SUSAR ALLIANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Message from the Board –
“Believing the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance is the future for US&R development in the United States, this Board’s goals for the SUSAR Alliance are to carry out the Mission and Vision of the organization to support sustainable US&R resources in local, regional, and state jurisdictions and develop partnerships and standards that will enable more effective and efficient response to disasters around the country. We plan to grow the organization to represent the needs and interests of all US&R Task Forces and members.
Jamey Brads is the Division Chief - Heavy Technical Rescue with Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Jamey has 25+ years in the fire service. He started as a volunteer in Botetourt County, Virginia in 1992. Moving into the career service in 1998 serving both the Salem, Virginia Fire Department as well as the Roanoke City Fire Department. Jamey was a Company Officer on a rescue apparatus and served on both the Technical Rescue and Swift Water Rescue Teams for the Roanoke Valley as well as the State Division 6 Technical Rescue Team. He has been a Virginia State Technical Rescue adjunct instructor since 2007. In 2013, Jamey retired from the Roanoke City Fire Department to pursue Technical Rescue opportunities in the private sector, training as a Contractor across the country as well as internationally for many different military organizations. This ultimately led to him landing at the state level as the Division Chief of Technical Rescue. His current position is the Program Manager for all Technical Rescue training in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also has a role in the development and deployment of State Technical Rescue assets.
Jamey is a member of Virginia Task Force 2 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team where he serves as a Rescue Specialist and Heavy Equipment Rigging Specialist. He serves on the Technical Rescue Equipment NFPA committee as well as serving on additional work groups for different NFPA committees. Jamey was elected to the board in 2016 and elected President in 2019.
Jamey can be reached at
Bob has been in the fire service since 1976 when he joined the US Air Force as a Crash Rescue Specialist. He spent 30 years with the Rochester NY Fire Department retiring as Captain having served as the department’s Special Operations Officer. During his time in that position he was instrumental in the development of their Collapse, Trench and Water Rescue programs.
Bob Joined NY Task Force 2 as a Planning Section Chief and serves in that capacity today. He is also a nationally certified instructor with a primary focus on Technical Rescue programs. Bob has worked as an evaluator for multiple exercises for the UK USAR system as well as for other European USAR teams.
He now serves as a Deputy Coordinator for Special Operations in the Monroe County Fire Bureau overseeing the counties Special Operations Unit. Bob has an Associate Degree in Fire Science from Corning Community College.
Holding the position of Technical Rescue Editor for Firehouse Magazine allowed him to expand his knowledge of the USAR community and provided him with the opportunity to bring others together to foster the growth of the Technical Rescue family. Bob was the Key Note Speaker at the 2012 SUSAR Conference held in Savannah, Georgia. Bob was elected to the board in 2016 and as Vice-President in 2017.
Bob can be reached at email@example.com
After serving 32 years in the fire service, Randy Hill retired from the Leawood, Kansas Fire Department in 2012 at the rank of Deputy Fire Chief. During the last 10 years of his fire service career Randy was heavily involved in building the US&R capability in the Leawood FD, as well as the state of Kansas. Following his retirement, Randy started a non-profit company called Midwest Search & Rescue, whose mission was to build the search & rescue capability in Kansas and the Midwest. In December 2015 Randy was hired by the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal to serve as the state’s Search & Rescue Coordinator with responsibility for developing and coordinating the Kansas Search & Rescue Response System. Randy was elected to the board in November 2016 and elected Vice-President in 2019.
Randy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past 3 years, Kevin has been the full-time Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Operations Branch Chief and a Task Force Leader for Illinois US&R Task Force One (IL-TF 1). IL-TF1 is a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) deployable resource. Prior to that, he worked for the Naperville (IL) Fire Department for more than 28 years, retiring as Division Chief in 2015. He has recently been promoted to the Deputy Operations Section Chief for MABAS-IL and will now be responsible for all of MABAS’ deployable specialty teams. This includes more than 30 statewide deployable collapse rescue teams, hazardous materials teams, water rescue teams and other specialized resources throughout Illinois.
Kevin is an original member of IL-TF 1 and has seen it grow from its early days in 2003 until now. IL-TF1 is working to comply with the National US&R Standard and is working towards Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) validation. The US&R standard and the accreditation process were in only draft form when he took the helm with IL-TF1. They provided, for the first time, a true sense of direction for the task force. Prior to that, IL-TF 1 was modeled and received grant funding to follow the FEMA US&R System. There was never any compliance or recognition mechanisms for it to follow. SUSAR has helped with the National US&R Standard and the EMAC accreditation process. He believes there are more opportunities for SUSAR to assist other US&R teams work towards compliance and accreditation. He seeks to share his experience with this effort.
