INTERIM STEERING COMMITTEE

The Interim Steering Committee 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.

Robin Pope

Robin lives in western North Carolina where he works as physician assistant. His medical interests include allergy and asthma management, injury prevention and wilderness medicine. Robin is certified by the American Canoe Association as an instructor trainer educator in swiftwater rescue (level 5), river kayaking (level 5) and prone paddling (level 3); and as an instructor in coastal kayaking (level 2) and canoeing (level 1). He has served as chair of ACA’s Safety Education and Instruction Council and as president of ACA’s Board of Directors, and currently serves as vice chair of ACA’s Board.
Robin represents paddlers and the ACA to the USA’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council, the National On-Water Standards program, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Education Standards Panel. He also serves as the paddle sport specialist for BSA’s Sea Scouting program. Finally, he is a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and was recently appointed Branch Chief of the USCG Auxiliary’s AUXPAD Afloat paddling program.

Jim Coffey

Jim has worked in the whitewater industry for over 30 years. Although fortune remains elusive Jim has worked in the Whitewater Industry full time since 1984. His success has allowed him to work on many of the world’s greatest rivers in Canada, the U.S.A, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India and Nepal. He captained the Canadian Rafting team to 5 top 10 finishes at the World Rafting Championships.

In 1990 Jim brought the Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue program to Eastern Canada and was trained as an instructor by Rescue 3 founder Jim Segerstrom. In 1992 Jim started teaching classes for Rescue 3 in Eastern Canada and in 2010 started a strategic alliance with Raven Rescue as a specialist in providing training courses for the recreational and professional paddlesports industry. Jim teaches contract courses worldwide particularly in Mexico and throughout Latin America where he resides during the winter months. Jim is also an accredited instructor with the American Canoeing association (ACA), a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Higgins and Langley Award for Excellence in Swiftwater Rescue.

Canada

Richard Delaney

Understanding and teaching the Physics of Rigging is a core passion of Richard’s, one based on his experience, and his prior professional life as a qualified engineer.

Richard Delaney has worked professionally with ropes since 1992. Initially, this was as a multi-pitch rock-climbing instructor, but this moved quickly into specialised rescue instruction and rope access work. Richard’s formal qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)
  • Master of Environmental Management
  • Diploma of Outdoor Recreation
  • Level 3 Rope Access Technician and Assessor/Evaluator (Australian Rope Access Association and Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians)
  • Licensed Dogger & Rigger
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Richard is also:

  • an accredited Vertical Rescue Instructor/Assessor
  • a past board member and Technical Director of the Australian Rope Access Association
  • a volunteer and Vertical Rescue Team Leader with the NSW State Emergency Service
  • the founder of the Rope Test Lab group on Facebook

Australia

Sam Fawlkes

Sam Fowlkes has been a leader in paddlesport for over 30 years. His involvement with the American Canoe Association began in 1977 when certified as a whitewater kayak instructor while working at Nantahala Outdoor Center as a guide and instructor. He has been an ACA whitewater canoe Instructor Trainer since 1981. He is presently an Instructor Trainer Educator in Swiftwater Rescue and Whitewater Canoe for the ACA. In addition Sam is an Instructor Preceptor for Rescue 3 International trained by Slim Ray. Sam is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and a former NC E.M.T. Educated at ECU, UNC-CH and WCU, Sam holds B.S and M.A.Ed degrees. Sam has been on the teaching faculty of Western Carolina University for the past ten years schooling students in water-based sports education. Sam’s other ACA leadership positions include: 12 years as Dixie Division Divisional Instruction Facilitator, 4 years as SEIC Vice Chair. He received the ACA Joe Pena Volunteer Award in 2002, voted David Mason volunteer of the year in 2004 from the Dixie Division and received the ACA Instructor of the Year Award in 2005. He is currently serving a second term in the elected position of Chair of the Safety, Education and Instruction Council and is a member of the Board Of Directors of the ACA. The lead swiftwater rescue IT for the whitewater symposiums 2004 and 2005 he has been described as one of the “contemporary leaders in swiftwater rescue education and program development.” Sam maintains his website: whitewater- rescue.com as a resource for rescue instructors and trainers.

