2022 Instructors

Captain Bill Gustin is a 49 year veteran of the fire Fire Service. He began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Wheaton, IL., a suburb of Chicago, and is a Captain on the Miami-Dade FL Fire-Rescue Department. He conducts training programs for firefighters throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Gustin is a technical editor and editorial advisory board member for Fire Engineering Magazine and an advisory board member for FDIC.

Firefighter Ben Shultz is an 18 year firefighter/paramedic with West Palm Beach Fire Department. His career has taken him from southern California to Colorado to Florida, from rural to suburban to urban districts. He has split his time ridieng the truck, engine, heavy rescue, squad, and medic. in addition to his normal shift duties, Ben has been a member of wildland, dive, swiftwater and technical resuce teams, including FEMA CO-TF1. Ben has been an instructor with Irons & Ladders, When Things Go Bad, VentEnterSearch and Fire By Trade.

– VentEnterSearch –

Lieutenant Eric Wheaton is the Owner of VentEnterSearch, LLC. He is a second-generation fireman for Winter Park (FL) Fire Department and is currently assigned as a Lieutenant on Truck 61. Eric has spent a majority of his career on the Truck Company. He also serves on the Winter Park Fire Department Technical Rescue Team. Eric is an instructor for the Truck Company Operations and Special Operations programs at Valencia College’s Central Florida Fire Institute. He holds an associate degree in Fire Science and is an advisory board member on the UL-FSRI Size-up and search & rescue study. Eric has taught at many fire conferences across the country, including FDIC, Portland Firemanship Conference, Orlando Fire Conference, Fort Lauderdale Fire Expo, Metro Atlanta Firefighter Conference and Water on the Fire Conference.

Lieutenant Jimmy Berry is a Lieutenant/Paramedic with Orange County Fire Department in Orlando, Florida. Jimmy has worked for OCFD for 22 years with 20 of those being assigned to one of the busiest truck companies in the department, Truck Company 30 in the Pine Hills neighborhood in West Orlando. Jimmy is also a member of Orange County Fire Department’s hi angle rescue team that responds to some of the many attractions in Orlando such as the “Orlando eye” and the Sea World sky tower. Jimmy is a member of Vent Enter Search.com and has traveled all over the country teaching truck company operations such as VES, “can confidence” and forcible entry at satellite locations. Jimmy is a lead instructor of forcible entry at the Orlando Fire Conference and teaches at the Ft. Lauderdale fire expo. Jimmy is also a member of the SCUBA/ Dive rescue team for OCFD.

– Down and Dirty Search –

Lieutenant Nate Carn works for the DeLand Fire Department, currently assigned to Station 81 in downtown.  Although his picture says differently, Nate is not homeless and has been involved teaching conferences throughout the state, as well as FDIC in Indianapolis.  Nate is an instructor for the Florida Smoke Diver program and P.R.O. (Proactive Rescue Operations) which specializes in RIT training.  In his free time, Nate enjoys a nice glass of red wine, curling up on the couch and getting lost in one of his favorite vampire erotic thriller/romance novels.  Fun Fact: Nate once shared a hot tub with Bassel Ibrahim and Eric Wheaton at the same time.  To this day, he still swears it was the 3rd greatest experience he’s ever had in a hot tub. 

Engineer Scott Hughes began his career in 2010 and is currently a Driver/Engineer with the Daytona Beach Fire Department.  He is a member of the Technical Rescue Team, SWAT, and Motor Medics.  His passion for instruction lies within search, survival and forcible entry.  “Be the change you want to see in the fire service”. 

Captain Stephen Cox is one of the founders and lead instructors for East Coast Fire Tactics. He began his fire service career in 2004 and currently works as a Captain for the Flagler Beach Fire Department. Don’t let the white helmet fool you though, he will be the first to steal your nozzle if left unattended on the fireground.

Likes- Smooth bore nozzles, Pro-bars & buildings that are on fire.

Dislikes- Pistol grips, clean cabs & Target Solutions.

– 1st Whip Engine Operations –

Max was a happy firefighter for many years delivering water via a 30 degree fog from an Adjustable GPM nozzle with a pistol grip yelling “Right to fight, Left for Life” as he made entry into the structure!  That was until attending Dennis LeGear’s Hydrants to Nozzles class at HROC.  That class, and the influence of individuals that have been leaders in the American Fire service and articles such as Tiny Drops of Water,  Nozzle Dreams, Hose Dreams, Quantitative Approach to Selecting Nozzle Flow Rate and Stream, to mention a few, has led him down a path to a seismic shift in his approach to the application of water for structural firefighting.  He has 31 years of experience in the fire service, 15 with a small municipal department and the following 16 with a medium sized county agency where he is an Engineer on Fighting Engine 12.  He has taught with East Coast Fire Tactics, First Coast FOOL, Ancient City Fire Expo and is a part of his department’s Live Fire Instructor and their Engine Week Cadre for Recruit Firefighters.  Nothing makes him happier than seeing a firefighter acquiring the skills to move a flowing line for fire attack, well almost nothing…  “I am not here for me, I’m here for we, and we’re here for them.” 

