Instructor Biographies

Missouri Emergency Services Instructor Conference

Conference Instructors


Chuck Baird

Fire Science Technology Program Director
Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Chuck Baird is a twenty-eight year veteran of the fire service, who retired from his department as a captain assigned to a triple company, engine, truck, and rescue in December 2016. He currently serves as the Fire Science Technology Program Director at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Covington, Georgia. He has served as a training officer over the first twenty years of his career, both as a staff instructor and adjunct instructor. He was the captain of the training division for six years guiding day to day operations and has actively taught firefighters, EMS providers, and the public since 1991. He is a NPQ III Fire and Emergency Services Instructor and Georgia Level III EMS Instructor. He has earned three college degrees including a Masters Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Baird is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He has served as the chairperson for the Metro Atlanta Training Officers Section of the Metro Atlanta Fire Chiefs Association for the past six years. He has taught within local fire and EMS academies, the Georgia Fire Academy, and regional and national conferences, including five years at FDIC.

Douglas Cline

Horry County Fire Rescue

Chief Doug Cline for the Training and Professional Development Division with Horry County Fire Rescue, is a thirty-eight year fire and emergency services veteran. He is a well-known international speaker and instructor, presenting dynamic, power packed, high intensity programs on leadership, instructor development, officer development, fire ground tactics, rapid intervention team training, and firefighter safety and survival. Cline is a published author of articles, blogs, and textbooks for both the fire service and EMS. As a chief officer he is a distinguished authority of officer development and has traveled internationally delivering programs on leadership and officer development. He has a diverse line of training videos on leadership, rapid intervention team training, vehicle fires, hose line management, emergency vehicle operations and fireground safety and survival.

Phil Jose

Horry County Fire Rescue

Deputy Chief Phillip Jose has thirty years of service with the Seattle Fire Department. He is an Operations Deputy Chief and chairs both the Standard Operating Guideline and the Post Incident Analysis committees. He was Seattle Fire Chief of the Year in 2013. Phil teaches nationally on reading smoke, air management, instructional craftsmanship, and tactical decision making. He has been a FDIC instructor for fourteen years and is a corecipient of the FDIC Tom Brennan Training Achievement Award in 2008. He is the author of Air Management for the Fire Service as well as the train-the-trainer, and Fire Engineering’s, Handbook for Firefighter 1 and 2, and their Bread and Butter video for self contained breathing apparatus.



Preconference Instructors


Mark Arnold

Thayer Fire Department


Kelly Davis

Regional Training Coordinator
University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Trainin Institute

Donald Cox

Educational Specialist

Don Cox joined the VFIS team as an Education Specialist in October and is responsible for most of the upper mid-west states. He previously worked as a contracted trainer for the ETC team in the mid-west region and in Florida. Don has an extensive background in Fire and EMS as well as ESO/local government administration and adult education. His fire service career started in Florida where he worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic and later become the Fire Chief in Menasha, Wis. He then, accepted the role as Fire Chief in West Des Moines, Iowa where he retired after 15 years of service. 

Missouri Division of Fire Safety Instructor

To Be Announced

Michael J Novak

Battalion Chief,
Branson Fire Department

Mike Novak has over 29 years in the fire service where he started out as a volunteer firefighter and worked his way into a full-time position for Branson Fire Rescue, he currently is serving as the department training and safety officer. Mike currently holds the position of Region 7 Advocate Manager for the National Fallen Firefighters, Everyone Goes Home® Program (EGH). Mike is a certified EMT, Fire Service Instructor 2, Fire Officer 2, and a CFO, amongst many other fire service certifications.