INSTRUCTOR CADRE BIO’S
Joe Hernandez, FF / TRT / EMT-P
Joe is a highly decorated member of the Fire Rescue service, recently retiring after serving over 25 years with the City of Hialeah, Florida, a brief period with City of Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, and as a Ranger with the Florida Division of Forestry.
His 20 year involvement in disaster medicine begins as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security FEMA’s South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (FLTF2) since its inception in 1992. Here he has served as both a Medical and Rescue Specialist. Joe served the first 11 years as Task Force Medical Coordinator, while assisting other US&R medical programs develop around the country. He presently serves as a DHS/FEMA National cadre lead instructor for the US&R Medical Team Training Program.
His experience with US&R includes involvement with Task Force deployments to the largest disasters FEMA has responded to since 1992, including The Oklahoma City Bombing, The World Trade Center Attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the recent Haiti Earthquake. In addition to responding to dozens of disasters on a smaller scale in the US and abroad. His Fire Department TRT experience includes multiple technical and dive rescue operations, including Hurricane Andrew, the Value Jet Crash and The Florida Fires of 1998.
Joe’s Technical Rescue experience includes the FEMA Rescue Specialist Course and possessing Technician Level Certifications in Rope Rescue, Extrication, Trench Rescue, Confined Space and Structural Collapse.
A seasoned lecturer and course developer, Joe has presented US&R and Emergency Services programs for various departments, US military, universities, conferences, and seminars throughout the US and abroad. He has participated as an instructor in the FEMA Medical Team Training Program since 2000. Joe serves as adjunct lead faculty for Texas A & M (TEEX) and private federal contractors who deliver the MTT course. Other instruction experience include serving as adjunct faculty at Florida State Colleges, State of Florida EMT-P Program, DHS/FEMA WMD/CBRNE, AHA-ACLS/PALS, Difficult Advanced Airway, NAEMT-PHTLS and TCCC. Joe is a charter member of the Department of Homeland Security and holds degrees in both Fire and Emergency Medical Sciences. Joe is bi-lingual.
G. Patricia Cantwell, MD
G. Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM has been involved in disaster medicine for over 17 years and serves as the Medical Team Manager and Medical Director for the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (FLTF2). Her recent response to the Haiti Earthquake was significant in the recovery of 7 live victims including one necessary amputation within a collapsed/confined space environment. Her additional experience with US&R includes multiple Task Force deployments to the largest disasters FEMA has responded to since 1994, including the World Trade Center Attacks and numerous hurricane deployments. She serves as a DHS/FEMA National cadre instructor for the US&R Medical Team Training Program. This passion has led to numerous presentations and skills training to further the pursuit of excellence in the continuum of care from the field to tertiary care center in management of Crush Syndrome/Confined Space Rescue and Pediatric Trauma.
Dr. Cantwell is Professor and Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Medicine at the Holtz Children’s Hospital – Jackson Memorial / University of Miami. Her areas of expertise include Trauma, Pre-hospital Care and Stabilization, Disaster Medicine, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Transport Medicine, and Palliative Care. She is well published and has received accolades for teaching. She has been recognized as one of the “best Doctors in America” by Who’s Who in America, Florida Super Doctors Magazine, and the 2003 Woman of Vision Award presented by the Weizman Institute of Science.
Vincent Johnson, EMT-P
Vinny is a highly decorated member of the New York Fire Department with over 20 years of service, primarily in special operations. He is a charter member of FDNY’s Hazardous Incident Tactical Patrol Unit and the Rescue Paramedic Program, as well the Special Operations Command Task Force. He serves as a member of the Dignitary Protective Unit.
His involvement with disaster medicine begins with him serving as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security New York Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (NYTF1) since 1996 as a Medical Specialist and a Logistics Specialist since 2008. He serves as a DHS/FEMA national cadre instructor for the USAR Medical Team Training Program. Vinny has presented Disaster Medical Courses to members from various departments and hospitals, including medics, EMT’s, physicians, PA’s, nurses, and select military medical specialties across the US and Canada.
