COS Election

Voting for COS Elections begins May 25, 2022 for four (4) at-large director seats.

The elected at-large directors will serve three (3) year terms beginning at FRI 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.

The 2022 COS elections will run exclusively online in conjunction with the IAFC elections. Voting will open May 25, 2022 and close June 27, 2022. Additional details on how you will receive your ballot will be posted closer to the start of the election. 

For general elections questions, please email or phone (703) 273-0911.

Meet the 2022 COS Board Candidates

Candidates appear in alphabetical order by last name.

Dan Allen, Monarch (Missouri) Fire Protection District

My name is Dan Allen and I would love to introduce myself to you. I started this glorious career at the age of 14 as a Junior Firefighter in 1978. After graduating from high school, I went straight into EMT and paramedic school in the St Louis area. Once I became a licensed paramedic, I went to work for a private ambulance service while continuing as a volunteer firefighter. In 1987, I got my shot as a career firefighter/ paramedic in a community of 4000 people in Northern Missouri. 4 years later I returned to the St Louis area for a department with 2 stations that bordered St Louis City. I learned a lot there and after 4 years I took a position at my current fire district that covers 57 square miles with 5 stations. I was promoted to Captain/Paramedic in 2009 and have served as an Acting Battalion Chief and currently serve as an Assistant Shift Training Officer. I also teach part time at our county fire academy. I am a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and am also serving as a panelist on the SAFER grant review board. I am fairly new to the IAFC CO Section but am looking forward to our future.

Matthew Caward, Bernalillo County (New Mexico) Fire and Rescue Department

My name is Matt Caward. I am Captain with the Bernalillo County Fire and Rescue Department in Albuquerque, NM. I have served with BCFD for more than 18 years. In that time, I have been a firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant and now a Station Captain. I was the founding member for our Chaplaincy program and helped develop a robust Health and Wellness Program with our department that now includes a Peer wellness coordinator and chaplaincy program. I am an advocate for professional development that encompasses 4 legs of decision-making ability: Experience, Training/Certification, Education and Leadership development. I am currently in my second year of the NFA’s MOP. (Delayed 2 years due to COVID.) I am the first and currently the only credentialed Fire Officer in the state of New Mexico. (Something I hope to change with this appointment). I am currently pursuing my second master’s degree with California Coast University in Business Administration. I have 2 Bachelor’s degrees, including a BAAS in Fire Administration with Eastern New Mexico University. I have submitted my membership application with the Institute of Fire Engineering. I am currently finishing my second credentialing with CPSE as a Fire Marshal as well as My ICC certification as a Fire Marshall. I have IFSAC certifications to 38 levels including Fire Officer 4, Instructor 3, Inspector 3, Investigator 2, PFLSE 3, PIO, AO: Aerial, ARFF, YFSIS 2, and Haz Mat IC. I have a published article with Fire Rescue 1 that discusses building fire service culture and leadership. I am a proven professional in building organizational culture as a former professional football player, coach, and owner. I hope to offer my experience and knowledge in professional development and advocate for company officers within the IAFC. Links to my LinkedIn profile and article are below:

Sherry Dean, Halifax (Canada) Regional Fire and Emergency
District Chief

Over the past 20 years my firefighting experience has brought me from rural volunteer to a career position moving through the ranks to District Chief in a combination department of more than 1000 members and 52 stations. Throughout my career I have invested time specializing as a Hazmat Technician, Technical Rescue and USAR Technician, Training and Operational Officer, Peer Fitness Trainer and Union Shop Steward. I have worked on many different elements of my department’s growth including Career Path Development, Officer Development Project, Contract Negotiation and Diversity and Inclusion projects. These opportunities have added tremendous insight to the firefighting community on top of my passion for being an effective front-line firefighter. Over the past three years I have served on the Company Officer Section (COS) of the IAFC and as Secretary for over two years. My responsibilities include recording the business of the unit and sitting on various committees and projects: Strategic Planning, Safety, Communications, Mental Health and FRI COS event planning. I consider the COS a very important division of the IAFC that works towards educating and building officers who will be progressive Chiefs of our future. I feel fortunate to have sat on the board with an amazing group of people dedicated to the betterment of the fire service. I will continue to work hard with this group of people to build a Company Officer Section that meets the needs of its members. It would be a privilege to continue to serve as your secretary.


