Board Of Directors

Eddy Cartaya

President 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

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Dario Arancibia

Director and Training Manager of Outdoor Safety Chile, founded in 2016, which provides technical rescue, mountain rescue, search and rescue operations and wilderness risk management training. Studies in Tourism, mountain and climbing guide and instructor of Chilean Mountain Guide Association. Instructor of Lost Person Behavior and ITRA Rope 3 Instructor.  Co-founder of the NGO Mountain and Climbing Safety Commission, an organization with the purpose of keeping statistics of mountain accidents, as well as promoting mountain safety and rescue. President of ACGM (Chilean Association of Mountain Guides), where he worked on the development of the training standard and as an instructor for guide training. Dario grew up in Santiago, the capital of Chile, right next the Central Andes. With 30 years experience in mountaineering, he spent most of his youth climbing mountains, opened several routes,  and his first ascent was in the Chilean Andes. He has taken trips and expeditions to many places including Patagonia, South Ice field, Cordillera Blanca, Alaska, Yosemite and the Alps.  He is an Honorary Member of the Cuerpo de Socorro Andino de Chile since 2002 (Chilean Andean Rescue Team), where he was an active volunteer for over 16 years, serving for some periods as Technical Director of the organization. He began working as a mountain guide and after a few years, shifted his focus to working as a mountain, climbing and technical rescue instructor. Dario holds the following qualifications: ITRA Instructor Rope Level 3 Chile

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Bishnu Gurung

A member of the Board of Directors – since 2022 – and a founding member for ITRA, Bishnu Gurung, also known as BG, comes from a long line of Himalayan adventurers that hale from Nepal. BG is extremely passionate about nature! He spent his childhood days playing by the cool Himalayan rivers and by night he would calm his mind, body and soul by the warm, blazing campfire. BG’s full-time profession is to run, organize and lead whitewater rafting expeditions around the world. Seeing ITRA’s wonderful success in supporting other people by teaching hands-on skills, BG’s dream is to promote ITRA internationally. As a rope and water instructor, he spends his time instructing enthusiastic individuals his priceless experiences. As well as being a teacher, BG is always a keen learner, always seeking for an opportunity to learn. As a volunteer for ITRA, he holds the following qualifications: ITRA Registered Assessor ITRA Instructor: Water level 2 ITRA Instructor: Rope level 1 Last but not the least, BG loves climbing. So much so that not only is it his hobby, but he has put his life on the line for his passion; After climbing Mount Everest in 2019, he is now amongst the world’s 0.0000008%!

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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

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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) Qatar

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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

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

  • Rope Rescue Working Group (Convener: Rado Cerovski)
  • Tactical Working Group (Convener: Eddy Cartaya)
  • Swiftwater Working Group (Convener: Bishnu Gurung)
  • Confined Space Working Group (Convener: Eric Stroud)
  • Urban Search & Rescue Working Group (Convener: Tom Hales)

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