Additional instructor qualifications includes; DHS/FEMA WMD, PHTLS, AAOS Trauma Care, Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support, WMD/CBRNE-Radiological-Nuclear Responder, Biological Weapons Responder Awareness, and WMD Standardized Awareness. He is a Fire Service Instructor level 1, New York State Department of Health certified Clinical Lab Instructor, and a FEMA certified Instructor/ Trainer. He also serves as an adjunct clinical instructor for FDNY’s paramedic basic and Rescue Medic programs. In addition, he serves as a clinical preceptor for the United Stated Army Joint Special Operations Medical Training program.
His experience with US&R includes multiple Task Force deployments to the largest disasters FEMA has responded to since 1996, including the World Trade Center Attacks which required his immediate response. Since 2003, he additionally serves as the Medical Logistics TF Cache Manager. Vinny’s FDNY experience includes multiple technical operations. He possesses Technical Rescue and Haz-Mat training Technician Level Certifications in Rope Rescue, Extrication, Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Structural Collapse, Haz-Mat, Haz-Tac, and WMD/CBRNE. He is also a charter member of the Department of Homeland Security.
Eduardo Cagnin, FF / EMT-P / SWAT
Eddie is a decorated City of Miami Fire Rescue Department member with over 18 years of experience, primarily as a Technical Rescue Team (TRT) member.
He is an active member of the City of Miami Police Department’s SWAT Team where he serves as a lead tactical paramedic. His involvement with disaster medicine begins with him serving as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (FLTF2) since 1998 as a Medical and Rescue Specialist.
Eddie has instructed Disaster Medical courses to members of various departments and hospitals, including medics, EMT’s, physicians, PA’s, nurses, and select military medical specialties across the US and Canada . In addition, Eddie has presented Tactical Medical programs for various departments, conferences, and seminars throughout the US and South America including Brazil’s military.
His experience with US&R includes multiple Task Force deployments to the largest disasters FEMA has responded to since 1998, including the World Trade Center Attacks and Hurricane Katrina. Fire Department experience includes multiple technical, tactical SWAT and dive rescue operations. Eddie possesses Technical Rescue Training Technician Level Certifications in Rope Rescue, Extrication, Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Structural Collapse, and Hazardous Materials. He is an Advanced Swift Water Technician assigned to the City of Miami Technical Rescue Team. In addition, he is a NAEMT Trauma Combat Casualty Care Provider and Instructor.
Eddie is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Merrill Bone, BS, FF/ HRT / EMT-P
Merrill has been involved in EMS for over 30 years. He has participated in a variety of transport arenas from ground ambulance to rotor and fixed wing and has extensive training in technical, collapse, and water / dive rescue. He has worked as a Paramedic in many clinical settings including the University of Utah Intermountain Burn Center and has been an EMT and Paramedic Instructor for the State of Utah. Merrill has been involved with the PEP-POD Program since its inception in 2003 and ending in 2011 as a Logistic Specialist for PST 8 in Utah.
For 21 years he served as a Firefighter/Paramedic for Salt Lake City Fire Department. Retiring in 2006, he is now employed as a Firefighter/Paramedic/Heavy Rescue Technician for the Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake County on Heavy Rescue 121.
He has been involved with FEMA Urban Search and Rescue since its inception in 1992 as a member of Utah Task Force 1 and has served on the FEMA National US&R Medical Working Group and as a Medical Unit Leader for the Incident Support Teams (IST). Merrill has served as the teams Medical Coordinator for the past 11 years responsible for cache development and maintenance, personnel training and certification compliance and has participated in all team deployments. On a national level, Merrill is a lead instructor for several Federal Medical Team Training courses annually across the nation. His instruction includes Utah National Guard.
Merrill is an instructor on staff at Utah Valley University, Utah Fire and Rescue Academy, in the RCA Program, and a Fire Certification Tester for the State of Utah. He has an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Service Management.
Louis Cook, MS, EMT-P
Captain/ Paramedic Louis Cook is a highly decorated 25 year veteran of the New York City Fire Department EMS and a 2001 World Trade Center Attack survivor.
