Jordan D. Pollack, Fire-EMS Training

Our Instructors

Jordan Pollack Jordan Pollack
A fire service instructor since 1983, he continues to instruct structural and wildland firefighting, emergency medical technician training, and other emergency skills courses. Mr. Pollack has worked in both the wildland and structural fire service since 1978, having served as training officer and fire chief since 1998. He has worked for the US Forest Service and National Park Service as a crew member, engine captain, and helicopter rappeler during the summer fire seasons since 1978 finishing his career with the USFS in wildland fire as an Engine Strike Team Leader. He serves as Fire Chief of the Breitenbush Fire Department in the mountains of central Oregon and is a regional representative for the State of Sinaloa, Mexico for Firefighters Crossing Borders.

Bruce Hanna

Bruce Hanna
An avid outdoor enthusiast, Bruce’s wildfire career actually began while working for Snohomish County Search and Rescue (SCSAR) in the 90s. In 1997 after responding with SCSAR on a wildland fire, Bruce joined WA State Department of Natural Resources as a firefighter and has since held numerous training and management positions throughout his career. His work with the DNR has taken him not only on fires throughout Washington State over the years, but also training and supervising inmate crews on fires, teaching chainsaw schools, facilitating fire academies, and much more. Mr. Hanna is the NW Region DNR communications technician as well as an Engine Strike Team Leader, a Deputy Fire Marshal for Skagit County, and manages an EMS education business in Skagit Valley with a focus in wilderness medical training.


Noel Monin

Noel Monin
Mr. Monin is the Assistant Chief of operations and training for the San Juan Island Fire Department. Noel is responsible for coordinating continuing education in wildland, structural, and rescue disciplines. He is on a duty rotation as command officer, and supervises four fire stations and associated personnel. Mr. Monin has been in the wildland world since 1997 including time in the southwest as a member of an interagency hot shot crew. He currently responds as a Strike Team Leader on mobilizations and is pursuing Task Force Leader and Logistics Section positions.


Dan

Dan Heidal
Beginning his wildland career in 1978 with the U.S. Forest Service, Dan is now into his 35th fire season with WA DNR. Working for many years as a Senior Engine Supervisor and Taskforce Leader on fires throughout the western states, Mr. Heidal now focuses on training. In addition to his wildland experience Dan has over twenty years serving as a volunteer in the fire service, including time as a Captain and Training Officer. As an NWCG and NFPA credentialed instructor Mr. Heidal certifies students in chainsaw skills and many other areas.


Elyse

Elyse Fleenor
Elyse’s wildland fire career began in 1994 while working for the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC). After spending the majority of that summer in Eastern Washington, she decided to pursue a career with the WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Elyse served as a fire engine supervisor for twelve years with the DNR taking her on wildland fires throughout Washington, Oregon and Montana. As a certified wildland and NFPA instructor she has instructed numerous classes for DNR over the past 15 years training and mentoring many new firefighters on the region’s hand crew. Ms. Fleenors current position with DNR as an Engineering Aide allows her to respond to incidents as a Type 4 IC, Crew, Heavy Equipment and Felling Boss.


Dan

Matt Eberlein
Currently the WA Department of Natural Resources Southeast Region Fire Staff for Operations, Matt started his career with DNR in 1985 as an entry level firefighter. He has spent many years on the fire line, working as a crew member of a type 2 initial attack crew, engine captain, assistant fire management officer, and fire management officer. He currently manages multiple fire management officers, responds to major fires as an operations section chief with WA Incident Management Team 1, and locally as a type 3 incident commander or division supervisor.


Erik Wennstrom Erik Wennstrom
Having spent the first 10 years in the fire service with the Vashon Island Fire Department, Mr. Wennstrom has worked in King County, Port Townsend, and a 5 year sabatical in Matagaskar, Africa working with various rural and urban fire agencies. Erik is a certified IFSAC fire instructor and has vast experience in emergency medicine, technical rescue and firefighting in urban, rural, and extreme remote environments. Previously an active member of the East Jefferson Fire-Rescue Marine Program and Vessel Assist-Port Townsend, Erik is the lead instructor and originator of the Salish Water Rescue program in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Ken VanBuskirk

Ken VanBuskirk
Known as “VanB” amongst his comrades on the fireline, Ken VanBuskirk began his career with the US Forest Service on the Olympic National Forest in 1974 doing prescribed burning and wildland firefighting. After 28 years and hiking many miles of fireline throughout the country on large fires, Mr. VanBuskirk has ‘semi-retired’.  He now goes out on special request as a Type 3 IC on large fires, instructs in wildland fire topics, and has settled into the life of farming on the Olympic Penninsula. “I’ve worked many project fires in many states and still feel the most dangerous ones are those initial attack fires that happen right here in our own backyards. My hat’s off to all those firefighters both volunteer and career that deal with keeping them small, but doing so safely.”


Tom Smith Tom Smith
A timber faller in the 1970’s, Tom was first introduced to wildland fire in 1981 while working a season with Oregon Department of Forestry. After completing a forest management degree from the University of Washington in 1982, Tom began working for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) where he has been working for the past 22 years. His background with timber felling and a few well-earned scars, combined with his knowledge of fire ecology and forest diseases has been invaluable in his development as a Falling Boss, Falling Group Supervisor, and Sawyer Instructor- Certifier for the DNR. As a wildland fire instructor since 1989 Tom has participated in courses and workshops across the state. Since 2001 he been responsible for managing DNR suppression resources and fires in Whatcom and Skagit counties. He currently serves on the fireline as a Type 3 Incident Commander, Division Supervisor, and Fire Investigator, but still enjoys Falling Boss assignments.

