Instructor Biography's

Eric Darling

HRD in a burned disaster Environment

Bio Unavailable

Frances Roelfsema

HRD and Wilderness Search dogs: How to not screw it up for the dogs

Frances Roelfsema has been a certified dog handler for 35 years with California Rescue Dog Association and responded to over 500 searches. During that time, she certified a series of 4 dogs in Trailing, Human Remains & Cadaver, presented at multiple SAREX and NASAR conferences over the years, and responded to several high-profile law enforcement operations and California firestorms. After starting her SAR career in Southern California, she moved to Northern California where she now searches for Alameda County Sheriff’s SAR and serves as Captain of the Canine Division.

John McKently

New Equipment & Techniques for Wilderness Rope Rescue

Former Director of the CMC Rescue School with 47 Years of experience in Search and Rescue with the Montrose Search and Rescue Team in Los Angeles County. He continues to teach Rope Rescue Technician, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Mine Rescue and Rope Access courses for CMC Rescue.

In addition to their many years of experience as Wilderness SAR practitioners both Matt and John have extensive experience teaching various search and rescue management classes as well as serving on various working groups, standards development and curriculum committees for FEMA, ASTM, NASAR, and NFPA.

Kristi & Shawn Mayhew

Critical Incident Stress: Education for the SAR Professional

Kristi Mayhew is a thirteen-year veteran with El Dorado County Search and Rescue. During her thirteen years, she proudly served eight years on the Technical Rope Rescue Team. Kristi was the Finance Chair for the 2012 State SAREX and the Incident Commander for the 2018 State SAREX in Lake Tahoe. After completing two deployments to the Camp Fire in 2018, Kristi noticed the lack of qualified personnel to help SAR teams deal with the Critical Incident Stress they experienced due to that traumatic incident. While still working with SAR, Kristi became an Ordained Chaplain working specifically with Law Enforcement. She is Ordained with the International Federation of Chaplains (IFOC) and a member of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Kristi currently serves with Sierra Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and is an Ambassador for K-Love Crisis Response Care team.

Shawn Mayhew is a twelve-year veteran with El Dorado County Search and Rescue. During his twelve years, he served eight years on the Technical Rope Rescue Team. He has also served on the OHV team in various roles as Team Captain, Training officer and Asset officer over 12 years. Shawn was deployed to the Camp Fire, Caldor Fire and many out of county searches. Shawn was the Ops Manager for both 2012 State SAREX and 2018 State SAREX in Lake Tahoe.

Shay Cook

K9 Ground Pounders- how ground searchers team work with a search dog and handler

Shay Cook has been training in K9 SAR since 1995 in Trailing, Cadaver, Wilderness Area, and more recently Disaster with FEMA. She is a member of the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA), Alameda County Sheriff Search and Rescue (ALCO), Marin County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (MSAR), team lead for Yosemite Search and Rescue Dog Team (YODOGS), and a member of FEMA Oakland Task Force 4 (TF4). Shay has been training dogs since 1986 in Schutzhund, guide dogs for the blind, obedience, socialization, tracking, herding, and scent detection. Shay's professional job is as an Assistant Director at UC Davis and currently working on exploring “Scent Navigation” with other researchers.

She has presented at SAREX, SAR City, and other events throughout the state and appreciates sharing what I have learned and getting feedback/perspective from others.

Beth Wyatt

Autism Recognition and Response

Beth Wyatt is a Supervising Park Ranger for Sonoma County Regional Parks with over 15 years experience in emergency response. She is also the proud mother of two children diagnosed with autism and has an MS in Emergency Services Administration. This combination of professional and personal experience makes her uniquely qualified to speak on the challenges of working with patients on the autism spectrum. She has successfully delivered training to departments on recognizing, preventing and deescalating emergencies involving patients impacted by autism.

Lt. Kevin Kemmerling

Swiftwater Awareness and Safety for SAR Responders

Lieutenant Kevin Kemmerling began his career as a SAR Volunteer with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1999. In 2004 he put himself through the Academy and became a Sworn Deputy. His passion has always been centered around being in the mountains and in the water. He has over thirty years of mountaineering and scuba diving experience, 23 of which have been dedicated to law enforcement search and rescue and waterborne rescue and recovery operations with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Lieutenant Kemmerling is a National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Instructor Trainer and a Dive Rescue International (DRI) Corporate Trainer where he instructs agencies throughout the US. Lieutenant Kemmerling has a wide variety of additional specialized training including SWAT Operator, SWAT Weapons Armorer and SWAT Tactical Rappel Master Instructor. He has held the position of the Department’s State CalOES SAR Coordinator and is currently assigned as the Commander of the Department's Crime Lab, Digital Forensics Lab, Coroner's Office and Swiftwater Dive Rescue Team (SDRT.)

