Ted Costa

Ted Costa

Section 1

Ted Costa is a Deputy Chief with Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Department at Boston Logan International Airport.  Ted has been with Massport Fire Rescue since 1990.  In his position, Ted is responsible for directing and administering Fire Prevention, Special Hazards, and the Planning Divisions.  Ted also serves as the Information Technology liaison, to provide planning support for mitigation and preparedness programs, as well as being tasked with managing the operational and infrastructure support requirements of his department and providing technical oversight of specialized emergency services and support systems at Massports three airports.  Ted is certified as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Incident Safety Officer, and is a credentialed Fire Prevention Officer.  Ted has numerous NIMS and ICS certifications.  Ted is a member of the National Fire Protection Association ARFF Technical Committee.  Ted also serves as chairman of the Massachusetts Bay Marine Incident Response and Training (MIRT) Group and holds a USCG Captains License.

Massport Fire Rescue
162 Harborside Drive
E. Boston, MA 02128

Jason Graber

Jason Graber

Section 2

Jason Graber, Battalion Fire Chief- Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department

Jason Graber is a Battalion Fire Chief with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department.  Graber has been with MWAA since 2003 and served in various roles of progressively responsibility during his career including Firefighter, Firefighter/Technician and Captain.  Graber has been a member of the ARFF Working Group since 2004 and served as the Sectional Manager of Section Two and is currently the Education and Training and affairs office.  Graber has served on the ARFF Working Group Board of Directors since 2012 and has filled the positions of Secretary, 2nd Vice Chair and 1st Chair during his time on the Board.

Graber has been in the fire service since 1998 serving stints as a volunteer firefighter and officer with the Darien Volunteer Fire Company in Genesee County, New York and the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company in Loudoun County, Virginia.  He holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Canton, a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration from Bowling Green State University and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Auth.
101 Hampshire Square, S.W.
Leesburg, VA 20175

Larry Lippel

Larry Lippel

Section 3

Larry Lippel currently serves as a Battalion Chief for the Charlotte County, Florida, Fire Department. He began his career in 1987, working for the Canton Township Fire Department in Stark County, Ohio. He held various positions at that department: Firefighter/Paramedic, Engineer, Inspector, Captain, and member of the Swift Water/Dive team. In August 1998, he joined the Charlotte County Fire Department as a Firefighter-Paramedic and served as a Lieutenant prior to being appointed to his current position, in August 2008.

In his professional role, Battalion Chief Lippel serves as the coordinator for the department’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) Operations Team for the Punta Gorda Airport.  He also serves as a Tactical Flight Officer with the Charlotte County Sheriffs office.

He is a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association and the ARFF Working Group, for which he is the acting Florida State representative. Battalion Chief Lippel holds a Bachelor degree from Hodges University, is a certified paramedic, Instructor III and Live Fire Instructor.

Larry Lippel
Battalion Chief / ARFF
Charlotte County Fire & EMS
“To Exceed Expectations in the Delivery of Public Services”

Matt Mauer

Section 4

Battalion Chief Matt Mauer has more than 25 years of experience fighting fires, EMS delivery, and providing hazmat and rescue services to Kansas City’s citizens and guests. For the last 10 years, he has led the Kansas City Fire Department’s Aircraft Rescue Division, ensuring a prepared and professional level of response to aviation emergencies at both Kansas City, Missouri airports. Within the ARFF Working Group he has worked for the last 5 years on the ARFF News.

He views as the relationships he has built both nationally and regionally in the ARFF and airport communities as a special benefit of ARFFWG membership.  Those relationships have provided ARFFWG member airports and fire departments numerous ARFF training programs and opportunities. He acknowledges that those relationships with other ARFF professionals are partly responsible for the 19 consecutive discrepancy-free FAA ACSI inspections of ARFF services at the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s two 139 airports, while earning multiple FAA Medals of Excellence.

Chief Mauer believes that serving on the BOD is an opportunity to ensure that the ARFFWG membership will continue to derive great value from the organization.


Ron Krusleski

Section 5

Senior Captain
Assistant ARFF Coordinator

Houston Fire Department
IAH Office: 281-233-7935
HOU Office: 713-845-6888
Cell: 713-859-3235
Fax:  281-230-7282

Rob Mathis

Rob Mathis

Section 6

Boeing Fire Department
Fire Marshal

Rob has been with the Boeing Company for 25 plus years and is currently the Fire Marshal for Boeing Fire Department. He is responsible for fire prevention oversight for all Boeing locations domestically as well as International.

Rob is a member of ICAO RFF Working Group, NFPA, IFSTA, ICC, and he also works with various internal Boeing Groups to address the needs of the aircraft rescue firefighting community.

Before joining the Boeing Team Rob was active duty for 4 years in the United States Air Force as a Firefighter.

Rob has an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Clackamas Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration form Western Oregon University. Rob has held several positions within the fire service from firefighter, inspector, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.