Dan

Kevin Noyes
Working in the fire service since the mid nineties Kevin is currently a Deputy Fire Marshal for the Skagit County Fire Marshal’s Office. He is a certified structural and wildland fire investigator, fire-explosives investigator as well as IFSAC instructor. Kevin’s background includes two years as an investigator for the insurance industry working throughout Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. He has instructed for the Skagit County Recruit Academy, insurance industry, and Fort Lewis CID, spent 10 years as a reserve law enforcement officer, and currently serves as Safety Officer for Mt Erie Fire Department.


Jay

Jason "Jay" McMillen
Jay started his firefighting career in 1992 with Skagit County Fire District 10. In 1994 he joined the US Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, working on both engines and hand crew, ultimately migrating to the WA DNR in the late nineties. He is certified as a Type 4 Incident Commander and Single Resource Boss and is a credentialed NFPA and NWCG instructor. Mr. McMillen worked as a Disaster Response Specialist and Crew Supervisor for the Washington Conservation Corps, training members in wildland fire suppression, chainsaw operation, and leading the WCC's Type 2 hand crew on wildfire assignments. He is currently completing his degree at Skagit College, instructing firefighters, and spending time with his family and dogs hiking in the North Cascades.


Donny Smith

Donald “Donny” Smith
Beginning his fire career in the hot, dry flashy fuels of Riverside County, California Donny migrated to Granby, Colorado where he worked for the Colorado State Forest Service. In the mid-nineties Donny made his way to the lush Pacific Northwest where he went to work for WA Department of Natural Resources as an engine supervisor and also training captain with Mt. Erie Fire Department. In 2013 Donny accepted a fire management position with NE Region DNR in Omak where he currently sees plenty of fire activity each season.


Tny Melillo

Tony Melillo
Tony's life in the fire service began in 1999 right out of high school when he joined a small Whatcom County volunteer fire department. Shortly after basic training as a firefighter and EMT, Tony joined the WA DNR working his way to Engine Leader before returning to the fire service full time. Now in his 17th year, Tony works as a Captain with South Whatcom Fire Authority, is the department’s wildland coordinator as well as an Engine Strike Team Leader trainee for mobilizations. Mr. Melillo has worked in technical rescue, statewide fire prevention, fire investigation with the county fire marshal's office, as well as instructing and coordinating for the areas fire academy. Tony maintains a healthy passion for knowledge and helping his fellow emergency responders become better and safer in their respective jobs.


Ryan McCarthy

Ryan-McCarthy
Mr. McCarthy has been in the fire service since 2000 as a firefighter with North Whidbey Fire and Rescue (NWFR). He is an IFSAC certified instructor and evaluator, instructing regularly for both the Whidbey Island Fire Academy and EMT school. Ryan entered the wildland firefighting arena in 2004 traveling to eastern WA on mobilizations and ultimately attaining qualification as an Engine Strike Team Leader. Today he serves as a Division Supervisor with the NW Incident management type 3 team and continues to enjoy learning and growing with each assignment.


Chris Bonsen

Chris Bonsen
Chris joined the fire service in 2003, volunteering with the City of Mount Vernon. Now a lieutenant and the wildland coordinator for Skagit County FD 3, he has spent many summer fire seasons in eastern Washington working large fires. Mr. Bonsen has worked as a drill instructor for the Skagit County Fire Academy, coordinated recruitment and retention, and stayed actively involved in his organizations management. He also works as a deputy fire marshal for Skagit County and has much passion for instructing his fellow firefighters.


Joining Us From The National Weather Service


Andy

Andy Haner
Mr. Haner is a Fire Weather Forecaster and Incident Meteorologist (IMET) with the National Weather Service in Seattle since 2003. Andy grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and realized a strange fascination with weather after evacuating the family home for a hurricane in 1985. Nine years later, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Florida State University in 1994. He started his career with the NWS in Apalachicola, Florida, in 1994, before moving on to the forecast office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1995. Curious about the western US, Andy was promoted to a forecaster position in Spokane in 1999 and finished his trek west in 2003, with a move into a Fire Weather position at Seattle. Through 2012, Andy had served on 17 assignments as an Incident Meteorologist (IMET). In his spare time Andy enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and watching the sky…..of course.


Steve Reedy

Steve Reedy
Born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio, the wild and frequent fluctuations in weather caught his interest at a very early age. Although his loving parents thought this to be a mental illness at first, they soon learned to nurture this interest, as it proved beneficial for family outdoor events. Graduating from The Ohio State University in 2000, Steven went on to forecast weather in Cleveland, Ohio before suffering self-inflicted blunt force trauma to the head due to the difficulty of such forecasting. After declaring that someone had "broken the weather", he moved west to become a Fire Weather forecaster and IMET for the National Weather Service in Tucson, AZ. Weatherman in the desert...easiest...job...ever! Mostly. After having any and all moisture sucked out of his body and soul over 9 years, he was given the opportunity to transfer to the Seattle NWS office to rehydrate.

Jordan D. Pollack | Fire-EMS Training | jdpollack@gmail.com | 360-385-2308 | Site design by Fruition Design, 2012