Directors

Ted Costa

Ted Costa

Section 1

Ted Costa retired as Deputy Chief with the Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Department at Boston Logan International Airport.  Ted was with Massport Fire Rescue since 1990.  In his position, Ted was responsible for directing and administering Fire Prevention, Special Hazards, and the Planning Divisions.  Ted also served 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.

tedcosta97@gmail.com
978-580-5442

Charles Lavene

Charles Lavene

Section 2

Born and raised along the Jersey Shore in Eatontown NJ. At the age of 18, I joined the Eatontown Volunteer Fire Department. At the risk of giving away my age, there was no greater adrenaline rush than riding the “Tail Board” and hanging on for dear life! After seven years of Volunteering and at the ripe old age of 25, I joined the United States Air Force as a Fire Protection “Specialist.” That sounded very impressive until I found out EVERYBODY in the Air Force was a “Specialist!”

After serving during Desert Shield/Desert Storm and being stationed at Altus Air Force Base Oklahoma, Comiso Air Station Sicily, and Langley Air Force Base Virginia, I was very fortunate to get hired by Norfolk International Airport Fire Department in August of 1991. During my tenure at ORF, I have held the position of Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Fire Chief, and since January 2006… Fire Chief.

I am married to my wonderful wife Laura and have two boys, Charles age 17 and Michael age 16.  Having two boys so close in age has been the “training ground” for being the Fire Chief!

Norfolk International Airport
2200 Norview Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23518

757-857-3496
clavene@norfolkairport.com
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
941-628-7813
941-833-5630
larry.lippel@charlottefl.com
www.charlottecountyfl.com
“To Exceed Expectations in the Delivery of Public Services”

Matt Mauer

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.

816-243-5180
matt.mauer@kcmo.org

Ron Krusleski

Ron Krusleski

Section 5

Ronald Krusleski joined the fire service in 1986 and became a member of the Houston Fire Department in 1990. He currently holds the rank of Senior Captain since 2006 and a paramedic since 1991. In March of 2008 he became the Assistant ARFF Coordinator for IAH and HOU airports. Krusleski holds certifications from the Texas Fire Commission as Advanced ARFF Certified, Advanced Firefighter, Fire Instructor, and Examiner. He served as a Fire Instructor at the Houston Fire Academy, taught paramedics for Houston Community College, and was a flight paramedic for Hermann Life Flight.

Krusleski serves on the NFPA Committee on Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, representing the ARFF Working Group.  In 2015 he became a Board member for the ARFF Working Group as the Section 5 Director and is serving his second term as Treasurer.

Krusleski has two main goals that he works on every day:

  1. To look beyond today and constantly research ways to improve ARFF.
  2. Most importantly, give our ARFF members the tools and training they need to be successful and go home safe to their families at the end of their shift.

Ronald J. Krusleski
Senior Captain
Assistant ARFF Coordinator
Houston Fire Department
Email: Ronald.Krusleski@HoustonTX.gov
IAH Office: 281-233-7935
HOU Office: 713-845-6888
Cell: 713-859-3235

Jason Schnase

Jason Schnase

Section 6

Jason P Schnase joined the Port of Seattle Fire Department in 2003. Jason currently works in the Training Division leading recruit academies, in-service training, & research and development. He is the current chair of the POSFD Safety Committee.

Jason’s instructional background includes teaching within the Port of Seattle Fire Dept., the Washington State Fire training Academy and Big Bend Community College. Topics of instruction include all aspects of ARFF to include FAR 139 standards. As well as, Structural Fire Tactics and Incident Command.

 Port of Seattle Fire Department
Battalion Chief – Training and Safety
2400 South 170th St.
Seattle, WA 98158
 206-787-4087
 Schnase.j@portseattle.org

Beth Hendel

Beth Hendel

Section 7

Elizabeth Hendel is a Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Arizona with 36 years of serivce. 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 1995 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 and one Grandson. She loves hockey, enjoys hiking, mountain bike riding, and travel.  She is number 8 of 9 children and spends a lot of time with family and friends. 

 Phoenix Fire Department
150 S. 12th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034
elizabeth.hendel@phoenix.gov
602-534-3939
fax 602-256-9584

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
CANADA

416-307-2484
rcomeau@portstoronto.com

Alejandro David Montegrande

Alejandro David Montegrande

Section 9

Alejandro David Montegrande, Sergeant of the Argentine Federal Police (in activity). With destination at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery International Airport in Buenos Aires.

With 5 years experience as a Structural Firefighter in Cuartel VII of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and 14 years as an Airport Firefighter.

Certified by the O.A.C.I. (International Civil Aviation Organization) as Operator ARFF and Certified by Oshkosh Corporation as Operator and Basic Maintenance Staff of the Striker.

