored and published two books on the corrective measures that could be accomplished, which resulted in a unit that could be given measures of safety and operational assurance. Received two Army Ideas for Excellence awards for this undertaking. Selected as the U.S. Army’s Firefighter of the Year for 1998, in part for this work, and pioneering other measures of enhancement and promotion of safety elements for the fire service.
Founded the Federal Firefighters’ Memorial Committee, and the annual Memorial Service, which is held at the annual DoD Fire & Emergency Services Training Conference to remember and honor missing members from all branches of the DoD. Continues to serve as the Chairman, and uses personal musical talents to perform ceremonial music at the conference, that includes the other service branches. As an ordained minister, continues to serve as the Federal Firefighters’ Chaplain, assisting in many avenues of spiritual ministry for CONUS and OCONUS firefighters.
Was awarded the U.S. Army’s Firefighter of the Year recognition in 1998.
Served as an Ambassador and Leader for the People-to-People program, taking American Fire Chief delegations to South Africa, Austria, and Germany, in exchange of international methods of fire protection and prevention issues. Has continued such work to include several islands of the central Americas. Is listed in the “Visiting Fireman” and maintains well over 30 foreign fire service pen-pals for continued professional exchange.
With Savanna on the 1995 BRAC closure list, served until the actual closure timeframe, ensuring that a staffed and well trained division remained to the end, with no disruption or loss of services to the installation. This includes no mental health issues, and kept a high atmosphere of morale amongst the firefighters, who worked until the final day of closing.
U. S. Army Combined Arms Center – Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – Senior Assistant Chief
While serving as the Deputy to the fire chief, received full delegation for the fire protection measures and responses to the original USDB Barracks, the new (2003) USDB Prison, and the United States Penitentiary in the City of Leavenworth, Kansas. Implemented specialized training for the Federal firefighters to interface with the correctional officers during emergency responses and incidents, and initiated a high angle rope program to scale walls and parapets for rescue of trapped personnel. After a serious fire event, recommended the use of non-flammable finish coatings on the USDB’s furniture processes, which was implemented.
Served as the Fire & Emergency Services Force Protection Officer to the DPTMS Directorate. Provided religious guidance to the ATO/FP office before and after the 9-11 attacks on extreme faiths and practices, while also writing policy and procedures to assist in the development of DoD guidance. Contributed many off-duty hours to accomplish this critical mission undertaking.
Founded and directed the Firefighter Honor Guard. Performed in a wide variety of events and ceremonies, both on the Fort and off post for military and civic community events. As the team leader, traveled extensively in Europe, researching the history of Roman Firefighters, including the patron saint of firefighters, Florian. Upon return, authored the true story of Florian and was published in the May 2000 issue of FIREHOUSE magazine, which created immense interest of the real life Roman Soldier-Firefighter to firefighters everywhere. After publication, has been invited and continues to be invited as a guest speaker on the history of firefighting. Is recognized as the world’s authority on Roman Firefighters, because of continued research and published writings on the subject.
On off duty time, served as a founding member of the Kansas City NASCAR Fire-Rescue team for the Kansas Speedway. Was the senior fire officer on “pit-row”, ensuring that all cars, drivers, and their team members had state of the art fire protection/rescue services in place before, during and after the races.
JRTC & U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Polk, Louisiana – Fire Chief
In serving as fire chief, has been responsible for total upgrade of the frontline fleet of emergency apparatus through a modern refurbishment program. Has greatly expanded the emergency response trailer roster to address special disciplines requiring dedicated assets to mitigate WMD/CBRNE events, and other highly technical rescue and control elements. Was able to resurrect forgotten issues and justify the construction of a new central fire station to replace a 1942 structure. Led the Department to the highest Operational Readiness Inspection score of 98.6%, leading the Army’s Fire & Emergency Services Divisions.
Built the fire prevention section into a viable asset, addressing the AR, with the end result of a serious reduction in fires by over 94%. Expanded the training section personnel, who conduct on-site certification programs, which results in considerable TDY savings.
Spearheaded the mutual aid program, which resulted in expanded coverage of off post assets, until arrival of Federal personnel. In particular, JRTC flight missions are protected across the boundaries of two states. Also lead and developed the growth of the Jaws of Life rescue squad program throughout the Parish, to distribute specialized rescue services to the community.
Established the LSU Mini Fire School as an annual event at Fort Polk. Unique training is provided on a wide variety of fire and rescue subjects, to not only Federal firefighters, but to all surrounding communities’ firefighters under the spirit of mutual aid, and at no cost to the installation. School will be held for the 7th year of continued success, with a new addition of AT/FP subjects.
Serves on the State Fire Marshal’s Steering Committee as the sole Federal chief executive fire officer. Provides unique guidance on many successful programs, that produces tangible results for a total fire-wise and safe community. Continues to serve on the SFM Memorial Committee as the musical director and protocol advisor. Promotes and involves a strong participation from key Fort Polk Firefighters as musicians and vocalists for the enhancement of the annual memorial service weekend.
Was the first Army fire chief to be inducted into the U.S. Army Fire Chief’s Hall of Fame honor roll in 2009.
Adjutant Command Fire Chaplain-Louisiana Fire Chaplain Network
Serving as the Adjutant Command Chaplain for the Louisiana Fire Chaplain Network.
Also served as the Chief Fire Chaplain for the Fire Chaplain Corps, directing a multi-faith cadre’ of eight chaplains, who respond to emergency and non-emergency events 24/7/365.
Is the founding Director of the Vernon Parish Firefighter Honor Guard, composed of firefighters throughout the entire fire district, who serve at numerous functions performing ceremonial duties in unison with the Chaplain Corps.
Continues to serve as the Master Musician for countless ceremonies and services throughout the entire country, traveling as a unique one-man-band, performing firefighter, military, and civic musical selections.
Continues to serve as an active duty volunteer firefighter, responding to all calls and alarms as required throughout the fire district and for mutual aid requests. Serves as incident commander during times of manpower shortages, especially during the daytime hours, directing such emergencies to a successful resolve.
Continues to serve as a guest speaker and instructor throughout the state at firefighter conferences and training sessions.
Serves as a fire historian, and continues to write articles for fire and homeland security magazines on numerous subjects. Has been designated as a contributing editor for FIRE SERVICE DIGEST for the past several years.
Espirit’ de corps Contributions
As a lifelong musician, has continued to freely and generously share his musical talents throughout the military and civilian communities. A 2006 inductee into the 50-60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, has performed at countless Change of Command ceremonies, socials, fund-raising events, and religious/memorial services, always donating his time and use of professional musical equipment for the overall morale and welfare of the military and civilian community.