The Board of Directors for the International Technical Rescue Association is made up of professionals from around the world and have expertise across numerous technical rescue disciplines. The association’s constitution will set future arrangements for the governance of the organisation. The Board of Directors was seated on 10 July 2019 and replaced the interim steering committee in assuming governance for the association.

Eddy Cartaya


Eddy graduated the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1990 with a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering. Commanded armor units in Republic of South Korea and Ft Stewart, Georgia. SAPPER qualified in 1989. Law enforcement officer  / tactical officer involved with rope operations since 1993 with Savannah Georgia Police, National Park Service, and the last 11 years with U.S. Forest Service. Served as team leader on several state and federal tactical teams with rope intervention duties.   Eddy has been a vertical caver, ice climber, and mountaineer since 1987. National Speleological Society member for 34 years. He is a certified instructor and Small Party Assisted Rescue (SPAR) lead for the National Cave Rescue Commission, and the Pacific Northwest Regional coordinator for 7 years. Currently the NCRC Terrestrial Rescue Delegate for the International Commission of Alpine Rescue (ICAR) and European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA).  International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist since 1999.  Instructor for the National Park Service Technical Rescue academy since 2008.  11 year member of Portland Mountain Rescue and current wilderness EMT. Project coordinator for the 3 glacier cave projects on Mt Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier.  Graduate Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (LEMOS).

ITRA BOD member since January 2021 and current chair of Tactical working group, seeking to give this small but advanced niche of rope operations its own identity. Co-owner of Vertically Speaking LLC  instructing tactical rope operations for law enforcement / military students across the globe, as well as ultra-light mountain, cave, arborist rescue, and vertical protester / aerial blockade interventions.

Eddy currently holds ITRA Rope 3 Instructor & ITRA Tactical 3 Instructor. Eddy resides in Redmond, Oregon with his wife.

United States

Tom Hales

Tom joined the ITRA Board of Directors in May 2o2o. He has work around the world assisting countries improve their technical rescue capability, with a focus on urban search and rescue. As part of the team that set up the Simulations Training Network (STN) for the the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), he has extensive experience convening multi-lateral working groups responsible for governance, policy and strategy. In late 2019, he and other ITRA instructors delivered the first INSARAG First Responder Course using the ITRA training system, in Bangladesh. He has over 10 years experience deploying to international disasters including Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Tom holds the following qualifications:

  • ITRA Instructor USAR Level 3 (Heavy)
  • ITRA Instructor Confined Space Level 3
  • ITRA Instructor Swiftwater Level 3A, 3B, 3V
  • ITRA Instructor Rope Level 3
  • ITRA Registered Assessor

United Kingdom

Beth Henry

Executive Director

Beth brings over 30 years’ experience as a trusted and visionary financial executive, including a broad range of fiduciary, legal and operational responsibilities.  Her specialized expertise includes full P&L oversight, risk assessment and mitigation, forecasting and financial modeling, staff development, open book management, process improvement and scaling for growth.

She served as Chief Financial Officer and Trustee for CMC Rescue, Inc. from 2000 to 2021, working in close collaboration with the Board of Directors, and leading the charge to embrace the long-term benefits of solid corporate governance and a culture of accountability.

A lifelong learner, Beth’s education includes a Certificate in Engineering Management from California Institute of Technology, a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Antioch University.  After graduating at the top of her MBA class, Beth was invited to teach Nonprofit Management, Social Business and Strategic Leadership to Antioch graduate students.

United States of America

Tom Gwilliam

Tom Gwilliam is a Director and Training Manager of Specialist Training Consultants (STC). STC provide technical rescue and industrial safety training in the United Kingdom as well as consultancy, teams and equipment supply.

Tom’s passion is rope rescue as well as studying and furthering the knowledge and understanding of those delivering rescue programmes. Tom’s recent projects include the planning, training, selection and provision of technical rescue personnel on what will be the largest offshore windfarm in the world. Tom is an ITRA Level 2 Rope Instructor.

Tom’s formal qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science (hons) in Outdoor Studies
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education
  • Certificates in Rope rescue, Swiftwater rescue as well as Emergency Management

Tom is also:

  • An on call Crew Commander in the UK Fire and Rescue Service
  • The unit manager and team leader of a volunteer Search and Rescue team

United Kingdom

Kevin Lunnie

Kevin Lunnie

Kevin is a Lieutenant with the Danbury (CT) Fire Department, assigned to a heavy
rescue company. Over the course of his career, he has been instrumental in the development of
the departments technical rescue program and has been assigned to the heavy rescue since his
promotion to Lieutenant in 2016. Kevin is a nationally certified Fire Officer and Instructor with
over 18 years in the public safety industry that also includes experience in commercial and
hospital based EMS. Outside of the fire service, Kevin is Co-Founder and Managing Director of
Vector Rescue LLC and is a founding member of the International Technical Rescue
Association. He holds an A.S. in Fire Tech and Administration and is a Licensed Paramedic.