I am currently an instructor of operators S.S.E.I – A.R.F.F in my institution;  I trained operators from the countries of Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and with projects to expand to other countries.

Married with Cintia Lopetegui and I have 2 beautiful children, Benjamin and Dante, they are my engine to keep growing professionally.

Tel: (+549) 11 3594 8644.

alejandromonte@hotmail.es

PS Ajith Kumar

PS Ajith Kumar

Section 10

PS Ajith kumar has more than 35 years of experience in the field of aircraft rescue and firefighting.. Academically he is post a graduate with Diploma in personnel management . He started his career with Indian Air Force as Air field Safety Officer in 1976 .During his short service career with IAF ,he had undergone varous training in military aircraft resuce fire fighting and air traffic control. Post retirement from IAF he had under gone  civil aircraft rescue and fire fighting training from Fire trainining college ,AAI New Delhi and specilaisation course at NIAMAR . He is  a qualified  AFSM from International Fire Training College UK, aslo trained at  Aviation Academy,Singapore and underwent ARFF  Commanders training from Switzerland. As Senior Manager- Fire he was responsible for preparing and commissioning of a new  ARFF station at Cochin , the first private airport in the country and susequently for the Bangalore International Airport in India  a green field airport.  .He is Secretary for Indian ARFF technical forum IAFSSG  . From 2013 onwards he is Director for Section 10 of ARFF working Group covering Asia Pacific Region including Australia  . As ARFF Apex member in Airports Council Iinternational , Canada he had participated in ACI assessment of various airports within Asia Pacific Region .Currently he is  General Manager and heads  Bengaluru International Airport‘s ARFF department of ICAO Cat X, in India .

 

Bangalore International Airport
Deputy General Manager & Head ARFF
Kamatake, India 56300
91 80 66782333
ajith@bialairport.com
ajithfire@yahoo.com

Majoor R.C. (Rob) Venmans

Majoor R.C. (Rob) Venmans

Section 11

Majoor R.C. (Rob) Venmans Rob Venmans is currently working as Senior Advisor Fire Service and Security as well as Inspector Aerodromes at the Netherlands Military Aviation Authority. He is also member of the NATO Crash Fire Fighting and Rescue Panel and is acting in the Board of Civil and Military Airport Fire Chiefs in the Netherlands. Rob joined the Aviation Fire Service in 1982 as a Fire Fighter in the Netherlands Royal Air Force (RNLAF). He served at several Fire Stations throughout the Netherlands and followed all the ranks and corresponding positions as a Non Commissioned Officer. In 2000 he graduated the Military Academy and became the Fire Chief of the RNLAF Pilot Training Airbase. After this first position as an Air Force Officer, Rob was promoted to the rank of Major and served for five years as Staff Officer Fire Service at the headquarters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. After this assignment he became the Head of the Netherlands Air Force Fire Academy. From 2013 till 2016 he worked as Section Head Disaster Emergency & Fire Prevention at the NATO HQ Joint Force Command Brunssum. In 2006 he was for six months positioned in Podgorica, Montenegro and acted as a Monitor for the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) before, during and after the referendum for the independence of Montenegro. Beside his positions in the Air Force, Rob was from 1984 until 2000 an active member of the volunteer Fire Service in his home town Tilburg. Rob Venmans is married with Carolien and lives in Kapelle, a small town in the southwest of the Netherlands. They have three children, Bernice, Nick and Nicole. Since a few years they are also the proud grandparents of Noa, Luke and Mads. Rob looks forward to being a part of the ARFF WG Board of Directors and hopes to increase the number of members from the Section 11 area to make the ARFF WG a more mature International platform.

Rob Venmans
Military Aviation Authority Aerodromes and Airspace
PO Box 7577 1118 ZH Schiphol
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 6 1343 8866
rc.venmans@mindef.nl

Natalee Tueller

Natalee Tueller

Section 12

Natalee Tueller currently serves as the Program Manager for 139 Fire. Natalee brings over 20 years of business and office management experience to the ARFF Working Group with a vast skill set that includes management and leadership skills, marketing, finance and planning.

Natalee spent six years as the Office Manager and Training Facilitator for the Salt Lake City ARFF Training Center. Since joining the ARFF Training Center team in 2012 Natalee developed a passion and excitement for the ARFF industry. As a result of her work at the training center Natalee was recognized as the Administrative Professional of the Year in 2016 by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Along with her co-workers and peers Natalee and the Salt Lake City ARFF Training Center team received the ARFF Working Group Outstanding Service Award for their contributions to the ARFF community and over 21 years of service in 2018.

In her free time Natalee likes to spend time with her family and friends. Natalee also enjoys traveling, especially to her home away from home in Arizona. She loves any activity or sport that allows her to be outside, building and remodeling, and anything that has to do with Indy Car Racing and the New England Patriots.