Devin Flannery,  South San Francisco (California) Fire Department

My name is Devin Flannery, and I am a Fire Captain with the South San Francisco Fire Department (SSFFD).  I have been with the SSFFD for the last 19 years, where I have had the opportunity to work as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Preceptor, and Field Training Officer.  I am the union secretary for our local IAFF membership, where I serve our members in the fire service.  I firmly believe in the National Fire Academy (NFA) professional development model between education, experience, continuing education, and training.  I have completed my master’s degree from Arizona State University in Leadership, and I am in the process of applying for my doctorate.  I advocate for professional credentialing, and I hold a Fire Officer (FO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.  If I can serve on the Board of Directors in an at-large seat, I would be fully committed to providing service to the Company Officers Section members.  I am a true ‘pracademic’ of the fire service, bridging theory to practice.  My goal is to inspire others to be leaders in the fire service to drive our occupation into the professional domain.

I look forward to meeting individuals from around the fire service and guiding the COS members with issues impacting them directly.  Please check out my LinkedIn profile for additional professional information on my career development.

John Russ, Brentwood (Tennessee) Fire & Rescue
Lieutenant/ Paramedic

John Russ is a twenty-year fire service veteran, working for the Brentwood (TN) Fire & Rescue Department as a Lieutenant/ Paramedic, overseeing both the Engine and Tower companies at the headquarters station. John also serves as the Hazmat Program Manager for the department. John is a credentialed Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence and a credentialed Training Officer through the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He has been a member of the IAFC, the Southeastern Division, the Company Officer’s Section, and the Safety and Survival Section for over ten years.

John has been the Program Manager for the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System since January 2016. John has worked with the HERO Registry Ancillary Committee to review research proposals for COVID-19 studies with Healthcare Professionals and conducted curriculum reviews for the National Fire Academy. John was published in Fire Engineering Magazine and and is a co-author for an article pending in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He has presented at several conferences, including Fire-Rescue International, the FDSOA’s Annual Safety Symposium, the International Fire Operations Conference in Bahrain. He has been part of the volunteer staff at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference for 14 years.

John has worked for various career and volunteer fire and emergency service providers, including prehospital emergency medical service providers, specialized technical rescue organizations, and risk management and prevention entities. He has a Master’s Degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Professional Studies and two Bachelor’s Degrees from Eastern Kentucky University; one in Fire & Safety Administration and one in Prehospital Emergency Care. John is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. 

Demond Simmons, Oakland (California) Fire Department
Battalion Chief

Demond Simmons is a 25-year member of the fire service.  He first began his career with the Burlingame (CA) Fire Department.  In 1999, he was part of the first firefighter-paramedic recruit class in the history of the Oakland (CA) Fire Department.  Throughout his career, he has served as firefighter, firefighter-paramedic, engineer lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief.  He is currently assigned to the department’s Training Division as the chief of training. 

Throughout his career, Demond has been an active member for several fire service affinity groups including the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, International Society of Fire Service Instructors, International Fire Service Training Association, Alameda County Training Officers Association, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs/Company Officer Section.  He has been a part of the IAFC/COS since its origin as a committee.  Additionally, Demond is an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy, California State Fire Training, Golden Gate University, University of Cincinnati, and Merritt College.

Demond’s passion includes all aspects of fire service training/education, company officer professional development, and training/education for aspiring fire service personnel.  His continued interest with the IAFC/COS is rooted in its mission of providing professional development opportunities for current and aspiring company officers!

Demond’s current involvement on the IAFC/COS board has focused exclusively on designing and offering professional development opportunities for current/aspiring company officers.  Because the company officer position is the most important and influential position in the fire service, Demond will continue to remain an active participant on the board with a keen focus on professional development offerings! Equally important, he will continue tirelessly to recruit new members to both the IAFC and its Company Officer Section. 

You are not logged in.