Elizabeth Hendel

Elizabeth Hendel

Chairperson (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
fax 602-256-9584

Ted Costa

Ted Costa

1st Vice Chair (Section 1)

Ted Costa retired as Deputy Chief with 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. 

Larry Lippel

Larry Lippel

2nd Vice Chair (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”

Racheal Benezette

Racheal Benezette

Treasurer (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 – Section 14

Matthew Mauer

Matthew Mauer

Secretary (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.