Lou is currently the Commanding Officer of FDNY EMS Station 8 – Midtown Manhattan and serves as a member of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness exercise design team as a FEMA/ EMI trained Master Exercise Practitioner.
His involvement with disaster medicine begins with his serving as a Lieutenant in the FDNY Special Operations Command – Haz-Tac Battalion and member of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) – Disaster Medical Assistance Team (NY4) as an Emergency Medical Specialist. Lou has presented Disaster Medical courses and Biological Terrorism lectures to members from various departments and hospitals, including medics, EMT’s, physicians, PA’s and nurses.
He has experience in the FDNY as a Course Coordinator for EMS First Line Supervisors (Lieutenants) Training program as well as teaching Incident Command and Mass Casualty Event Management Strategies for Executive Level and Senior Command Staff Officers, and Medical Management of First Responder Mayday Situations. Lou also teaches Medical Planning and Support of Dignitary Protection and National Special Security Events. He also has experience in Medical Countermeasure Program planning and management.
Additional instructor qualifications includes; DHS/FEMA WMD, AAOS Trauma Care, WMD/CBRNE-Radiological-Nuclear Responder, Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings, Biological Weapons Responder Awareness, and WMD Standardized Awareness. He is a FEMA certified Instructor/ Trainer. He has also served as an Instructor for FDNY’s Rescue Medic program, EMS Hazardous Materials First Response Operations and Technician level programs. He served as one of the original clinical preceptors for the United Stated Army Joint Special Operations Medical Training program.
Lou’s many experiences with FDNY include multiple high profile novel mass casualty events, technical rescue and CBRNE response like the 2008 fatal Tower Crane Collapses, 2009 Steam Explosion, Fatal Deutsche Bank Fire, Hudson River Landing Flight 1540, Anthrax and Hoax Material Letter attacks and so on.
He possesses Diver Medical Technician, Technician Level Certifications in Rope Rescue, Extrication, Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Structural Collapse, and Hazardous Materials Technician Level II.
Lou is a lecturer and frequent contributor to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services and has published articles in Critical Care Medicine and Fire Engineering. He holds both Baccalaureate and Master’s Degrees in Disaster and Emergency Management and a recent graduate of the Joint FDNY / US Military Academy West Point Counterterrorism Leadership Course.
Scot Mason, DVM, EMT
Scott Mason, DVM first became involved with disaster medicine search and rescue following the bombing of the Alfred Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995. He provided medical care for the search and rescue canines and helped coordinate veterinary volunteers at the site. Since that time, Dr. Mason has been quite active in the disaster response, public health and homeland security fields. He has been a member of Oklahoma Task Force -1 USAR since it was created and serves as canine search team field coordinator, as well as, serving on the steering committee.
Dr. Mason has been the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association Disaster Preparedness Coordinator since its inception in 1995 and is the Program Coordinator for the Oklahoma MRC State Animal Response Team. He is a member of National Veterinary Response Team 5 as well as the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corp. He is on the Oklahoma Homeland Security Council and currently is the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues. He also serves as a board member for the National Alliance of State Agriculture and Animal Emergency Programs and is co-chair for the veterinary medical best practice working group.
He has presented lectures at numerous national and local conferences and created several documents related to disaster preparedness and response activities. He has taught emergency preparedness at Oklahoma State University – OKC and served as a Medical Specialist Instructor for a private emergency response training company.
His deployment experience is with both OKTF-1 and NVRT-5 to numerous events within the State of Oklahoma and nationally. A passion for EMS Dr. Mason is also a national registered EMT, doing work with OKC Fire Department when time allows.
Walt Lewis, FF / EMT-P
Walt’s involvement in disaster medicine begins with him serving as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security Central Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (FLTF4) since its inception in 2002. Here he serves as a Medical and Technical Search Team Specialist. He has presented Disaster Medical Courses to members for various departments and hospitals, including medics, EMT’s, physicians, PA’s, nurses, and select military medical specialties across the US and Canada.
