Chief Rick Lasky
It’s Still the Best Job In The World: Leading Through Tough Times • The Three Degrees of Mayday • Great Leaders Make Difficult Decisions • The Kitchen Tabled (Roundtable)
Chief Rick Lasky (ret.) a 36-year veteran of the fire service, served as chief of the Lewisville (TX) Fire Department for 12 years, prior to that as Fire Chief in Coeur d’Alene Idaho. Rick followed in his father’s footsteps beginning his career as a firefighter in the suburbs on the southwest side of Chicago and while in Illinois received the 1996 International Society of Fire Service Instructors “Innovator of the Year” award for his part in developing the “Saving Our Own” program. Throughout his 30-plus years in the fire service he has served as a career and volunteer firefighter. He served as the co-lead instructor for the H.O.T. Firefighter Survival program at FDIC for over 10 years, is a long-standing editorial advisory board member for Fire Engineering Magazine and also serves on the FDIC advisory board. Rick is the author of the best-selling books “Pride and Ownership-A Firefighter’s Love of the Job” and “Five Alarm Leadership: From the Firehouse to the Fireground” published by PennWell Books and is the co-host for the radio show “The Command Post” heard on Fire Engineering Talk Radio.
Aaron Fields is a firefighter with the Seattle (WA) Fire Department. Between his dad, brother, and himself, there is nearly always a Fields member on watch somewhere in the 5thbattalion. Aaron was named Seattle Firefighter of the Year in 2011 by his peers.
Aaron is also the recipient of the 2017 Fire Engineering/International Society of Fire Service Instructors George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award. Steve Pegram, president of the ISFSI, says about Fields: “Aaron was nominated by his peers for working to create a grassroots program to enhance and improve engine company operations. His “Nozzle Forward” approach has been widely accepted and continues to focus on its original mission of fine-tuning basic nozzle firefighting skills. Aaron shares his experience and unique approach to teaching at national fire events annually, at FDIC as a HOT instructor, and as a member of the UL Fire Attack panel. Aaron is a firefighter who has dedicated his life to being the best firefighter possible. His personal ethos guide him and his cadre of instructors with a common passion to teach and help firefighters across the country to be aggressive, but smart, firefighters.”
Aaron is the founder of the Nozzle Forward program, which has taught more than 30,000 students in nearly 50 states.
Incident Safety Officer
Mike Dettmer served as a professional firefighter with Kirkland Fire Department for over thirty-eight years. He served twenty-five years as Operations Battalion Chief, including eight years as Designated Health and Safety Officer and Training Chief. Mike is an NFA Executive Fire Officer Program Alumni, possesses a FDSOA Pro-Board Certification, is an OSHA General Industries Instructor and NFA Incident Safety Officer Instructor. Firefighter safety remains a passion of his. Mike is married and a father of three children. He retired from Kirkland in May of 2019.
Hydrants to Nozzles
Dennis LeGear is a retired Captain of Oakland CA Fire Department. Dennis is a CSFM Fire Instructor. He received a B.S. in Professional Studies from California State University, Long Beach and an A.S. degree in Fire Technology from Los Medanos College in Pittsburg CA.
During his career Dennis was an integral part of the team that implemented a new engine configuration for Oakland Fire Department as the water supply officer. After his retirement he continued to pursue this role but as a consultant for other fire departments. Dennis has provided technical advice to some of the largest fire agencies in the nation including, Portland, Seattle, Boston and the City of New York. Dennis consulted with water municipalities assisting in the development of emergency response plans for a variety of water infrastructure problems related to seismic events and other disasters.
Dennis also has played a key role for the fire service on a national level participating in UL fire streams & coordinated attack studies, providing technical knowledge for Pennwell publications and NFPA standards.
“Dennis is that firefighter who could never find enough information or stop seeking improvement. His career did not end with his retirement. He works every day to improve the fire service, not only as an expert in his field but as someone who is still a firefighter.”
-JESSE WOOTON – PALO ALTO FIRE DEPARTMENT
Wildland Fire Assessment: “Train-the-Trainer”
Ron is a Volunteer Division Chief at Douglas County Fire District #2 in Washington State, a Board member of the Washington State Fire Fighters’ Association (WSFFA) representing the volunteers in Washington State, and one of two Directors to the National Volunteer Fire Council representing the volunteers of Washington State on the national level. Ron is the current Wildland Committee Chairman for the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC).
If you need a contact for information about the volunteer fire service, start with Ron Roy. It is always great when you have that one person that you can go to as a starting point when you are searching for information in such a large profession.
Ron is a very high energy and enthusiastic presenter that offers interesting and thought-provoking ideas in his presentations. His paid career is in the electrical utility industry. Combined with his fire service career, Ron developed an ‘Electrical Safety for First Responders’ program in 2005.
Rural Pump Operations
Paul Spencer is the owner/operator of Fire Fleet Maintenance, LLC, a company that performs on-site emergency vehicle inspection, maintenance, testing and repair services. He also provides fire service operations training specializing in testing and maximizing fire flow capabilities using available personnel and equipment for single company transitional fire attacks where limited waters resources are available.
Paul is certified as a Master Emergency Vehicle Technician
Recruit Academy Physical Fitness Programming
Ryan Provencher is the Training Division Chief, Safety Officer, and Health/Fitness Coordinator for the Bellingham Fire Department. He is the founder of Firefighter Peak Performance and co-creator of TACFIT Firefighter.
Ryan has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition from Washington State University. He has been a Firefighter Fitness Specialist for more than 20 years with a recent emphasis on Recruit Academy Fitness Programming.
Initial Company Operations
Ian Bennett began in the fire service in 2006 when he joined the Seattle Fire Department. He is currently a Lieutenant on E28 in the Rainier Valley. Always striving to push his knowledge to the next level he spent over four years as a writer and editor for Seattle Fire’s Post Incident Analysis committee and worked for three years as an instructor at the Washington State Fire Academy.
After promotion to Lieutenant, he was selected to be a recruit instructor and taught there for two years. Every Seattle recruit class conducts live fire training in an acquired structure, and it was in preparation to become a recruit instructor that Ian became obsessed with acquired structure training.
Ian founded West Coast Fire Training after being asked by several outside agencies to assist with live fire training in acquired structures and realizing that there was a need to bring this specific skill set to fire service organizations without the resources to develop it on their own.
Dena is a Captain with Skagit County Fire District No. 6. She manages the EMS/Training Division. She is a 25 year + veteran of the fire service. Dena was named Fire Officer of the Year by the Washington State Firefighters Association in 2017.
She has taught numerous classes for fire service members and is a Test Control Officer for the Washington State Patrol IFSAC Testing Program.
Dena is married and has two dogs and two horses. She spends her free time riding her horses and hanging with her dogs and husband. She has a Bachelor’s Degree and is currently working on her Master’s.