Instructor Bios

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Andy Byrnes

Program Coordinator

Andy Byrnes retired after 21 years of service as a Special Operations Battalion Chief from the Orem Utah Fire Department. He was also a sworn Law Enforcement Officer for 18 years and a certified Paramedic for 16 years. He was also a US Air Force Fire Protection Specialist. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Instructional Designer for Utah Valley University (UVU), Emergency Services Department in Provo, Utah. He has led development teams in the reorganization and rewriting of the Apparatus Driver Operator – Pumper and Aerial courses for the Academy. He has also led the development of the Hazardous Materials Awareness, Basic Operations, WMD Operations, Hazmat Technician, Building Construction, and Fire Officer I & II courses. He is the curriculum designer and lead instructor for the Incident Command Training Center (CTC) at the Academy featuring virtual and simulated incident management and command training scenarios. As an Assistant Professor, Andy is the Director of the Recruit Candidate Academy program for entry level firefighters. He is an experienced Emergency Services Instructor working for local, state, and national Fire/EMS and Law Enforcement organizations to include the Office of Domestic Preparedness, the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He is also a consultant/instructor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Counter Proliferation Programs; WMD Response; Crime Scene Operations; Border Protection; and experienced in multi-national exercises. He has worked in nine Eastern European and former Soviet bloc countries. He has taught Hazardous Materials Operations courses in Singapore and has been a keynote speaker at the Saudi Arabian Fire Protection Engineering conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He has reviewed and contributed to several textbooks related to Hazardous Materials/WMD response and he is a frequent course reviewer and subject matter expert in the areas of Hazmat, Firefighting and Leadership and Management. Andy is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He holds an Associate degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor degree in Public Emergency Services Management and a Master Degree in Instructional Technology from Utah State University. He is also a Certified Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator through the NSCA.


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Dan Anderson “DA”

Daniel Anderson (D.A) works for the Salt Lake City Fire Department and has been there for 14 years, all of which has been spent on T-2 except for his probation period. While there he has concentrated on training and implementing the specialty work of Truck work and its specific functions on the fire ground. DA has worked for the RCA since 2008 where he enjoys being an instructor; being able to teach and enlighten students on real world applications. He has also worked around the state teaching many classes for UFRA including extrication, truck ops, live fire and has had many opportunities to pass on tricks of the trade. DA has taken and implemented working on power tools of the trade, i.e., chainsaws, rotary saws, etc. He has also helped with developing and putting together forcible entry props and classes. He is very passionate about the fire service and loves it more every day.


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Josh Bailey

I am originally from St. George, UT and moved to Salt Lake City, UT in 2001 to attend school at the University of Utah. I have been involved in firefighting for 9 years, with 4 of those years being spent with Unified Fire Authority's Wildland division on a Type II-IA hand crew, as a firefighter and sawyer. In 2010 I attended Unified Fire Authority's paramedic program as a private student, and graduated from the program 9 months later in April 2011. I was hired as a full-time structural firefighter for Unified Fire Authority in 2011. Since then I have had the opportunity to become a Heavy Rescue Technician, and I currently work at station 110A in Cottonwood Heights, UT on the Heavy Rescue Company. I am also a rescue specialist of Utah Task Force One, which is 1 of 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams in the United States. I currently reside in Herriman, UT with my wife Megan, and two sons, Beckham (5) and Bennett (3).


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Jackie Berg

Jackie is a certified personal trainer and a licensed massage therapist. She graduated from the RCA program in the Fall of 2015. She's excited to add firefighting and EMS to her career. 


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Captain Merrill Bone, BS, EMT-P

Firefighter/ Paramedic/ Heavy Rescue Technician

Merrill has been involved in EMS for over 33 years. He has participated in a variety of transport arenas from ground ambulance to rotor and fixed wing and has extensive training and experience in technical, collapse, and water rescue as well as Tactical EMS. 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 Captain/Paramedic/Heavy Rescue Technician for the Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake County.

He has been involved with FEMA Urban Search and Rescue since its inception in 1992 as a member of Utah Task Force 1 and serves 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 13 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 member of the instructor cadre for several Medical Team Training courses annually across the nation.

Merrill is an adjunct instructor on staff at Utah Valley University in the RCA Program, and Utah Fire and Rescue Academy as a Fire Certification and Live Fire Tester for the State of Utah. He has an Associates Degree in Fire Science and a Bachelors Degree in Emergency Service Management.