His experience with US&R includes multiple Task Force deployments to disasters FEMA has responded to since 2004. In addition to being a medical specialist Walt’s specialty is Technical Search Specialist where he has developed a program focused on medical personnel and patient assessment.
He is a seasoned lecturer and has presented US&R and Fire Department programs for various departments, conferences, and seminars throughout the US and Canada, including FDIC Fire Company Search Operations. He presently serves as an instructor with FLTF4 and Central Florida Fire Academy in the disciplines of Trench, Confined Space, Rope Rescue High-Angle, Vehicle and Machinery Extrication, and Structural Collapse/Shoring. Walt’s instruction includes Technical Search Specialist for US military units.
Fire Department experience includes multiple technical and Haz-Mat rescue operations. A decorated veteran, he has been involved in the Fire Rescue service for over 22 years presently serving as a Captain with the City of Orlando, FL.
David Vargas, FF / EMT-P
Dave’s involvement in disaster medicine begins with him serving as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (FLTF2) since 2001 as a Medical and Rescue Specialist. In addition, Dave serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Emergency Medical Sciences Department at City College in Miami, Florida specializing in ACLS/PHTLS in the Paramedic Program.
His recent deployment to the Haiti Earthquake has given him an insight to the additional considerations in collapse and confined space medicine outside the US. His additional experiences with USAR include multiple Task Force deployments to the largest disasters FEMA has responded to since 2001, including Hurricane Katrina.
Fire Department experience includes multiple technical and rescue operations. He has been involved in the Fire Rescue service for over 15 years presently serving with the City of Coral Gables, FL as a firefighter/paramedic, where he has received several commendations.
Dave possesses FEMA Technical Rescue Technician Level Certifications in Rope Rescue, Extrication, Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Structural Collapse, WMD/CBRNE, and Advanced Swift Water/Flood Rescue. David has completed the K-9 Down “train the trainer” course for Advanced Search Canine Care from NC State College of Veterinary Medicine.
Chris Colman, FF / EMT-P
Chris’s involvement in disaster medicine begins with him serving as an active member of the Department of Homeland Security Massachusetts Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (MATF1) since 2006 as a Medical Specialist.
His experience with US&R includes multiple Task Force deployments to Hurricanes Gustav, IKE, Irene and deployment to the Massachusetts tornadoes 2011.
Fire Department experience includes multiple technical and rescue operations. Chris has been involved in the Fire Rescue service for over 15 years presently serving the North Attleboro Fire Department, North Attleboro Ma as a Lieutenant / Paramedic, where he has received several commendations.
Chris possesses several other certifications: NREMT-P, ACLS, PALS, ITLS, Medical Specialist Course, Confined Space, Rope, Trench and Tactical Medic.
Bill Kovats, FF / EMT – P
Bill is a decorated 25 year member of the Chicago Fire Department. Over those 25 years Bill’s experience has ranged from emergency medical services, fire suppression, hazardous materials and technical rescue. Bill’s experience with technical rescue started in 2002. Since that time he has worked on several deployments.
His disaster response experience is serving the Illinois Office of Homeland Security State Urban Search and Rescue Task Force SUSAR (ILTF1) 1 as the Medical Specialist and Medical Team Coordinator. Here he oversees all task force medical personnel in regards to training and serves as the medical point of contact on deployments for the task force.
Bill has had a significant amount of training in all areas of the fire service. Over the last decade Bill’s training has focused primarily on technical rescue and technical rescue medical support. As an instructor he has taught courses in various areas of technical rescue.
He is currently certified as a Field Instructor with the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
Along with his 25 years of service with the Chicago Fire Department, Bill was also a veteran of the United State Navy serving as a Crew Chief on a combat search & rescue helicopter.
Tom Schulz, EMT-P
Tom is a highly decorated veteran of the New York City Fire Department- Emergency Medical Services for almost a quarter of a century.
His involvement with disaster medicine begins with his serving as a Lieutenant in the FDNY Special Operations Command – Haz-Tac Battalion. Tom has responded to numerous technical rescue incidents as an officer in FDNY’s Hazardous Incident Tactical Patrol Unit and the Special Operations Command Task Force.