During the 2018 hurricane season, MABAS submitted multiple replies to Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) requests to various states. For Hurricane Irma, it received a direct mission tasking from South Carolina for IL-TF 1 to deploy as a Type I US&R task force, to deploy 3 collapse rescue teams and to deploy 2 liaison officers to its state emergency operations center. When Irma changed its course, the mission tasking was cancelled. SUSAR shared EMAC request information through its network. This is a valuable function for SUSAR and should be expanded. The experience with this process and the collaborative efforts with with members from other state US&R resources (including some SUSAR Board members) is something that is offered to SUSAR agencies.
Kevin’s experience with US&R goes beyond Illinois and IL-TF1. He is familiar with the role SUSAR plays nationally and as part of the SUSAR development committee has been working with other members on future planning.
Kevin completed the EMAP US&R assessor training in 2015 and currently serves as a member of the EMAP US&R Standard Workgroup which is working towards the update of the National US&R Standard. Just recently, he was selected to be part of the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) newly formed US&R Committee. He has worked extensively with the military and other organizations on planning and exercise efforts. Kevin currently serves as the organization's Secretary/Treasurer.
Kevin can be reached at
Sherry Crush grew up in Anchorage, AK but after graduating High School she moved to Mobile, AL to attend college. She received her Bachelors with dual majors in Occupational Health & Safety and Fire Science. She has also served in the United States Coast Guard as a Marine Science Technician.
Since then Sherry has worked in multiple operational positions during her 25 years in the Fire Service. As a District Chief with the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department assigned to the Operations Division, her responsibilities include being the Program Manager for Alabama’s State Urban Search and Rescue Team (AL-TF1). This responsibility embodies overseeing the day to day operations of the task force and managing the team during a deployment. She has been in multiple theaters of operations in presidentially declared disasters as well as several state activations. She is also liaison with the county and state EOCs during emergencies in which she assists the ESF#9 as a technical advisor.
In addition to the afore mentioned responsibilities, her current billet includes managing the 4th district 1st shift in MFRD’s operations division, maintaining the readiness of 3 Technical Rescue stations, and ensuring FAA compliance for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) personnel assigned to two airports within Mobile’s jurisdiction. The execution of these duties requires that she manages all the training and equipment issues for the programs as well as respond to emergency situations involving incidents related to the specialties.
Sherry can be reached at
Jackie Miller is a Planning Team Manager for KS-TF4 and a Technical Information Specialist with MO-TF1. She is very engaged with Kansas US&R, as well as the FEMA US&R System. With a background in Emergency Management, she is well versed in NIMS typing and building core capabilities at the local, regional and state levels.
She is the President of Midwest Search & Rescue, 501c3 with a mission of supporting search and rescue by delivering training and exercises. MSR is also engaged building partnerships public and private entities.
Jackie can be reached at
Reed Thompson began his career in 1998 as a volunteer firefighter for American Fork Fire Department. During his 10+ years with the department, he held positions of firefighter and training captain. Reed also was a founding member of the North Utah County Technical Rescue Team.
Reed joined the South Jordan Fire Department in 2007 where he served as a firefighter, battalion chief, and deputy chief of the department. During his time there, he managed the technical rescue program and serves as the program manager for Utah Task Force Five (UT-TF5) a Type III/IV state resource.
In December 2017, Reed was appointed to the position of fire chief with Lone Peak Fire District serving the cities of Highland and Alpine, along with 105 square miles of American Fork Canyon in the Wasatch Mountain Range.
Reed serves as Vice Chair of the SUSAR Advisory Board for the State of Utah and was elected to the SUSAR Alliance Board of Directors in November 2015 and served as Vice President from 2016-2018, and is currently in his third term as a board member.
Chief Thompson holds an Associate of Science in Fire Science from Utah Valley University, a Bachelor of Science in Public Emergency Services Management from Utah Valley University, and a Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University.
He enjoys hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. He and his wife Natilie live in South Jordan with their three children. He also currently serves as a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Reed can be reached at: email@example.com
Serving his first term on the Board, Brian currently serves as the Emergency Services Branch Manager for North Carolina Emergency Management. In this role, I am responsible for state level coordination of emergency services resources for the State of North Carolina. I have also served for over 12 years in the fire service in various staff and leadership roles. I currently serve as the Vice Chair of the State Search and Rescue Coordinators Council and I currently serve on the US&R EMAP Standards Workgroup.