United States of America

Aaron Peeler

Aaron Peeler, Owner of H2O Rescue Gear & Outdoor School Director at the US National Whitewater Center, started his river career before even being born. Growing up with a dad that was a river guide and taking his first rafting trip while still in his mother’s womb, he had paddling in his blood. Aaron started his professional career as a guide in the late 90’s guiding and paddling on rivers throughout the southeast. Over the past 20+ years Aaron commercially guided, trained guides and supervised outposts on many different rivers across the US. Aaron owns and operates H2O Rescue Gear where is design and sells progressive water rescue gear. Aaron also works full-time at the US National Whitewater Center (USNWC) as the Outdoor School Director where he developed the rafting operations and swiftwater rescue programs. Aaron teaches hundreds of professional rescuers (fire, rescue, and military), each year, in swiftwater and raft based courses. Aaron is holds an Instructor Trainer Certifications in Advanced Swiftwater Rescue and Raft instruction for the American Canoe Association. Aaron is also the Vice Chair for the ACA’s Safety Rescue Committee and Raft Instruction Committee.

United States of America

Brent Dubois

Brent Dubois has been a very active instructor since 1997 teaching classes ranging from Swiftwater Unit 1, Advanced, Vertical Rope, Motorized & Non-Motorized boat operations and Instructor classes. Brent is a dynamic instructor that brings humor and a thorough understanding of the subjects he teaches. He started as a commercial river guide in 1995 in the rivers throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon guiding class 3 to 5 whitewater. Shortly thereafter he became a firefighter and worked though the ranks to become a Fire Captain/Paramedic for the City of Anderson. He then moved on to become a flight Paramedic and continued to work in fire service. Brent has taught classes through out the U.S. and loves to travel. He cooperatively teaches with his good friend and Rescue 3 icon Bill Davis. His goal is give the student the most information and skill sets with the time allowed.

United States of America

Steve Glassey

Steve has been involved in rescue industry since 1993. In 2001, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ian Craig Memorial Grant and went to the US and trained under Rescue 3 Instructor Chris Jonahson. In 2006, he received an award from Rescue 3 International for his capability development in New Zealand, and later in 2014 was named the Rescue 3 International Instructor of the Year. He developed the National Urban Search & Rescue training framework and national qualifications, response team accreditation system, authored the USAR awareness trainer manual, and was one of the first three acting national USAR search dog evaluators along with Paul Geoff and the late Ian Craig. in 2014, he and Geoff Bray became the first New Zealander’s to awarded the prestigious Higgins & Langley Memorial Award for developing the swiftwater body recovery course. He introduced swiftwater flood rescue boat, inland rescue swimming and confined space rescue programmes for Rescue 3 into New Zealand, and was the author and instructor trainer for their Animal Rescue Technician programme. Steve has also served operationally with a range of agencies including Ambulance Rescue, USAR Task Force (NZTF1) and the SPCA National Rescue Unit.

  • Masters in Emergency Management
  • Diploma in Adult Education & Training
  • Certificate in Specialist Rescue (Rope Instructor)
  • Founder SPCA National Rescue Unit
  • Founder Animal Evac New Zealand
  • IAEM Certified Emergency Manager
  • PhD Candidate (animal disaster management) University of Otago

New Zealand

David King

Australia

Geoff Bray

Geoff is well known icon in public safety diving and water rescue having appeared numerous times on the TV Series Water Police. As a Sergeant with the NZ Police, Geoff also an operational dive supervisor with the Police National Dive Squad, recovering dozens of drowned victims every year from various water environments. In 2014, Geoff along with Steve Glassey, also with Rescue 3, were presented the Higgins & Langley International Medal for their co-development of the Rescue 3 Swiftwater recovery specialist programme – the first New Zealanders to receive this prestigious commendation Geoff’s Australian military background made him well suited to lead the delivery of the swiftwater master class to a US Air Force special forces unit and the Queensland Fire & Emergency Service instructors. In 2018, Geoff was bestowed the Auckland Drowning Prevention Individual Champion Award.

New Zealand

John McKently

has been the School Administrator and Lead Instructor at CMC Rescue since 1995. Currently serving as CMC’s School Director, he also teaches rope, confined space, tactical rappelling, and other specialized courses such as rescue for stage and arena riggers. Prior to his employment with CMC, McKently was Sr. VP in charge of Facilities at a mid-size bank. He has served with Montrose SAR for over 30 years, where he was Team Captain for seven years before being promoted to Commander. He has over 1600 rescue operations to his credit. In addition to his work at CMC, he is rated as a Senior Fire Instructor by the California State Fire Training and as Mine Rescue Instructor by MSHA.

