Instructor Biographies

Missouri Emergency Services Instructor Conference

Conference Instructors


Arthur Ashley

Lexington Fire Department, KY

Arthur Ashley has been a firefighter since 1986. He has been with the City of Lexington, Kentucky for over twenty-four years, and assigned to both engine and ladder companies. Arthur is currently a captain assigned to Ladder Company 1 in downtown Lexington, the thirty-fourth busiest firehouse in the U.S. He is an FDIC hands-on training instructor as well as a classroom presenter. Captain Ashley is a Kentucky level two instructor and is a Kentucky State Fire School instructor, as well as an instructor with Lexington Fire Training Academy.

He travels throughout the state of Kentucky and around the country teaching hands-on training sessions and speaking on leadership and crew management. Captain Ashley is a co-creator and administrator of Truckie-Talk, a social media based training page focused on passing along training tips and highlighting the rich tradition of the fire service. He is an instructor for Truckie-Talk Training and Task Force 1, Inc.

John M. Buckman III

John M. Buckman III has served as a state fire training director, fire chief, author, photographer and trainer. He received the Fire Chief of the Year award in 1996 from Fire Chief Magazine. He is a co-founder of the Volunteer and Combination Officers section. He received the President Award from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He served as president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2001-2002. He has authored more than 150 articles in various fire service publications. He has authored three books and five photography books. Of all the positions I have held the most valued position is that of grandfather. 

Forest Reeder

Fire Chief
Tinley Park Fire Department, IL

Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1978. He is the fire chief in Tinley Park, Illinois, and proudly leads a team of over 100 dedicated members who provide service to the fourteenth largest suburb in the Chicago metropolitan area. Additionally, Forest is the author of the weekly drill feature at and at He is the co-author of Fire Service Instructor, Principles and Practices, second edition, published by Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Forest has instructed at FDIC for over eighteen years and trains both locally and nationally on fire service training, safety, and officer development related topics. Several articles on these programs have been published in major trade publications. Forest has served on the board of directors of the ISFSI and has worked in many of the courses and curriculums delivered by the association. Forest holds many Illinois fire service certifications and a Master of Science in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University. He received the ISFSI George D. Post Instructor of the Year at the Fire Department Instructors Conference in 2008.



Preconference Instructors


Mark Arnold

Regional Training Coordinator
University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institue

Mark Arnold was born and raised in Republic, Missouri. After graduating from Republic High School in 1977, Mark attended the School of the Ozarks where he received a bachelor's degree in industrial arts education in 1981. He continued his education by attending Southwest Missouri State University where he received his master’s degree in industrial technology in 1987. He started his teaching career at Thayer High School, Thayer, Missouri, in 1981 and taught there until his retirement from teaching in 2011.

Mark has served as the emergency management deputy director for Thayer, Missouri, from 1986 through 1989. He began his volunteer firefighting career with the Thayer and the Thayer Rural Fire Departments in March of 1988, and has served in the capacity of firefighter, safety officer, training officer and assistant chief. Mark was appointed fire chief of both departments in 2011. He is currently an adjunct instructor for the University of Missouri Fire Rescue Training Institute and a Haz-Mat awareness and operations instructor for the Missouri Emergency Response Commission. He received the 2015 Instructor of the Year Award from MU FRTI. He serves as the vice chairman of the Howell-Oregon-Carter County LEPD and is the vice chairman of the Region G RHSOC. He is also the regional training coordinator for Region G for MU FRTI in South Central Missouri. Mark is happily married to his wife Susan of thirty-eight years, they have two daughters and one grandson.

Kevin Coates

Marion County Sheriff's Office

Jeff Duckworth

Branson Fire and Rescue

Jeff Duckworth is a 28 year veteran of the fire service. Jeff has experience serving as both a volunteer and career firefighter with different agencies including operating as the team leader of a level 1 technical rescue team. Jeff currently serves as a captain/paramedic with Branson Fire and Rescue and as a rescue specialist with the Western Taney County Fire Protection District. Jeff holds numerous certifications with emphasis on technical rescue. Jeff also serves as an adjunct instructor for MU FRTI.

Mark Kempker

Training Officer
Hannibal Fire Department

Michael J. Novak

Division 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.

Keith Tyson

Vice President for Education, Research and Outreach
Firefighter Cancer Support Network

Keith Tyson, retired from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in 2008, after serving thirty-four years as a paramedic/firefighter, and within six months of retirement, was diagnosed with both prostate cancer as well as several skin cancer issues. He immediately began researching cancer issues in the fire service, only to find alarming rates of cancer not only in his home agency, but in other departments as well. In 2009, he formed the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Florida Chapter (FCSN), where he currently serves as the state director as well as serving as the Vice President for Education, Research and Outreach for the national Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

Tyson was actively involved in the 2013 whitepaper developed by the FCSN, Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service which was lauded as, “one of the most significant documents to be published for the fire service in this decade,” by Janet Wilmoth of Fire Chief Magazine. He has taught his Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service, an “on-duty” class to thousands of firefighters across the country. This is a class that no one “thinks” they want to listen to, or need, but for those that do attend, they immediately change the way they do “business.” The class has been extremely well received by the newest, as well as the most senior, members of every department. Tyson is actively involved with the Florida Professional Firefighters in gathering data to work towards a firefighter cancer presumption law for Florida’s firefighters and has submitted some of his own personal research to national research centers, such as the University Of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center and the University of Cincinnati. Both are well known for their studies on firefighters, their exposures, and their types of cancer for further review. He has collaborated with the IAFF to develop an online cancer awareness course for present and past members. He has given educational presentations to fire departments around the U.S. as well as specialized presentations to the Florida Fire Chiefs, Florida Professional Firefighter's Health and Safety Symposium, the IAFF, the IAFC, the NVFC, as well as FDIC, the NFFF Tampa 2 conference, Fire Rescue International Conference, and other distinguished fire service organizations.

Tyson has also had numerous articles published in fire service journals including, Fire Department Safety Officer, FASNY’s - The Volunteer Firefighter, The N.Y. State Fire Chief’s - Size-Up magazine, Journal of the Police and Fireman’s Insurance Association’s - The PFIA Protector, JOIFF’s - Catalyst, The Florida Fire Service magazine, Fire Engineering and others. He currently sits on several national committees addressing this pressing topic including the University of Miami’s, Sylvester Cancer Center’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative (FCI), the National Fallen Firefighters Cancer Alliance, the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s PPE Cleanliness study, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s, Firefighters Against Cancer Epidemic team, (FACE), the South, Central and NE Florida Regional Health and Safety Collaborative, as well as numerous other fire service committees dealing with firefighter health and safety issues.