Beth Hendel

Beth Hendel

Section 7

Elizabeth Hendel is a Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Arizona. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration graduating Summa Cum Lade, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership with Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Management. She is an adjunct instructor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as well as the local Community College teaching Fire Science, ARFF and Leadership courses. She is a certified NFPA Instructor, EMT, Terrorist Liaison Officer, Southwest Region Wild land Logistics Chief, and ARFF Certified.

Beth has been a guest instructor at TEEX and has served as a facilitator for the Incident Command Symposiums. Beth serves on two panels for the National Academy of Science in Washington D.C. in the Aviation and Fire Services industry. She has been a member of the ARFFWG since 1991 and currently serves as the Section 7 Manager. Beth was also a recipient of the Brian Pugh ARFF Training Officer Award.

Beth has two adult daughters, Julie is working on her degree in criminal justice, and lives with her boyfriend. Emily is working on her Master’s in Social Work and getting married the Spring of 2015.

Phoenix Fire Dept. – Aviation
3547 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Robert Comeau

Robert Comeau

Section 8

Fire Chief Comeau begin his Career as a military Firefighter with the Department of National Defence in 1988 and completed most of his ARFF training at the Canadian Force Fire Academy in Borden Ontario, Canada. His new passion began at the Canadian Force Base, Trenton, Ontario as a Journeyman ARFF Firefighter. He was also part of a the Canadian Forces deployable MAG team that assisted all emergency jet fighter planes landing across Canada. In 1995 Robert was deployed to Haiti as a Peacekeeper with the MINUHA organisation. Once he returned in 1996 he moved to CFB Esquimalt, Victoria, BC as a Shipboard Firefighter and Senior Firefighter on HMCS Huron, HMCS Annapolis and as an Instructor at the Damage Control Training Facility. In 1999 he returned back to his birth Province, CFB Bagotville Quebec as a 2/IC, Hazmat Technician, and Mobile Arrested Gear Operator for the CF-18 fighter jet 425 squadron and was a 2 I/C and participant with the Canadian Armed Forces Firefighter Combat Challenge Team for a total of 5 years. In 2002 he returned back to CFB Trenton as a Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Technician and Instructor with the JNBCD unit. Robert’s passion with the media took him to Ottawa In 2005 to fulfill a position as a News Anchor/ journalist for the Directorate of Army Public Affair in order to promote the firefighter trade.

In 2008 he returned as a Platoon Chief in CFB Trenton. He completed during that time his Managerial and Incident Commander course. In 2009 he was deployed to the Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut « the most northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world” as the Fire Chief. On his returned he was the Fire Marshall in Pettawawa, Ontario Canada for more then 235 men and women to be deployed in Dubai United Arab Emirates. In 2010 Robert retired from the military and accepted a new challenge with the City of Quinte West, Ontario as a Fire Prevention Officer. In 2015 Robert move to the most populated City of Canada Toronto at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Emergency Response Services as the Fire Chief and Emergency Response Planning Manager. On April 2016 Robert will fulfill a two year term as the Director for Section 8 with the ARFF Working Group.

Robert is bilingual, Certified Municipal Manager III, certified Fire and Explosive Investigator with a versatile background. He also received the Canadian Force decoration, Minuha and Peacekeeper medals. Robert Career path would not be possible without the support of is wife and two sons

Fire Chief/Emergency Response & Planning ManagerCOMEAU PHOTO
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
60 Harbour Street
Toronto, Ontario M5J 1B7

Alessandro Oliveira

Alessandro Oliveira

Section 9

Alessandro is the Manager of Emergencies at The International Airport of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He worked in the last 20 years in forest-based industries, construction and oil and gas industries. He is currently responsible for the areas of emergencies, safety and health at work and quality in the International Airport of Rio de Janeiro (GIG). He graduated in Civil Engineering, Safety Engineering and Forestry Engineering. Among others, an MBA in Airport Management.

Galeao Int’l Airport
Avenida Vinte De Janeiro Sn/A Predio Anexo VAC
Rio de Janeiro BRAZIL


PS Ajith Kumar

PS Ajith Kumar

Section 10

Bangalore International Airport
Deputy General Manager & Head ARFF
Kamatake, India 56300
91 80 66782333

Lars Erlandsson

Lars Erlandsson

Section 11

Lars Erlandsson has been in the ARFF industry since 1986. Before the ARFF experience Lars did serve in the Royal Swedish Army and in the Swedish Civil Defense. Presently he serve at Swedavia AB, Swedish Airports, Airport Academy as Senior ARFF Instructor and ARFF advisor to the company. He was a co-author of the Swedish ARFF handbooks and has experience of ARFF consulting and training internationally since the mid-90.