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Charlie DeJournett

Employed by Unified Fire Authority since 1991, currently serving as Heavy Rescue Captain at Station 110 and Station 121. Utah Task Force One member since its inception around 1993, current positions he fills are Task Force Leader, Safety Officer, Rescue Team Manager, or Rescue Squad Officer. Notable deployments: New York 911 Disaster and Hurricane Katrina. He has worked at Utah Valley University since 1993 and is a department tester, live fire instructor, and Lead Instructor in the RCA Program. He has taught numerous classes around the state, as well as Winter Fire School in St. George Utah for the last 8 years. He enjoys teaching new recruits that are eager to learn new skills and like to challenge themselves to do things they never thought possible.


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Jake Dennison

I love the Fire Service!  I started my career in 2008 and am lucky to work for a great department, Provo Fire and Rescue.  I started teaching at the RCA in 2009 with class 53.  I am on the Utah Valley Metro SRT-Special Response Team as a Hazmat Technician and am working on becoming a Rescue Technician.  I am grateful to be an RCA Instructor and have helped as a Physical Trainer for most of the past 16 RCA classes.  I have high expectations because we are capable of amazing things.  I am excited that I have a large portion of my career left to gain knowledge and experience.  Training and calls never get old.  It feels good to make a positive impact.  This really is the greatest profession, Public Service!  Welcome to a great program. 


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Jason Earl

“I am in my 25th year in the Utah Fire Service. I worked at Geneva Steel as an EMT before I started my career in Ogden City and then moved to Orem City in 1994. I have served in each rank from Firefighter, Paramedic, Engineer, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief and now am the Deputy Chief. I have served in the Training Bureau as a Captain and again as a Battalion Chief. I have worked with and supervised our special teams for fourteen years starting as a Technical Rescue Technician and Hazardous Materials Technician. In addition to my duties as an Operations BC, I have served as the Planning Section Chief and Team Coordinator on our special hazards response group. I am a Utah Peace Officer serving with the Utah Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation as a Deputy Park Ranger, part-time from 2000-2014, I am an Adjunct Instructor for the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy and currently serve on the Utah Fire Service Certification Council and the Utah Standards and Training Council.”


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Joe Egbert

Joe is a Captain with Unified Fire Authority, and started instructing at the RCA in the fall of 2013. He is a member of Utah Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team. Joe started in the fire service part time in 1997, full time since 2002.

He and his wife Julie have 3 kids, Lincoln, Clara, and Anna. Hobbies include; working my other jobs, going to little league sports, fishing and other activities with his family.


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Dean Ekker

Dean is a former Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division. He served two combat deployments to Afghanistan, and has found a new passion for fire and EMS.  He is continuing to strive for excellence in his career and education. 


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Kate Harvath

Kate graduated from the RCA as well as the Paramedic Program at UVU. She is a Firefighter/Paramedic for South Jordan and has been a PT instructor for RCA since 2012.


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Jeremy Headman

Jeremy has been in the fire service for over 20 years and is the Deputy Fire Chief for the Provo City Fire Department as well as an RCA instructor since 2008. He has been a member of the Metro Special Response Team for the past eight years and is now in charge of the Provo portion of the team. He manages the fleet, PPE and SCBA programs for the fire department. Jeremy has numerous certifications in addition to being a Paramedic and Fire Investigator. He was named Fire Officer of the Year in 2009. Jeremy and his wife Jenny have four children.


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Travis Hobbs

Travis is a Captain at the Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and has been an RCA instructor since 2006.


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Jeff Jones

Jeff Jones began his career as a Firefighter/EMT with the Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department. He was hired full time with Sandy City in 2001 and was promoted to the ranks of fire engineer and fire captain. He has been a member of the heavy rescue team and takes an active part in training the department in firefighter survival. Jeff has been an instructor at the Recruit Candidate Academy since 2006. Jeff takes great pride in being a firefighter and is respected by his co-workers for his intensity and dedication to the profession.


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Nathan Kay

Nathan is a Captain at the Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and has been an instructor for RCA since 2006.


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William Mackintosh

After graduating high school I spent four years in the United States Marine Corps. Upon leaving the Corps I worked in construction a number of years before attending the RCA program. After completing the program I worked for two years as a paid call firefighter with the UFA. I was hired full time by the Salt Lake City Fire Department in 2006. In 2007 I became a member of Utah Task Force 1. I spent three years working at Station 6 as a member of the Hazardous Materials team. In 2008 I became a member of the RCA instructor cadre. In 2010 I attended the department’s Heavy Rescue Technician course and currently work as a member of the Heavy Rescue Team based out of Station 5.


