Mohammed Alaabar, Captain Eng., Head of Inspection Section, Bahrain General Directorate of Civil Defense


Abdullah Alhayan, Colonel, Marine Fire Directorate, General Directorate of Fire Services Kuwait


Ali Hassan Almutawa, Colonel Expert, Assistant Director General for Protection and Safety Department of Civil Defense Dubai,UAE


Humaid Alali, Captain, UAE Civil Defense


Qasim Saleh Alyafei, Head of Hazmat Branch, Kingdom of Bahrain

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Omar Alzahrani, Research & Development Engineer, FHC Manufacturing


Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Director, Emirates Fire and Rescue Company


Manhal Al Jazireh, Fire & Rescue Specialist, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company


Khalid Al Khatib, Eng., CEO, NAFFCO Group


Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Major General, General Director of Civil Defense in Dubai


Hani Hashim Al Nabulsi, Brigadier General, Dr. Engineer, Director of the Department of Advisory for Directorate General of Civil Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Mohammed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Brigadier, Director of Fire & Protection & Safety, G. H. Q of Civil Defense, Abu Dhabi, U. A. E. 

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Muteb Al Otaibi
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Muteb Al Otaibi has been with SAFrPD for 14 years and is currently a Fire Captain I. He was part of Cohort 5 with the Rogers Fire Department.

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Mohammed Al Slaim
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Mohammed Al Slaim has been a firefighter with SAFrPD for seven years but has worked with Saudi Aramco for 12 years. He has completed FF I & II, Haz-Mat, rescue, instructor, and officer courses and is currently a Fire Captain. Mohammed was part of Cohort 9 with the Columbus Division of Fire.

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Hashan Al Sleem
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Hashan Al Sleem has been with SAFrPD just shy of 12 years. He was a Fire Equipment Specialist and an acting Fire Captain when he was first apart of the International Fellowship Program. He was part of Cohort 2 with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

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Mutiq Al Subaie
Adjunct Instuctor (Saudi Arabia)

Mutiq Al Subaie is a truck operator specialist and works as an acting fire captain with SAFrPD. He also teaches various NFPA courses in his department. Mutiq is an honest, self-motivated, and dedicated person who always tries to improve himself both personally and professionally. He loves to spend time with his family and friends, as well as exercising and watching inspirational videos. Mutiq was apart of Cohort 12 with the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District.

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Mubarak Al Qahtani
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Mubarak is a 37-year-old Deputy Fire Chief II with SAFrPD, who has worked there for the past 15 years. He was apart of Cohort 1 with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.


Mohammed A. AlSaeefan, Fire Protection Engineer MSc, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company


Waleed A. Rahman Althawadi, Lt. Colonel, Bahrain General Directorate of Civil Defense


Sami R. AlYami, Fire Protection Engineer MSc, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company

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Ahmed Backshwen
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Ahmed Backshwen is a 27-year-old Fire Equipment Specialist who has been working for SAFrPD for the past nine years. He is married with one child, and his father was a military veteran who served in U.S. Naval Bases in California. Ahmed’s hobbies include camping, running, cycling, swimming, and soccer. He aspires to one day be a Fire Chief and/or Superintendent. Ahmed was part of Cohort 11 with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.

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Kevin Bartal, Assistant Chief of Operations, B-Shift
Henrico (Virginia) Division of Fire (USA)

Kevin Bartal is the Assistant Chief of Operations, B-Shift Commander for the Henrico County Virginia Division of Fire. With 36 years of fire service experience, Kevin has served as a fire officer in Fire Operations, Training, EMS, Business Management, Logistics and Specialty Team Operations. Currently, he leads 160 shift-personnel operating out of 21 fire stations which respond to over 49,000 calls a year. With a passion for training, Kevin also is an Adjunct Instructor for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and a Part-Time Instructor with Hanover County Virginia Fire and EMS. As an original member of the development team for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs “May Day Firefighter Down” rescue program, he has trained thousands of Firefighters over the last 22 years in these invaluable techniques. Kevin graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Business Administration.


Chief G. Keith Bryant, Fire Administrator, U.S. Fire Administration

G. Keith Bryant was sworn in as the U.S. Fire Administrator on Aug. 4, 2017. Prior to his presidential appointment, he was the chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department (OCFD).