His vision for the future of SUSAR is to focus on building local capability through improved information sharing across programs; facilitating the integration of local, state, and federal response resources to build a true unity of effort; and building relationships at all levels of government as well as with the various SAR professional organizations to improve preparedness and response. US&R teams are the backbone of disaster search and rescue operations in the nation and it is vital that these resources are a part of the national conversation as we work to prepare for the next disaster large or small.
Brian can be reached at
Chad began his career in Fire/EMS in 2005. Since then, he has served in various management roles in both Fire & EMS. Currently, Chad serves as one of two Section Chiefs for the SC Office of State Fire Marshal in the Emergency Response Task Force program area. There, they manage South Carolina Task Force 1 (SC-TF1), the SC Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART), and SC Firefighter Mobilization.
Chad began his career in US&R in 2013, beginning as a US&R medic. He also serves on the Palmetto Incident Support Team (IST) as a deputy ops chief and backfills in planning as a plans chief as well.
Chad obtained his bachelors in Emergency Management from Anderson University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management from Clemson University.
Chad currently serves on the EMS committee for the SC Firefighters Association and the NIMS Technology Sub Group for FEMA. Chad serves on the UAS working group and the Medical working group as well for SUSAR. Chad is married to his wife Brooke and has two daughters, Carleigh (4) & Ellie Reames (19 months). Chad was elected to the board in 2019.
Chad can be reached at
Michael Cannon began his career in 1975 in Colchester, Vermont as a volunteer EMT with a local Fire Department. He became a founding member of Colchester Technical Rescue, which continues to be recognized for work in water and ice emergencies as well as hazardous terrain rescues. The Technical Rescue Team has been consistently managed by Mike and now serves a large geographic area of the State. Mike maintains a Level II Technical Rescue Instructor certification for the Vermont State Fire Academy and has been instrumental in organizing and training water rescue teams in Vermont.
Mike joined the Colchester Police Department in 1981, as a law enforcement officer. He was later assigned to the Marine Unit, which patrols 37 miles of international waterway on Lake Champlain. Mike held the position of Marine Supervisor, for law enforcement, for the last 25 years.
Mike currently serves as the full-time Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Public Safety’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force One. As Task Force Leader and Program Manager, responsibilities include readiness of the Type III State Team. This includes all administrative duties for roughly 90 State Employees assigned to the Task Force.
Mike also operates as the State of Vermont Emergency Management ESF9 Urban Search and Rescue Coordinator where he is responsible for the coordination of all State and local USAR and water rescue teams. He sits on various State Homeland Security Special Operations committees and is the liaison to all local teams. Mike has deployed VT-TF1, through Emergency Management and Assistance Compact request, to Hurricane Harvey, Florence and Dorian. He lives in Essex, Vermont with his wife Deb and their two children Trystan and Nielsa. Mike was elected to the board in 2019.
Mike can be reached at
Scott is the US&R and Haz Mat Program Coordinator for the State Fire Marshal at the Florida State Fire College. He entered the fire service in 1993 and has been working at the Florida State Fire College since 2000. Scott now coordinates Florida’s eight US&R Task Forces, thirty Regional Hazardous Materials Teams, and fifty Technical Rescue Teams, and seven Mutual Aid Radio Cache (MARC) Units. Scott deployed to the State EOC where he operated as US&R Specialist for Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew and as US&R Coordinator for Hurricanes Irma, Michael, and Dorian. Additionally, he is a Captain with Marion County Fire Rescue where he is the C-Shift District 5 Command Officer, the C-Shift Special Operations Officer, and a Task Force Leader with Florida US&R Task Force 8. Scott has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Barry University, and is currently enrolled in the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. Scott was elected to the board in 2019.
Scott can be reached at
Ken Miller currently serves Clay Fire in South Bend, Indiana as a Lieutenant. Ken has been in the fire service for 29 years serving as a volunteer and career firefighter. Ken is the Logistics Manager for the Indiana MABAS Division 201/IND2 US&R team. He has been with the team since 2006 and has served as a Rescue Specialist and now as Logistics Manager. He also serves on the Indiana Department Homeland Security Incident Management Team as a Type 3 Logistic Section Chief. As Logistic Section Chief, Ken as deployed numerous times throughout the country for large scale events. Ken served with Indiana Task Force 1 for 3 years as a Logistics Specialist. Ken is currently a SUSAR certified Logistics Instructor. Ken holds numerous technician level rescue certifications and as an instructor in each with the State of Indiana. Ken was elected to the board in 2019.
Ken can be reached at