Chief David Hageman, PhD

Instructor Bio | Dave Hageman is at the top of his profession in the Physical Performance and Sports Psychology areas. His level of attention to producing a positive outcome is unquestionable. He values tenacity and grit but instructs with great patience and thoroughness. David Hageman is a PhD in Performance Psychology, M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS) through the NSCA.

He is a veteran Strength and Conditioning Coach with strength coaching experience at the United States Olympic Training Center, United States Military Academy at West Point, Mountain Tactical Institute, and various CrossFit affiliates. He graduated from West Point with a BS in Systems Engineering, earned his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University, and has completed his PhD in Performance Psychology.

His coaching certifications include NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F), USA Weightlifting’s Sports Performance Certification, CrossFit Level 1, and the Mountain Tactical Institute’s Coaching Credential. David is also a certified mental performance coach and a member of the Association of Applied Sports Psychology.

Additionally, he was a three-years starter on the Army Football team, Combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom I, and currently serves as a Roving Assistant Chief for the Denver Fire Department and is part of their Special Operations Technical Rescue team. David lives in the Denver area and enjoys spending time with his wife and 5 children.

Chief Mike Lombardo

Instructor Bio | Mike Lombardo is a 45-year veteran of the fire service and was the Commissioner/Chief of Department of the Buffalo Fire Department from Jan 2006 to Jan 2010. Mike was a member of the development team for the New York State Firefighter Survival and Rapid Intervention programs. He is a two-time Firehouse Magazine Heroism Award recipient (1988 and 1994) and the recipient of the FDIC 1999 Tom Brennan Training Achievement Award. Mike has a BA in Public Safety from Neumann University. In 2015 Mike was a contributor for the NFFF documentary “Giving Courage: LODD Chiefs Speak” Mike recently completed Near –Miss investigations in Scranton PA and Claymont DE, as well as completing a review of the San Francisco (CA) Fire Department leadership and a safety audit of the Boston (MA) Fire Department. Mike is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fire Department Training Network where he presents and developed the Fire Command program. Mike currently operates with the Christiana Fire Department in Delaware and the East Amherst Fire Department in New York.

Chief Kyle Smith

Instructor Bio | Kyle Smith is a Battalion Chief with Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services. He has been in the fire service for over 26 years and worked in career and volunteer fire departments. Chief Smith also works as a consultant for Telgian Engineering & Consulting, a worldwide provider of comprehensive fire, security, life safety consulting, testing and inspections, and engineering/design services, where he has obtained fire protection certifications from NFPA and NICET. He has been a certified instructor since 2004, teaching for local and State agencies, both hands-on and classroom. Kyle serves as the team leader for the High-rise group tasked with teaching high-rise firefighting and alarm systems to all new recruits. Capt. Smith also represents the fire service on the NFPA 14-Standpipe Systems technical committee.

Chief Daniel Shaw

Instructor Bio | Dan, a fire service student since 1992, is the Assistant Chief of Fire Operations in the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department in Northern Virginia. Dan has an Associates Degree in Fire Service Supervision, a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, and is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program.

He has instructed at FDIC, Firehouse Expo and Andy Fredericks Training Days on various fireground topics. He is a Vice President of Traditions Training, LLC. He has been published in Fire Engineering magazine, co-host a monthly podcast on firefighting on Fire Engineering Talk Radio, a principle member of NFPA 1400, fire service training and in 2013 co-authored his first book with Lt. Doug Mitchell, entitled “25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD”

Captain Douglas Mitchell Jr

Instructor Bio | Doug is a member of the New York City Fire Department with 30 years of fire experience, the last 23 with the FDNY. He is currently the Captain of Ladder 38 in the Bronx’s 7th Division. Doug served as the Executive Officer of Probationary Firefighters School and is a PIO for the FDNY IMT. He was a Lieutenant in the Bronx, a Fire Marshal in Queens and a Fireman in Manhattan.

Doug previously worked for Fairfax County Va. Fire & Rescue Department. He has lectured and conducted hands-on-training programs nationwide as a vice president of Traditions Training LLC. He is a principal member of the NFPA 1400 committee. He co-wrote Fire Engineering’s “25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD” in 2013. He has a Bachelor’s degree from University of MD Baltimore County.