Swedavia AB, Swedish Airports
Airport Academy
Stockholm – Arlanda
Stockholm SE-19045
46 101090044

Sarah Peck

Sarah Peck

Section 12

Sarah is a Graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Business Degree in Marketing & Management.  While at OSU, She worked as a Student Tech at IFSAC.  Sarah employed at Crash Rescue Equipment Service, Inc. for four years where she served as their OEM Account Manager and Product Manager for Snozzle, Turrets and F.L.I.R. Products.
Presently, and for the past 9 years, she is the OEM Account Manager for the Akron Brass Company.

Akron Brass Company
343 Venture Blvd.
Wooster, OH 44691

Paul Powell

Paul Powell

Section 13

Paul Wayne Powell is currently the ARFF Regional Sales Manager for Rosenbauer America. Paul’s previous experience includes a twenty year career with College Station Fire Department, where he headed up the ARFF Program for the department. Paul was also the ARFF Program Coordinator at TEEX (Texas A&M University) and assisted with basic recruit training from 1997 to 2007. In his current capacity, Paul is the point of contact for ARFF sales, bids, and assisting the customer for Rosenbauer America for 30 states and the Eastern Provinces of Canada. Paul has been a member of the ARFFWG since 2000.

P.O. Box 549
Wyoming, MN 55092

Lee Shaffer

Lee Shaffer

Section 14

CHILDHOOD – I was born in Pueblo, Colorado where I lived until about the age of 3 when I moved to Southern California where I graduated high school from Polytechnic High School in Riverside, California.  I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and all spread out through the country where one sister and brother live outside of Atlanta, Ga; one brother in Lancaster, Ca; one sister in Mesa, Az; and another just recently moved to Idaho.  My father is a retired Navy Reservist, and mother just recently retired from the State of Arizona.  Growing up, my father was my best friend meaning we did everything together such as camping, fishing, playing sports where he was my coach for several years in little league football and baseball…I still look up to him.  During high school you might say I was a rebel and would not listen to him, now I tell him “You were right Dad”.

MILITARY – In 1983, I joined the United States Air Force where I was supposed to be a Law Enforcement Specialist but was disqualified and was reassigned as a Fire Protection Specialist; nothing against my LEO friends but that was probably one of the best things that happened, those of you that served would know what I mean during a nice cold snowy night when you were tucked in your bed at the station while LE/SFS was counting rivets on aircraft.  I completed my training at Chanute AFB, I was assigned to Sembach Air Base in West Germany; a small base outside of Kaiserslautern and enjoyed every bit of that assignment.  My next assignment would take me to Randolph AFB in Texas where I would stay until I was honorably discharged in Oct 1992.  During my military tour I responded to a variety of military aircraft incidents, participated in advanced level trainings, made Senior Airman Below the Zone, and put on SSgt in 4 years.

CAREER & FAMILY – My civilian career started in April 1993 where I was hired by the Department of Defense for Bergstrom Air Reserve Station, now Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, where I was assigned as a crew chief or Lieutenant.  In December 1995, I was transferred to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I climbed the ranks and is currently assigned as Asst. Fire Chief of Special Operations/Training.  Prior to my present position, I was assigned as a Battalion Chief and was directly responsible for 22 personnel; along with all of other associated duties for that position that include performing Asst. Chief Fire Chief duties.  In 1988 is when I met my wife Teri and on December 16, 1989 we were married.  Teri is currently in property management and runs a 180 unit apartment complex.  We have a son Drew that lives in San Diego and works in the advertisement business.  Teri is my rock, confident, partner, and best friend.  We also have two dogs that keep us busy.

LEADERSHIP – I was promoted into this position of Asst. Fire Chief of Special Operations/Training in August 2009.  Our department shares its runways with Albuquerque Sunport and handles all aircraft, structural, EMS, and special operations emergencies for the base; and all aircraft emergencies for the airport.  Some of my responsibilities include oversight of the training program, hazardous materials training for base responders, and special operations.  I am also involved with other activities, such as ARFF coordination with Albuquerque Sunport, and ARFF training between the Albuquerque fire department and Kirtland AFB fire department.  Providing aircraft live fire burns for some New Mexico fire departments.  Member with ARFF WG since 2001, during that time frame I coordinated a sectional training event, and assisted in coordinating the 2011 ARFF Chiefs and Leadership seminar.

EDUCATION – My certifications includes Fire Officer IV, Fire Instructor III, Fire Inspector III, ARFF Firefighter, Hazardous Materials Technician/WMD, Hazardous Materials Technician Instructor, Hazardous Materials IC, NIMS 300 and 400.

I can keep going on and on but then I will not have anything to talk about when we meet.  Thank you for affording me the opportunity to be the Director of Section 5 and part of the ARFF WG team.  We still have a lot to do and look forward to making things happen for you and the group.  As an old fire chief use to say, “It’s high speed and low drag”.

Kirtland AFB/ABQ Sunport
4805 Los Serranos Ct., NW
Albuquerque, NM   87120