Kevin was elected to the ITRA Board of Directors in September 2021.

Kevin holds the following qualifications:

    ITRA Instructor: Confined Space (Levels 1-2)
    ITRA Instructor: Rope (Levels 1-2)

United States

Randy MacLean

Randy joined the ITRA Board of Directors in May 2020, after being an active ITRA instructor and assessor, and champion for ITRA across Canada and abroad.

Many of our members may know Randy through his volunteer contribution to the association as the Editorial Coordinator for our newsletter, The Karabiner.

As a co-owner and director of a large fire and rescue corporation in the US and Canada, he has first hand experience managing complex high risk training activities.

Randy holds the following qualifications:

  • ITRA Registered Assessor
  • ITRA Instructor: Rope Level 3
  • ITRA Instructor: Confined Space Level 1


George Sakellariou

George Sakellariou

George was elected to the ITRA Board of Directors in September 2021, after active participation as an instructor and assessor in ITRA. George’s current job description includes being the Rope Access Manager for Applus+ in Middle East, as well as Rescue Instructor and Head of the company’s standby rescue team which he founded in 2016, specializing in evacuation and the provision of advanced prehospital care & rescue of workers in remote, austere locations.

Growing up next to the mountains, George spent most of his youth in the outdoors, hiking, rafting, climbing and paragliding, but emigrating to the Alps in 2006, gave him the opportunity to get really involved with most climbing disciplines including Mountain Rescue (for around 9 years), which has developed into a vast number of trips all over the world.

A graduate of Coventry University in Technical Response and Incident Management in Specialist Rescue, he has been also a climbing instructor, rope access technician, medic and technical rescue instructor for over 17 years. He has a great understanding of technical rope rescue which enables him to deliver training and assessment to a high standard across all disciplines.
He is a member of IRATA Middle East Regional Committee (RAC) since 2012.

George holds the following qualifications:
• ITRA Registered Assessor
• ITRA Instructor: Rope (Levels 1-3)
• ITRA Instructor: Confined Space (Levels 1-3)
• ITRA Instructor: Tactical (Levels 1-3)


Eric Stroud

Eric Stroud

Eric is a 26 year veteran of Fire Service. He currently works for the High Point Fire Department, NC. He is Captain of Rescue 1, and a member of the Technical Rescue Team for the department. He is the founder and COO of Fire and Rescue Concepts. He brings numerous skills and experience to the ITRA Board, including: ITRA Rescue Instructor, US DoD Rescue Instructor, IFSAC Rescue Instructor, and is also certified through SPRAT. He has also served locally as president for the local volunteer fire department. He developed and instructs at The Advanced Confined Space Rescue School each fall on the USS North Carolina Battleship (USA).

Eric holds the following qualifications:
•ITRA Instructor: USAR (Levels 1-3)
•ITRA Instructor: Confined Space (Levels 1-3)
•ITRA Instructor: Rope (Levels 1-3)

United States

Working Groups

The ITRA Board of Directors is assisted by a number of working groups, each lead by a convener from the Board to ensure consistency and integration across subjects.

  • Rope Rescue Working Group (Convener: Randy MacLean)
  • Tactical Working Group (Convener: Eddy Cartaya)
  • Swiftwater Working Group (Convener: Jim Coffey)
  • Confined Space Working Group (Convener: Tom Gwilliam)
  • Urban Search & Rescue Working Group (Convener: Tom Hales)
  • Emergency Driving Working Group (Nigel White)

The Working Groups operate to the ITRA Working Group Terms of Reference (TOR).

Founding Steering Committee

The Association would like to acknowledge the contributions made by the following who founded or were part of the Steering Committee prior to the formal appointment of the current Board of Directors. Without their dedication and support, the Association would have not come to fruition. The Steering Committee ceased to exist in July 2019, as the Directors were appointed to create the formal Board.

  • Jim Coffey, Canada
  • Beth Henry, USA
  • Richard Delaney, Australia
  • Robin Pope, USA
  • Steve Fraser, Thailand
  • Trevor Arnold, Australia
  • Geoff Bray, New Zealand
  • Steve Glassey, New Zealand (Chair)
  • Brent Dubois, USA
  • James Falchetto, UAE
  • Sam Fawlkes, USA
  • David King, Australia
  • Aaron Peeler, USA
  • Trey Smith, USA
  • Tom Gwilliam, UK
  • John McKently, USA