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2024 Fire Service Convention Keynote Speakers

Aaron Zamzow

Aaron Zamzow, also known as ZAM, has over 20 years of experience as an on-call paid firefighter in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and a current career Fire Lieutenant and Training Officer in Madison, Wisconsin. He founded Fire Rescue Fitness, which creates workout programs and fitness resources for first responders. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health and wellness and is certified by the NSCA, NASM, Precision Nutrition, and ACE as a Peer Fitness Trainer. He has worked in the fitness industry for over 30 years and has experience working with athletes from the NBA, NFL, and NHL as well as the general population. Aaron has been published in and writes for various publications, including Firehouse, Fire Rescue Magazine, Lexipol, FR1, International Fire Fighter, and more. In 2022, Aaron launched the “Better Every Shift” Podcast with FireRescue1, where he and guests discuss pertinent fire service topics.

Chief Jason Powell

Assistant Chief Jason Powell entered emergency services over 30 years ago. Since then, he has gained experience in multiple roles, including volunteer and career firefighter, first response and transport paramedic, dispatcher, special operations, supervisor, administrator, and instructor. Chief Powell joined the Johnson City Fire Department (JCFD) in 1997 and moved from firefighter/EMT to Assistant Chief of Administration. Before the JCFD, Chief Powell obtained his undergraduate degrees in EMS, AAS, and Public Relations, BA. In the past 25 years, he has received numerous fire certifications and an MBA. He is designated as a Chief Fire Officer, Chief EMS Officer, and Chief Training Officer.

Additionally, Chief Powell is an adjunct instructor for Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Academy and Walters State Community College. He operates a consulting business, Fired Up Leadership and Safety. He has been married to his wife, Maggie, for 24 years, and they have an 18-year-old son, Eli.

Chief Chuck Ryan

Chuck Ryan was appointed as Tucson’s 28th Fire Chief on September 30, 2019. He previously served for more than 25 years with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department in Virginia. He held every promoted rank in the department, retiring as an Assistant Fire Chief to take the Tucson Fire Chief’s job. Chuck also served for over a decade as a Task Force Leader and Plans Manager with Fairfax County’s urban search & rescue team, Virginia Task Force 1/USA-1.

Chief Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College in New York and a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. He is certified as an Executive Fire Officer through the National Fire Academy, credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer, and he is a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers. Chuck is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Chief Mike Burton

Mike Burton, MS, BS, EFO, CFO, Fire Chief, Pinellas Suncoast Fire Rescue District (Ret.); Tamarac, FL Fire Rescue Department (Ret.); Greenville, NC (Ret.); Grand Rapids, MI (Ret.); St. Petersburg, FL (Ret.)

Mike is a second-generation firefighter and a 46-year veteran of the fire and EMS service. He is a credentialed Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

He holds a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Executive Fire Service Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies from Eckerd College. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program through the U.S. Fire Administration. He serves as an instructor at the National Fire Academy and with Brave Fire Leader.

He also provides training through United In Service, a diverse group of colleagues committed to social justice issues within the fire service.

Mike has been married to his wife Mary for 46 years, and they enjoy six grandchildren.

Chief Douglas Cline

Douglas Cline, Assistant Chief of the Professional Development with Horry County Fire Rescue. He is the Executive Editor for The Fire, Contributing Editor to Carolina Fire Rescue Journal, Executive Manager of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association, and Executive Director for the Command Institute in Washington, D.C.

A 45-year student of fire and emergency services. Chief Cline is a highly published author of articles, blogs, and textbooks for both Fire and EMS. As a Chief Officer, Cline is a distinguished authority on officer development and has traveled internationally, delivering distinguished programs on leadership and officer development. He also has a diverse line of training videos on Leadership, Rapid Intervention Team Training, Vehicle Fires, Hose Line Management, Emergency Vehicle Operations, and Fire Ground Safety and Survival. Cline, a retired Fire Chief, is a Level III Fire Instructor, National Fire Academy Instructor, and an EMS Instructor. Chief Cline is the 1st Chair for the South Carolina Firefighters Association Officer Section, a Past President of the South Carolina State Association of Fire Chiefs, Past President of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), Past President of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs (SEAFC), a member of the South Carolina and North Carolina Society of Fire and Rescue Instructors. Cline serves as a National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) South Carolina State Lead Advocate for Everyone Goes Home, served on the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Act Grant criteria development committee, Past member of the Congressional Fire Service Institute (CFSI) National Advisory Committee, NFAAA National Fire Academy Alumni Association Executive Director, Member of the Board of Trustees for the National Fire Heritage Center, and a peer reviewer for the Fire Act Grants.

In 1999, Cline was honored by the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) by being awarded the prestigious George D. Post International Instructor of the Year. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Services with a Minor in Education from Concord University. He also holds a CPSE Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO).

Chief Cline has been actively involved with the fire dynamics research conducted by ISFSI and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As a Strategy and Tactics theorist he has worked to help translated the research data into cutting edge operational theories, methodologies instructional programs and fire ground tactical operations focused on the Modern Fire Environment. Chief Cline is the executive producer of Fire Engineering’s “Fire and Training Blog Talk Radio show and “The Chief’s Trumpet,” the official Blog Talk Radio show for

Chief James Silvernail

Jim Silvernail is the Fire Chief of the Kirkwood Fire Department of St. Louis County, MO, and serves as the Chief of the Glendale Fire Department (MO). He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy EFO Program and is internationally accredited as a “Chief Fire Officer” (CPSE). Jim is the author of Suburban Fire Tactics (Fire Engineering Books and Videos, 2013) and has 28 years of fire service experience, devoting a large concentration toward operations. Jim has written numerous articles for Fire Engineering Magazine, serving as an advisory board member to Fire Engineering Magazine and FDIC. Chief Silvernail served as a technical committee member of NFPA 1710, was a board member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), and served as a member of MO-TF 1 (a FEMA Urban Search & Rescue team). He was the President of the Missouri Valley Division of the IAFC in 2024.

Becky Edmonds

Becky Edmonds graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix, and she went on to earn her master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy from Regis University. She began her clinical journey with a desire to work with those who give so much, military, veterans and first responders. She was employed with a respected private practice for first responders in Denver and her passion for this population has continued to grow. Becky has gained extensive education and experience to specialize in working with individuals, couples, families, and children of the first responder community. She utilizes a trauma-informed approach and has a breadth of experiencing in working with trauma and crisis. She has been involved in providing clinical support at the individual and department levels following officer-involved shootings, critical incident response, mass shootings, critical incident debriefs, line-of-duty deaths, riot response, in-service trainings, and peer support team selection, training, and supervision. Becky is also formally trained in the provision of EMDR and certified as a first responder clinician. Today, she works primarily with individual first responders, veterans, couples, and local fire and police departments across Montana, Colorado, and Oregon.

Becky’s personal life is full of fun, love, and a dash of crazy. She has been married for 22+ years to her awesome husband (Justin), they have 4 daughters. If four girls weren’t enough, they have two teacup schnauzers that believe they are giant German shepherds. Becky and her family like to play soccer, watch cooking shows, ride dirt bikes, garden, and just about anything they can to be outdoors.

Becky is both humbled and grateful to work with first responders and their families and looks forward to the opportunity to continue serving this community.