Heath Steen is a Battalion Chief with St. Johns County Fire Rescue. He started his career in the fire service with the St. Augustine Fire Department in 2003, transitioning to “The County” later that same year. Heath developed a passion for engine company work during his time as Captain at Station 12. While serving in that role, he had two drivers (Max Schafer & Pat Taaffe) who placed several articles on his desk that completely reformed his outlook on water application… articles written by Dennis LeGear, and Jason Vestal/Eric Bridge, and the late Andy Fredericks. This led to taking a deep dive on attending conferences and classes taught by Curt Isakson, Aaron Fields, Dennis LeGear, Brian Brush, Ray McCorrmack, Steve Robertson, Jay Bonnifield, Jonathan Brumley, and many more. Fueled by the knowledge and energy gained from the aforementioned, Heath and a cadre of engine company gurus helped spearhead a hose and nozzle study in St. Johns County that produced what we would state best reflects Brian Brush’s “exponential engine” concept. St. Johns County is now a smoothbore, flow and move department, and we are seeing fires being extinguished that we have not seen in the past. Although he basically only gets to watch firefighters work from the front yard at this point in his career, he takes great pride every time his guys open the line and dominate. Aside from engine work, he also loves search operations, specifically VES, ground ladder work, and vertical ventilation. And his family. He loves his family too.

Lieutenant Timothy Young is a second generation fireman who began his service to the job in 2002. He is currently a Lieutenant in the historic ward of West Augustine in St Johns County, which consistently tops out the annual run numbers for St Johns County Fire Rescue. He is an ambassador for the messages of the late Andrew Fredericks and other great innovative traditionalists of the fire service. Tim is the proprietor and content director for Higher Standards Fire Training, and has taught with Malta Fire Training, East Coast Fire Tactics and First Coast FOOLS. He has also delivered lectures at the North Central Florida Fire Conference and will be returning in 2022.

– Everything Saws for the Fire Service –

Lieutenant Julio Leonides Ramos is the Founder and Lead Instructor for Fireground and Special Operations Concepts, LLC. Juilo has made his mark on the fire service with his “Everything Saws” program. Past saw work and maintenance, Julio has a passion for Rescue, HAZMAT, US&R and R.I.T. operations. Julio serves as a Lieutenant on a large Central Florida fire department as a Special Operations Squad Company officer. Julio teaches and lives by his motto of “Destiny Favors the Prepared”. In his off time he spends time with his wife, son Maverick, and two dogs Frankenstein and Galen.

Lieutenant Rob Hunt is a 14 year fireman at the City of Maitland Fire/Rescue. Currently assigned to Tower 45. He has worked as an adjunct Instructor at Valencia College, Ancient City Fire Expo, MAFFC, Apopka Fire Conference, Lexington County Ladder Academy, Great Florida Fire School, FSOC. He is the creator and Lead Instructor for Maitland/Apopka Truck Company Operations Program. Rob prides himself as being a lifelong student of the fire service, “I love to learn, take long walks, and wear Julio’s underpants.”

Captain Chris Carter is former Marine and connoisseur of crayons (green is his favorite). Search, VES and R.I.T. operations Chris’s forte’. But, deep down he’s a hose jockey at heart.

– Man in Machine –

Chief Ryan Gates is a 16-year veteran of the fire service and a passionate craftsman of firefighting, Ryan shares his experience of being a part of and leading high performance teams of firefighters to every client. With a diversified background in developing and instructing firefighting, EMS, and organizational leadership training programs to both municipal and industrial organizations.

As the former Vice President of Columbia Professional Firefighters: IAFF Local 793, giving him a unique perspective on workers rights, needs, and industry standards. Ryan is a devoted husband and father of two beautiful daughters. He has earned an A.S. in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University.

– Conference Leadership –

Lieutenant Jeffrey Mrwik, is a 19 year fireman/student of the fire service and is currently a Fire Training Lieutenant with St. Johns County Fire Rescue’s Fire Training Division. He instructs for his department in the areas of Forcible Entry, Engine Company and Pump Operations, Search, Ladders, and Rapid Intervention. He was most recently assigned to Squad 17 for 11 years; Squad 17 responds to all vehicle entrapments and working fires in the 1st and 4th Battalions and for the RIT assignment to a large portion of the county. He has instructed at various conferences around the country including MAFFC, Orlando Fire Conference, Ft. Lauderdale Fire Conference, SAFRE, and the West Coast Truck Conference.
He is the owner and an instructor for Malta Fire Training LLC. He teaches both Engine and Truck Company Operations with a focus on the basics.

He and his best bro James Cosgrove head up the Ancient City Fire Expo with a stellar team of fireman who dedicate so much time to making the fire service better.

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