Chad Beam, SC-TF1

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).

Vision: Chad’s vision for the future of SUSAR is to provide the teams with the support to improve local capabilities, increase response readiness, and support the training that is needed, to bring our program to a new level. I would like to continue to be a part of a program that facilitates the integration of resources from the local, state, and federal level. The unity of these programs come together to better our citizens, I believe SUSAR is the perfect organization to assist in the facilitation. Our teams need support in training, response readiness, and response support. I believe SUSAR does a great job of this already and I envision this capability increasing greatly as we move forward in the response ready society that demands our expertise at any given time. I envision SUSAR becoming an even greater organization to support the preparation for tomorrow’s disaster, no matter the size.


Mike Cannon, VT-TF1

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. 

Vision: I am honored and quite humbled to have been nominated for a board position within State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance (SUSAR).  While I come from a rather small State, Vermont, we certainly do see our fair share of disasters.  With a population of approximately 660,000 people, we are smaller than most cities where some or most of you live and work. 

With being such a small state we share no public safety boundaries with respect to disaster response.  Neighbors help neighbors, police have State-wide jurisdiction and most if not all responders know each other and share mutual aid systems.  

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this?  Well, our state works well together because we communicate easily, respond quickly and share resources.  This is the vision I would bring to the SUSAR Alliance members and the Board of Directors. 

Strategic Plans are necessary to lay ground work in order to reach the objectives outlined as well as maintain success in goals achieved.  Over the years I’ve witnessed state and local teams struggle with hard to meet policies and administrative procedures.  In order to be successful it is important to streamline processes and increase the efficiency of the administrative structure.   The SUSAR Alliance can be mentors, facilitator and educators to our partners by sharing best practices for simplifying processes and improving procedures.  This will increase efficiency in deployments and enable successful missions required by SUSAR teams. 

Building and sustaining capability has always been a somewhat difficult goal to achieve with regard to all Hazards type Technical Rescue or USAR teams.  Having a strong foundation of basic skill sets, common equipment and measurable policy will allow for states to continue to grow and deploy their capability.  Having a modular system for water rescue, flood response and other technical rescue disciplines is a best practice approach. 

Vision: My vision for SUSAR includes continued education, networking and integration of state, local and federal resources.  Visions such as this are in line with the mission statement, goals and objectives outlined by SUSAR, which is to come together as a single rescue resource working towards the same objective, rescuing those in need. 

Thank you again and I look forward to this potential opportunity. 


Scott Chappell , FL-TF8

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

Vision: Scott’s vision is to increase the capabilities and use of local and state search and rescue assets across the nation.


Michael “Mick” Mayers, Retired, South Carolina

Mick is a retired Deputy Fire Chief from Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and served from 2002 through 2010 as the Deputy Director, and then Director, of the South Carolina State Emergency Response Task Force (SC-TF1). In 2005, Chief Mayers helped found the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance, and served on the first Board of Trustees as Co-Chairman along with Chief Jim Riley. Mick has long been associated with improving the rescue industry: He wrote articles for Fire Rescue, Firehouse, and other publications on technical rescue and command considerations. In 1998 he was appointed to NFPA’s Technical Committee for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications (1006) and chaired that Committee for the 2013 and 2017 editions.  In 2014, after a short break from disaster response on the State level, Chief Mayers was appointed by then-SC Governor Nikki Haley to serve on the SC Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee, which oversees the South Carolina US&R Program. He also served the nation on Incident Management Assistance Teams through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and then with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, until May 2019. He is a Certified Chief Fire Officer and Emergency Manager, and has degrees in Organizational Leadership (Columbia Southern University) and Fire Science (Savannah Technical College).

Mick has long been an advocate of urban search and rescue being developed at the grass-roots levels and understands the needs of team leaders beyond the operational needs.  His response plan for South Carolina involved the development of tiered response using regional assets as well as an overall state response, the model which is still being used today. Nationwide, he sees that teams are working without sustained funding and struggle to have viable long term plans. As part of Chief Mayers’ work as a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, he wrote three papers on US&R issues: Barriers to Disaster Planning for States, Long Term Planning for Urban Search and Rescue Programs, and an analysis of Wide-Area Search after Hurricanes.

Vision: Chief Mayers sees SUSAR for exactly what was envisioned at its founding: A platform for State programs to share information and resources, to help each other grow, and to expose the disaster community to better standards which will further the professionalism of these assets.


Jackie Miller, KS-TF4

Jackie is a Planning Team Manager for KS-TF4 and a Technical Information Specialist with MO-TF1. She is very engaged with the Kansas Search and Rescue System and serves as the chair of the Planning Workgroup, serves on planning teams for exercises, training and conferences. She is involved and engaged in the FEMA US&R System as a member of the Readiness Assessment Program Ad Hoc and the Exercise Coordination Group. She has been a peer evaluator on several Administrative Readiness Evaluations for FEMA US&R. Jackie has a background in Emergency Management, she is well versed in NIMS typing, EMAC and building core capabilities at the local, regional and state levels.

Jackie was a Kansas State Trooper for 15 years, followed by three years as the Director of Transportation at the Kansas Corporation Commission. She was then a county emergency manager and returned to the State of Kansas as a Regional Emergency Management Coordinator. During her time at the state emergency management agency she became involved in with building a search and rescue capability in Kansas, During her 12 years at Kansas Division of Emergency Management she was lead in developing and conducting a statewide capabilities assessment, became a Master Exercise Practitioner and served as the Accreditation Manager for the State of Kansas Emergency Management Program.

She is currently the President of Midwest Search & Rescue, 501c3 with a mission of supporting search and rescue.

Jackie is passionate about building a stronger search and rescue capability in Kansas and throughout the nation and she considers her efforts a labor of love. Her involvement with KS-TF4, the Kansas SAR System, SUSAR (including There is no compensation for her search and rescue activities, although she frequently receives travel funds and per diem. Jackie attended the last four SUSAR conferences at her own expense.

Jackie has expressed that the last two years have been a challenge personally and professionally. In spite of those challenges and the shortcomings that may have come with it, she has given much to SUSAR and has much more to give. The first term in any organization is a learning experience and she like the opportunity to serve an additional term.

Vision: Jackie’s goals for the next term are: listen, reach out to more of SUSAR’s constituents, help SUSAR become more valuable to members through inclusion, transparency, building partnerships and creating programs that will benefit all task forces and search and rescue assets across the country.


Ken Miller, IN-TF2/MABAS 201

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.

Vision:  I would bring to the board a different view point from a Logistic Manager vs Program Manager/TFL.  We could focus on more in-depth position specifics. We could offer more SUSAR sponsored courses. We could work on MRP package development.  Also, how to increase Member participation and Member benefits. 


Reed Thompson, UT-TF5

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 at 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.

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.

Vision: Reed’s vision for SUSAR Alliance would be to continue to provide value added to the urban search and rescue world by providing training, information, and networking opportunities to state and regional teams, while continuing to foster the relationship with our federal partners.