United States of America

Trevor Arnold

Current position Assistant Chief Officer/Commander North Region for the State Emergency Service South Australia (SASES). Formerly Commander Special Operations and Safety. 32 years with the South Australia State Emergency Service (SASES). Background in all technical rescue including Air Operations, Swiftwater Rescue, Confined Space & Underground Rescue, Vertical/Rope Rescue, Road Crash Rescue and Search in all disciplines, USAR Cat 2 Operator and Task Force Leader.
Trevor has responsibility for Road Crash Rescue, Air Operations, Swiftwater Rescue and Technical Rescue. Trevor currently has responsibility for approx. 800,000sq kilometres of South Australia with approx. 800 volunteers and 6 full time staff. Previously and concurrently with his SASES service he was a Team Leader with South Australia Ambulance Service providing teams of Ambulance Officers and Paramedics to remote locations. Trevor has been fortunate to attend training in Colorado USA as well and Europe and NZ. Trevor is a current Rescue3 International Instructor. Trevor holds an Advanced Diploma Public Safety, Diploma Public safety, Diploma Work Health & Safety and Certificate IV Training and Assessment plus Certificate IV Health (Ambulance Officer). Trevor represents his organisation on many national and international steering groups and committees.

Trevor has been recognised with

  • National Emergency Service Medal (ESM)
  • State Emergency Service Medal
  • Life Membership South Australia State Emergency Service
  • Chief Officers Commendation for Urban Search & Rescue Development

Australia

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’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

Beth Henry

Beth Henry has been an executive at CMC since 2000. She currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer, and Trustee for the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Beth has over 30 years of experience as a visionary and trusted leader in all aspects of business management. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and a Certificate in Engineering Management. In addition to her role at CMC, Beth teaches Nonprofit Management, Social Business and Strategic Leadership in the MBA program at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.

United States of America

James Falchetto

James Falchetto founded TRAK in 2005 to support the local adventure racing and climbing market. Quickly he got involved with rope rescue with Rescue 3 and with rope access by becoming turning the company into the first ad-hoc SPRAT then IRATA training company in the region. TRAKS was the first and to this date the only KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) accredited occupational training company in the UAE.

In conjunction with 4 other members, TRAKS was one of the founding members of the IRATA Middle East Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) with James chairing it in 2012 and 2018. James still sits on several committees including the Training and Equipment and Standards. He is also adviser to several government organizations throughout the region. TRAKS essential mission is to bring international work at height standards to the region. With training centers in the UAE, India, Oman, Togo and more launching soon, TRAKS has acquired a reputation for being the go-to company for anything technical rescue. James is also PETZL certified to deliver the PPE and EXO courses.

United Arab Emirates

Robin Pope

Robin presided as the President of the ACA Board of Directors and was the chair of the Safety Education & Instruction Council. He is a Level 5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Trainer Educator and a Level 5: Advanced Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Trainer Educator. In addition to his Board and SEIC responsibilities, Robin volunteers a significant amount of time teaching a range of paddlesport courses. He is an active and long time member of the Carolina Canoe Club and resides in western North Carolina where he is teaching his son the art of kayaking.

United States of America

Trey Smith

United States of America

Sharon Tannahill

Association Manager – MMCo

Pete Lance

Association Manager – MMCo

Working Groups

ITRA also forms technical working groups for fixed projects.

Confined Space

One of these working groups was the 2018 confined space working group who is comprised of practitioners from around the world who helped develop the ITRA Confined Space 1, 2, and 3 curricula. The CSWG was comprised of:

Steve Glassey, Chair, New Zealand
Tom Gwilliam, Deputy Chair, United Kingdom
Trevor Arnold, Australia
Adam Kelly, Australia
Nimal Zainal, Singapore
Colin LeGrow, Canada
Cameron McMillan, New Zealand
Willem Scheurwater, Netherlands
Cliff Freer, United States

This group has now adjourned. The Association thanks these people for their valuable contribution.

Companion Animal Working Group

The current companion animal working group is comprised of:

Steve Glassey, Chair, New Zealand
Eric Thompson, Deputy Chair, United States
Jenny Rizzi, New Zealand