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Chris Milne

Chris is a Captain at Salt Lake City Fire Department and has been an instructor for RCA since 2002.


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David Montoya

David is a Firefighter and has been an instructor for RCA since 2013.


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Lincoln Paxman

I served in the Air Force as a Crew Chief on F-16’s.

After getting my EMT in 1986 I was a volunteer firefighter for Riverton City. While there I was promoted to Captain over training. Hired as a full time firefighter in Sandy City in 1991 and promoted to the rank of Captain in 1995. While working for Sandy City I have specialized in fire investigations and hazardous materials response as well as being certified as a paramedic.

I have been an instructor at UVU since the Fall of 2013.


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Greg Reynolds

Greg is the Battalion Chief over the training division at the Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and has been an instructor for RCA since 2000.  He has been a Lead Instructor for the UFRA Winter Fire School for ten classes with the Truck Operations Program and multiple course deliveries throughout the state.  He has been an instructor in 32 recruit academies between UFA, SLVFTA and RCA.  Greg received the Instructor of the Year award in 2002.  He has a Bachelors from the University of Utah and was team captain of the Ute football team.  He has been with UFA for over 20 years as a Firefighter, Master Engineer, Master Haz Mat Tech, Captain and Battalion Chief.


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Matt Rhoades

Matt is a Battalion Chief at the Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and has been an instructor for RCA since 2008.  He started his career as a volunteer at Syracuse Fire Department, and worked part time for Roy Fire and Riverdale Fire. At UFA he has been a HazMat technician, heavy rescue technician, engineer and worked in the training division.


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Steve Schaugaard

"My name is Steve Schaugaard. I grew up in Tooele, Utah. I now live in Herriman, Utah. I am married and have four daughters ages 13, 8, 6, and 3. I love being outdoors especially hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping with my family. I have been in the fire service for just over 18 years. I work for Unified Fire Authority and am stationed in Draper at station 105 as a captain on a ladder truck. I was in the heavy rescue program for seven years before getting promoted to captain. I am on Utah Task Force 1, a federal USAR team. I have been deployed with that team to New York for the 9/11 incident, to Hurricane Rita, and the Colorado Floods. I have been a paramedic since 2000. I have taught for the UVU RCA program since 2008."


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Karl Steadman

Karl Steadman was born and raised in Utah. He attended UVU and continues to be a student there along with his position as an Adjunct Instructor.

He began his fire service career in 1982 as a volunteer firefighter in Midvale Utah. He became a professional firefighter in the fall of 1985 with West Valley City and served as a fire fighter and a Haz-Mat Technician there until 1990. In 1990 he accepted a position with the Salt Lake City Fire Department and continues to work there as Assistant Fire Chief today.

During his time with the Salt Lake City Fire Department, he has held the positions of Firefighter, Dog Robber, Haz-Mat Technician, Paramedic, Operations Captain, Medical Division Captain, Training Division Chief and Operations Chief.

Other notable positions include: RCA Instructor since 2002, Utah Fire Service Instructor and Tester, past President of the Salt Lake City Firemen’s Relief Association and past Chair of the Salt Lake Valley Fire Training Alliance.

Karl is married to Janet Tuckfield and is the proud father of five wonderful children.


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Zack Sumner

"I graduated from the RCA program, Class 29, in the Fall of 2004 with Greg Reynolds as my lead instructor. After graduating I was awarded an internship with UFA at station 105. I got to know the crews and personnel which led to me getting a job with the UFA Paid Call program. The experience I gained working part time there helped me get my full time position with West Jordan Fire Department in 2007. Since working for West Jordan, I have become a Heavy Rescue technician and the TRAX and elevator rescue specialist for the department. In April 2013 I was promoted to engineer where I hold my current position on Ladder 53. I have been an RCA Instructor since the Fall of 2013 and look forward to teaching every opportunity I get."


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Chris Trevino

Chris began his career in the fire service in November of 2003 with the city of West Jordan. Hired as a firefighter paramedic, he has enjoyed learning the dynamics of the job. Throughout the last ten years, Chris has valued education and training as he sought out many opportunities in order to learn and develop within the department. Chris became certified as a Heavy Rescue Technician and took the opportunity to co-author the Passenger Vehicle Extrication Manual. In 2012, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Services Administration from Utah Valley University where he also received his Associate’s degree. He spent over two years in the department’s Training Division where he assisted in the instruction of new hires, maintaining and coordinating the department’s training regimen as well as being part of the grant writing process for the ever changing equipment needs. Currently, Chris works as a Captain on the HAZMAT Team.