He joined the OCFD in 1982 after serving as a U.S. Army firefighter/crash rescue specialist for four years. He also served a short time with the Edmond Fire Department in Edmond, Oklahoma.

During his 35 years with the OCFD, Administrator Bryant was a member of the Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team, Hazardous Materials Response Team, and the Critical Incident Stress Management Team. He also responded to many significant incidents, including the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, as well as two EF-5 tornados in 1999 and 2013.

Bryant moved up through the ranks of the department, serving in many roles, including district/battalion chief, chief training officer, battalion chief of operations, and deputy chief of operations. He was appointed the 20th fire chief of the OCFD in 2005 by the city manager.

He is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, and the Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association (OFCA). He currently serves on the National Fallen Firefighters Advisory Committee.

Bryant was recognized with many awards throughout his fire service career. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association designated him as the 2014 Fire Chief of the Year, and he received their 2016 President’s Award of Distinction. The OFCA selected him as the recipient of the 2010 J. Ray Pence Chief Officer Leadership Award, and he received the OCFD Chief Officer of the Year Award in 2001.
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Michael Carroll, Business Development and Marketing Manager, Mission-Centered Solutions (USA)

Michael Carroll is the Business Development and Marketing Manager for Mission-Centered Solutions. Mike served in the U.S. Army throughout the 1980s and 90s in both Ranger and Special Forces units. His last assignment was as an intelligence analyst attached to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, serving as the CBI’s representative on a Drug Enforcement Administration joint intelligence task force.

As a lead instructor for both incident management team and leadership development training, he has delivered over two hundred MCS training courses. He has worked with several agencies across all levels of government, both in the U.S. and abroad. Mike has acted as a lead educator in support of many agencies efforts to move to a principles-based Mission-Driven Culture (MDC) leadership model. He trains and educates many Saudi Aramco firefighters as part of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) International Fellowship Program.

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David Downey, Fire Chief
Miami-Dade (Fla.) Fire Rescue (USA)

Dave Downey is currently the Fire Chief of Miami - Dade Fire Rescue. He is a 36-year veteran of the fire service working through the ranks as a firefighter, company officer, Battalion Chief, Division Chief, and Assistant Fire Chief. Chief Downey serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Florida Fire Chief's Association, the Deputy Coordinator for Florida's Statewide Emergency Response Plan, and the Fire Representative to the Executive Board for the Southeast Regional Domestic Security Task Force.

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Jeff Dulin, Senior Advisor/Chief (Ret.)
International Association of Fire Chiefs/Charlotte (N. Carolina) Fire Department (USA)

Jeff Dulin is a retired Deputy Chief from the Charlotte Fire Department after 32 years where he served as a Deputy Chief for 14 years over the Communications, Training, EM/Homeland Security and Special Operations Divisions. Jeff has spoken nationally and internationally on disaster and homeland security and emergency management issues. He served as the Deputy Operations Chief of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

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Dan Eggleston, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board, EFO, CFO, CMO Fire Rescue Chief, Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue (USA)

Chief Dan Eggleston began his fire service career in 1978 and is currently the career Fire Rescue Chief with the Albemarle County Department of Fire Rescue, a 700 member combination department that serves a 723 square mile urban/rural area. He has an AAS Degree in Engineering, a BS degree in business, and an MS degree in Emergency Management from the University of Richmond. He is a graduate from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and received his Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO) and Chief Medical Officer Designation (CEMSO) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Chief Eggleston is a Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Fire programs adjunct fire instructor and is an active member of the Virginia Fire Chief Association. He has published many articles and research papers relating to fire and EMS administration and emergency management and has lectured and consulted throughout the country.