Tom’s responsibilities include Haz-Tac Training Officer; he is responsible for delivering Hazardous materials training programs to the FDNY Emergency Medical Services command, including the entire EMS command. In addition to conducted refresher and compliance training.
Tom serves as a Liaison Officer between the Special Operations medical personal and other response agencies in various technical rescue, Haz-mat and special circumstance operations; including the Dignitary Protective Unit.
Mike Tucci, FF/EMT-P
Michael’s 18 year involvement in disaster medicine began with his direct response immediately after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing in Oklahoma City, OK as well as multiple tornadoes in the mid-west. He currently serves as a Medical and Rescue Specialist with the Department of Homeland Security Oklahoma Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (OK-TF1).
He presently serves with the Oklahoma City Fire Department as a Hazardous Materials Technician and a member of the city’s Technical Rescue Team. Mike is a seasoned veteran instructor actively teaching in US&R Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Tactics. He has presented Disaster Rescue and Medical Courses to members of various departments and hospitals, including medics, EMT’s, physicians, PA’s, nurses, and select military medical specialties across the US.
Jeff Cain, MD
Jeff Cain is an emergency physician and medical director for a metropolitan SWAT team. Dr. Cain has an extensive tactical and medical background which began shortly after his graduation from West Point and has progressed throughout his years of service and multiple combat deployments with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
In addition, Dr. Cain is a member of the Department of Defense Trauma and Injury Subcommittee, Former Vice-Chairman, Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and a Board Member for the Committee for Tactical Emergency Care.
Peter Antevy, MD
Dr. Peter Antevy is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida and the founder of Pediatric Emergency Standards Inc. He serves as the Medical Director for Davie Fire-Rescue, Southwest Ranches Fire Rescue and American Ambulance, and is the Associate Medical Director for 7 other agencies. He is also the Medical Director for one of the largest paramedic training programs in the country. Dr. Antevy is highly trained, holding degrees from the University of Miami School of Medicine, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. While his expertise is in pediatric emergencies, Dr. Antevy is well versed in adult emergency medicine and now spends a significant amount of time in the pre-hospital arena.
Dr. Antevy travels extensively as a consultant and speaks to healthcare providers on a variety of pediatric topics, with a focus on resuscitation. Through innovative educational techniques and methods he has expanded the boundaries of pediatric education. After 14 years in practice Dr. Antevy has developed a unique perspective on improving the quality of pediatric resuscitation, both in the field and in the hospital. His methods have helped push the envelope in pediatric care nationally, and he is dedicated to ensuring that children receive equitable care, regardless of where they are treated.
Dr. Antevy is revolutionizing pre-hospital pediatric care by redrawing the boundaries of care standards and challenging current thought patterns. He is undoubtedly an “out of the box” thinker with aspirations to improve the care children receive through innovation and education.
Katie Roberts, EMT-P
Katie’s involvment in disaster medicine begins with her serving as an active member of FEMA USAR California TF-3 as a Medical Specialist and Hazmat Manager.
She is a Paramedic/Firefighter/Engineer with Santa Clara County Fire Department in Cupertino California. She has more than 15 years fire/EMS service experience, including time working in Special Operations as a Hazardous Materials Specialist/ Rescue Medic since 2005. She is also certified in Confined Space Operations, Rescue Systems I & II and as a CSTI Hazardous Materials Instructor.
Katie is an instructor for HazmatIQ’s Technician and FRO Above/Below the Line Hazmat programs. She co-authored the ToxMedic program for HazmatIQ. She has helped train many of FDNY’s Haztac and rescue medics on how to better understand the complexity of responding and treating Hazardous Materials exposures. She is also a hazardous material instructor for the IAFF and teaches FEMA HM and Medical Specialist courses. She is currently working as an SME for the Enhanced Operations in Contaminated Enviroment curriculum for the FEMA USAR HM Specialists. Katie also donates her time as a guest speaker for the Fire Smoke Coalition and helps educate fireifghters on the Toxicity and Dangers of Fire Smoke.