Chief Anthony Avillo

Instructor Bio | Chief Anthony Avillo retired in March 2015 after a 30-year career in the fire service. Avillo was a deputy chief in North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire & Rescue, assigned as 1st Platoon regional tour commander. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies and a BS degree in Fire Science from New Jersey City University. Avillo is currently the Director and Deputy Fire Marshal at the Monmouth County (NJ) Fire Academy. He is an Adjunct Professor at New Jersey City University. Avillo is an FDIC instructor and member of the FDIC advisory board and the editorial advisory board of Fire Engineering. He is the author of Fireground Strategies, 3rd edition (Fire Engineering, 2015) and Fireground Strategies Workbook Volumes I, II, and III (Fire Engineering, 2002, 2010, 2016). Avillo also co-authored with Chief Ed Flood Full Contact Leadership, (Fire Engineering, 2017). He was a contributing author to Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and Firefighter II (Fire Engineering, 2009, 2020) and is co-author of its Study Guide (Fire Engineering, 2010). Avillo has also contributed to both volumes of the Pass It On books by Billy Goldfeder (Pennwell, 2015, 2016) and several other Pennwell textbooks. Avillo was a collaborator in the Tactical Perspectives DVD series (Fire Engineering, 2011) and has had issued the DVD’s Control of Fireground Operations (Fire Engineering, 2016) and Forging a Culture of Safety (Fire Engineering, 2013). Avillo also co-hosts a radio show, Fireground Strategies and Other Stuff from the Street with Chief Jim Duffy on Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio. Avillo was recipient of the 2012 Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Fire Instructor of the Year Award.

Chief John Norman

Instructor Bio | Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman is a veteran of over 50 years in the fire service, including over 27 years with the FDNY, the majority of that time in Special Operations units. Chief Norman served as a firefighter with Engine Company 290, and Ladder Company 103 in Brooklyn, Rescue Company 3 which covered the Bronx and Harlem, and helped organize Hazardous Materials Company 1 at its inception in 1984. As a Lieutenant, he served with Rescue Company 2, which covered all of Brooklyn, and as a Captain, he was the Company Commander of Rescue Company 1 which is located in Manhattan’s high rise district, just off Times Square. While still assigned to Rescue Company 1, John worked with the Safety Command and the Fire Commissioner’s High Rise Fire Safety Task Force, investigating and then developing high-rise fire safety legislation in the wake of the fatal Vandalia Avenue and Macauley Culkin fires, which killed three firefighters and six civilians. Promotion to Battalion Chief in 1999 brought assignment to Battalion 10 and the Y2K Preparation Task Force before assignment to Battalion 16. In the days after September 11th, 2001, and the collapse of the Twin Towers, John was designated as the Search and Rescue Manager for the World Trade Center site. He operated in that position for two months before assuming the job of Chief of Special Operations on a full-time basis. He was subsequently promoted to Deputy Chief in June of 2003, remaining in Special Operations. In August 2004, Chief Norman was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief, and once again designated as Chief of Special Operations as well as a Citywide Tour Commander.

Andy Plofkin

Instructor Bio | Andy Plofkin is the National Sales Manager for the SafeFleet Fire and EMS division responsible for distribution in the US. He manages a team of 10 regional sales managers across the country and participates as an instructor at multiple fire colleges and training events across the country.

He has worked in the fire industry over 35 years in various positions for OEMs and a dealership in the Midwest as VP of Sales. His knowledge of distribution, apparatus and hydraulics brings value to all the customers he works with. He is a 39 year veteran of the fire service and has served on departments in Connecticut and Indiana. He is currently a member of the Greenville Fire Protection District in Illinois.

Captain Bill Gustin

Instructor Bio | Captain Bill Gustin is a 49-year veteran of the Fire Service. He began his career in 1973 as a volunteer firefighter in the Chicago area. He is a third generation firefighter; his Dad and Grandfather were officers on the Chicago Fire Department. He began his career with the Miami-Dade Fire/Rescue Dept. in 1978, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1983 and to Captain in 1986. Captain Gustin instructs firefighter recruits and newly-promoted fire officers as a lead instructor in Miami-Dade’s Officer Development Program. He has taught fire science classes, industrial fire safety and shipboard firefighting for Miami-Dade College. He also conducts training programs for firefighters throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, Captain Gustin has taught forcible entry techniques to local and federal law enforcement agencies. He is a contributing editor and a technical editor for Fire Engineering Magazine and an advisory board member for the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference.

Captain Gustin has worked as an instructor and advisor for the U.S. Agency For International Development and has conducted training programs for fire brigades in several Caribbean countries. He was also a member of Miami-Dade’s international Disaster Response Team and participated in the rescue of people trapped in collapsed buildings resulting from earthquakes in the former Soviet Union in 1988 and in the Philippines in 1990. He was also a member of the FEMA working group that established the organization and standards for Urban Search and Rescue Teams that respond to domestic and international disasters. Captain Gustin was named Florida’s firefighter of the year in 1990 for rescuing a women and her child who were trapped between a fire and iron burglar bars on the windows and doors of their home.