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R.A. Ladd Grindstaff II, Lieutenant and "A" Shift Commander
Hanover Fire and EMS Department (USA)

Lieutenant R.A. Ladd Grindstaff II is the current “A” shift commander of Engine Company 2 with Hanover Fire EMS Department.  Ladd has 38 years of public service to draw upon in his experience.  Ladd has served as a Fire Officer in operations, training, technical rescue, planning as well as an Assistant Fire Marshal.  Ladd is the former Chief of Training at the Piedmont Regional Fire Training Center.  His experience spans rural, municipal, urban, and wild land service areas of the United States.  In addition he serves as an Adjunct Instructor for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and has served as a Hands on Training instructor at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference for Firefighter Survival.  Ladd has worked with and instructed the Virginia “Mayday Firefighter Down” rescue program since its beginning.  In addition Ladd has been a member of the committee to oversee and update this program as well as other safety programs for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs over the last 20 years.  Ladd has been involved with training developing and managing programs that have benefited many firefighters in Virginia as well as the U.S.  Ladd is a graduate of The University of Akron in Fire Science and Leadership.

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Khalid Hokash
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Khalid Hokash is a 29-year-old fire truck operator, or engineer, and a Firefighter I and II instructor. He is an outgoing instructor with great inter-personal skills. Khalid is a coffee addict, a big soccer and tennis fan, and loves to learn about history and other traditions and cultures. He was part of Cohort 7 with DeKalb County Fire Rescue.


Stephen Hrustich, Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal
Gwinnett County Department of Fire & Emergency Services (USA)

Chief Hrustich is a 34 year veteran of the fire service and currently serves as the Assistant Chief / Fire Marshal of the Community Risk Reduction Division of Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services (GCFES) in the metro Atlanta area. His division encompasses fire and arson investigation, prevention & enforcement and public education sections. Gwinnett County is a metro sized agency with an authorized strength of 952 personnel and is the largest fire service delivery system in the state of Georgia.  GCFES responds to over 80,000 calls a year for service, protecting a population of 975,000 across a 437 square mile response area. The CRR division has received multiple local and state awards and has been recognized nationally for developing and implementing best practices in fire prevention and risk reduction.  He previously served as fire chief of multiple agencies in New York State.

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Ed Kirtley, Assistant Dean of CEAT Engineering Extension, Oklahoma State University (USA)

Ed Kirtley is the assistant dean of engineering extension in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT).  As assistant dean Ed is responsible for leading 10 extension units OSU Fire Service Training, Fire Protection Publications, and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.  Prior to his appointment as assistant dean in August of 2013, Ed was the director of OSU Fire Service Training.  He was responsible for the training of Oklahoma’s fire fighters and other emergency responders.  During his tenure he led the initiative for passage of Senate Bill 682. With the Governor’s signature, for the first time since its beginning in 1931 FST was statutorily recognized as the agency responsible for the training of Oklahoma’s fire fighters.

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Eric LaVergne, Lead Firefighter/Business Development, Williams Fire & Hazard Control Products and Services for Johnson Controls, Inc.

Eric has traveled the world in response to over 150 industrial fire related emergencies on land and at sea. He holds several patents on equipment and methodologies used the world over in the extinguishment of large flammable liquid fires, and continues to apply his experience and knowledge on the importance of performance equipment and effective firefighting tactics.

Working for the foremost authority on flammable liquid fires for 35-years, Eric has been involved in a significant majority of the world’s largest flammable liquid fire extinguishments from crude oil storage tank extinguishments, simultaneous storage tank fires — including the largest fully involved flammable liquid storage tank fire extinguished on record at over 270 feet (82 meters) in diameter.

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Mohammed Islam
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Mohammed Islam is a 35-year-old Fire Captain I. He specializes in fixed fire system inspections. Mohammed likes to play all sports but especially loves soccer. He is married with two boys and a girl. He was a part of Cohort 6 with Prince George’s County Fire Department, placed at one of the busiest stations in the country (Station 29, Silverhill).

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CDR Joseph Leonard, Jr., USCG (ret.),  Principal Consultant
PENTA Consortium, LLC (USA)

Commander Joe Leonard is a nationally recognized emergency responder, incident manager, and trainer with thirty-eight years of United States Coast Guard, United States Army, volunteer municipal fire service, and private-sector experience responding to natural disasters, oil spills, hazardous materials releases, marine fires, mass rescue operations, mass care and shelter events, national special security events, and maritime homeland security events.