139 Fire
(724)699-2948
Natalee@139fire.com

Duane Kann

Duane Kann

Section 13

Duane F. Kann is the East Coast ARFF Sales Manager for Rosenbauer. Duane is responsible for ARFF Sales and service at over 250 airports from the Eastern United States and Canada. He assists with writing vehicle specifications, managing the bid and sales process, providing quality customer service, consulting in ARFF operations and a variety of other ARFF and emergency vehicle related services.

Duane retired as the Fire Chief at the Orlando International Airport in 2015, where he oversaw all aircraft and structural fire protection, emergency medical services, and airport emergency management activities. Duane serves as an Intelligence Liaison Officer with the Central Florida fusion center, member of the Florida Region 5 Incident Management Team and member of the IFSTA ARFF 6th Edition development team. He is also a member of the ARFF Working Group and National Fire Protection Association ARFF Technical Committee, previously Chairing both of those committees.

Duane served as a Fire Protection Specialist in the United States Air Force. He earned a fire science degree from Seminole State College and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, where he has four published research papers. He holds the Airport Fire Officer accreditation from the ARFF Working Group/AAAE and ARFF II certification from Louisiana State University.  Duane is a State of Florida Fire Officer and is credentialed in numerous National Incident Management System (NIMS) disciplines, including All-Hazards Incident Commander.

Duane F. Kann, EFO, AFO, CM
Rosenbauer East Coast ARFF Sales Manager
Winter Springs, FL  32708
(612) 910-6388
dkann@rosenbaueramerica.com

Rachael Benezette

Rachael Benezette

Section 14

Racheal Benezette – Section 14

CHILDHOOD – I was born in St. Joseph, MO and lived in the country near Union Star for 18 years.  I had a wonderful childhood thanks to a very loving and supportive family.  I am an only child.  My father is an over the road truck driver and my Mother recently passed away after fighting her seventh bout with cancer from the age of 19.  I participated in several sports, clubs, and activities.  I attended a career technical school my junior/senior year as I wanted to get “a head start on adulthood.”  My senior year I decided to become a United States Marine.

MILITARY –   I joined the Marine Corps at age 17 and went to bootcamp 14 February 2000 after attending a semester of college.  I just wanted to make my parents and grandparents proud.   I asked the recruiter to put me around planes as I initially wanted to be enlisted and then go officer in order to become a pilot.  He put me in the Aviation Support field and I was not certain what I would end up with.  I was surprised to hear that I was assigned Crash Fire Rescue but also very excited and intrigued.

I completed my training at Goodfellow Air Force Base, and was assigned to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point in Havelock, NC.  My next assignment would take me to Marine Corps Base Hawaii where I stayed for six and a half years.  Then I was assigned to Cherry Point again.  While I was there I was selected for Gunnery Sergeant and Warrant Officer.  I then attended The Basic School (TBS) and went to Pensacola, FL for Expeditionary Airfield training.  MCAS Yuma, AZ is where I was stationed following that training.  I am currently stationed at MCAS New River in Jacksonville, NC.

CAREER & FAMILY –Prior to joining the military I mowed yards during the summer for three years.  I also worked in Accounts Payable/Receiving, Equipment Accounting, and was the receptionist for Herzog Contracting.  Immediately prior to shipping to bootcamp I was working for Altec Inc. as a Production Manager.  I met my husband in September of 2005 while we were stationed in Hawaii.  However, we are from the same area in Missouri.  We only lived 90 minutes away from each other and went to some of the same local events when we were growing up but never met before.  We got married on January 16, 2006 and he deployed nine days later.  We went back to MO and had a “little girls’ dream of a wedding” in April of 2007.  Later that year we found out I was pregnant and had our daughter Bella on 8-8-08.  While stationed at Cherry Point, we had our second daughter Sophia on 9-6-11.

LEADERSHIP –Throughout the years, I have worked on and off section (shift).  I have achieved the following positions:  turret, handline, rescue, SCBA technician, driver operator, tanker driver, training chief, Section Leader (Station Captain) and am now the ARFF Officer in Charge (Fire Chief).

EDUCATION – My certifications include:   Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor I, Fire Inspector I, ARFF Firefighter, Hazardous Materials Technician, Hazardous Materials IC, NIMS 300 and 400.  I have completed my Associates in Supervisory Leadership and continue to pursue my Bachelors in Management/Finance, as well as seek more certifications when available.

I look forward to being a part of the ARFF WG team and appreciate all that you do.

H&HS MCAS New River
PSC Box 21002
Jacksonville, NC  28545-1002
(910) 449-7635
racheal.benezette@usmc.mil