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Majed Marri, Fire Protection Engineer MSc, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company


Christian Mairzedt, Senior VP, Rosenbauer International AG

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Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, President and CEO
International Public Safety Data Institute (USA)

Dr. Moore-Merrell is the President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute.  She also serves as a senior executive with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), responsible for frontline interaction with elected officers, Executive Board members, state, provincial and local chapter leaders and individual members throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Lori is considered an expert in emergency response system evaluation, data collection and analysis, costs and benefits analysis, strategic planning, advocacy, consensus building, and policy development and implementation.   

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IntlFireOpsConf_Michael Rip

Michael Rip PhD MSc (Med), Director, MindLeap LLC and Director, Program in Healthcare Management, Michigan State University

Michael Rip is the Founding Director of the Program in Healthcare Administration (Broad College of
Business), and previously the Founding Director of the Program in Public Health (College of Human Medicine). Dr. Rip was on the faculty of the Department of Community Health at the University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa, for seven years. After obtaining his Ph.D. in spatial epidemiology and medical geography at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1991, he spent 16 years on the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology (MSU). There he developed graduate and undergraduate degree programs and courses in public health and epidemiology, most notably EPI-390 - Disease in Society: An Introduction to Public Health  and Epidemiology, and the Specialization in Global Public Health and Epidemiology. He also assisted in the creation of the Department of Epidemiology in the early 1990s and was the Director of the Graduate Program until 2007. Dr. Rip’s undergraduate and postgraduate teaching interests include: critical thinking and innovation, population health, and epidemiology. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, intelligence analysis and food fraud, bringing strategic intelligence analysis to the healthcare industry (e.g., healthcare fraud), the regionalization of health care programs, and achieving High Reliability in Organizations (HRO) by leveraging critical reasoning and systems thinking to minimize error/reduce harm, are some of his research interests.

Dirk Schmitz, CEO, Schmitz Fire & Rescue (One Seven)

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Mark Smith,  Operations Director
Mission-Centered Solutions, Inc. (USA)

Since 1979, Mark Smith has been training and leading teams and organizations in complex, high-risk environments worldwide. During his 22-year military career, Mark served in a variety of special operations staff and leadership positions. His assignments include administration, training, communications, plans, intelligence, operations, and command. He served at every echelon of operational command—from small Ranger and Special Forces teams conducting tactical missions to the Joint Special Operations Task Force level conducting strategic operations for a theater commander.

Mark was critical to the founding of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) leadership curriculum. Since 1999, he’s been lead cadre member on over two hundred leader development courses such as Human Factors in a High-Risk Environment (L-180); Emerging Leader (L-280); Point of the Spear (L-380); All Hazard Incident Leadership (L-381); and Intent into Action: Advanced Leadership for the Command & General Staff (L-481).

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Michael Sorensen, Lead Firefighter/Business Development, Williams Fire & Hazard Control Products and Services for Johnson Controls, Inc.

Michael Sorensen heads the Williams international team across APAC & EMEA territories that conduct extensive international operations and emergency response services throughout the downstream and upstream sectors. He leads the company’s technical and strategic methodologies specialists and sales for the Williams international business.

Working for the foremost authority on flammable liquid fires for 24-years. Michael has been involved in numerous of the largest flammable liquid fire extinguishments from crude oil storage tank extinguishments, simultaneous storage tank fires — including the largest fully involved flammable liquid storage tank fire extinguished on record at over 270 feet (82 meters) in diameter.

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Mark Vroman, MBA EFO, Co-Director, MindLeap LLC and Battalion Chief, Meridian Township (Michigan) Fire Department (USA)

Mark A. Vroman, MBA EFO possesses 25 years of fire service experience and currently holds the rank of Battalion Chief for the Meridian Township Fire Department in the State of Michigan (1997-current). Battalion Chief Vroman has risen through the ranks from Senior Firefighter (2001), to Lieutenant (2008), to Captain (2012), and to his current rank of Battalion Chief (2014). Battalion Chief Vroman possesses an associate degree in Fire Science Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Studies, a master’s degree in Business Administration, and Post-Graduate Certificates in both Healthcare Management and Human Resource Management.

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Sabah Yusuf, Head of Business, FHC Manufacturing

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Mohammed Zayad
Adjunct Instructor (Saudi Arabia)

Mohammed Zayad has been with SAFrPD for nine years. He is currently a Fire Captain I.  He was a part of Cohort 4 with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.