Ron Seitz

Ron Seitz has been involved in Search and Rescue for 46 years. Ron is currently the Chief of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit and a Mission Ready Trailing Dog Handler with the California Rescue Dog Association. He is a NASAR SAR-TECH II Lead Evaluator and instructor for the Managing the Lost Person Incident course and Outreach Instructor for the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) for Emergency Management courses and a certified Emergency Management Specialist with CSTI. Ron has been involved in a variety of Search and Rescue missions from lost and missing persons, several high-profile missing person cases in the San Francisco / Bay Area with the Sheriff’s Office.

Angelyn Gates

Enhancing the Trailing Dog Resource: Starts and Negatives

Angelyn Gates, Esq. is the founder and Team Leader of the Skagit County Washington K9 SAR unit. She is the President of the Skagit County Search and Rescue Council, a member of the Skaigt Ground SAR unit, and a member of the Washington State K9 SAR minimum standards committee. Ms. Gates was a criminal attorney for 30 years. She obtained her Juris Doctorate at the top 10 nationally ranked Hastings College of the Law in 1988 and graduated in the top of her class. Ms.Gates began her legal career as a prosecutor with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. After moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles, Ms. Gates embarked on a long and nationally recognized criminal law career. Before retiring from criminal law in 2018, Ms. Gates had been certified by the California State Bar as a Criminal Law Specialist and tried well over 100 jury trials around the United States in both state and federal courts. Ms. Gates has established law in multiple states and filed criminal appellate briefs before the California Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She has argued cases before multiple appellate court panels. During her career, Ms. Gates has held positions with State District Attorney’s offices, the U.S. Attorney and the California Supreme Court. As a K9 SAR handler for over 10 years, Ms. Gates is in a unique position to consider how K9 SAR handlers interface with the criminal justice system. Ms. Gates has presented courses and held open forum discussions at various seminars and conferences focusing on issues unique to the K9 SAR volunteer, including what they should know and how to maneuver through the system should a handler find themself involved in a criminal matter. Ms. Gates started in K9 SAR in 2008 with CARDA. Since that time she has been a deployable K9 handler with CARDA, SWSD, and SCK9SAR and certified in Trailing, HRD and water. Ms. Gates has taught at WASARCON, SAREX, SARCity, and the Northwest K9 SAR Boot Camp and trained many trailing handlers one-on-one over the last 6 years. She learned her trailing skills from other CARDA handlers, at various seminars and from Master trainers Jeff Schettler, Chris Weeks, and Jonni Joyce. Ms. Gates believes that while foundational trailing skills should be consistent among handlers, the manner in which each individual team utilizes those skills is unique. Time must be spent by each team exploring ways to improve their foundational skills and discovering nuances that will make the team more successful. Ms. Gates believes that

training should focus on reliability with reality in mind.

Chrs Young

Lost Person Behavior

Christopher (Chris) S. Young has been active in Search and Rescue since 1981, managed searches since 1986, is the past reserve Captain for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team and serves as chairman of the Bay Area Search and Rescue Council, Inc. (BASARC). Chris is a retired Instructor for the POST “Direction and Control of the Search Function Course” for the State of California Office of

Emergency Service for 25 years, is currently an Instructor Trainer for the “Managing the Lost Person Incident” and “Urban Search Management” (developed by Chris) for the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), he is also an Instructor Trainer in

Emergency Medical Response and first aid for the American Red Cross since 1972, as well as specialized topics in Search Management, including Search Management in the Urban Environment, and Investigation and Interviewing in SAR. Chris has also written, published and presented search management papers at the National Association for Search and Rescue conferences, the Canadian National Search and Rescue Secretariat SARSCENE conferences, the William Syrotuck Symposiums on Search Theory and

Practice, the Canadian Coast Guard College, the Provincial Sûreté Du Québec Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the New Zealand National SAR Conference, the Icelandic International Search and Rescue Conference, Norwegian Frivillige Organisasjoners Redningsfaglige Forum (FORF) Seminar and several State Search and Rescue

conferences. He is also co-author of the book “Urban Search – Managing Missing Person Searches in the Urban Environment”, published 2007 by dbS Publications, author of the book “Intelligent Search – Managing the Intelligence Process in the Search for Missing Persons”, published 2022 by dbS Publications, as well as a contributing author on several other books for search and rescue. Additionally, Chris is a Level 1 law enforcement reserve deputy with the Sheriff’s Dept and the City of Danville and is an EMT 1 Instructor. Chris holds a Master of Science Degree in Construction Management and is retired from working for a large general contractor based in San Francisco as a Senior Project Manager and was responsible for overall management of multi-million dollar ground up commercial, high rise, hospital, educational and hotel

projects. He is currently a Ph.D Candidate at the University of Portsmouth, UK in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Centre for Missing Persons (expected graduation in September 2022). He has been married for 46 years, with three children and

four grandchildren.

Donna Sanford

HRD and Wilderness Search dogs: How to not screw it up for the dogs

Donna Sanford has been a dog handler in the Riverside area since 1999. She is POST Certified in NASAR SAR Tech II, Mantracking, and Managing the Lost Person Incident. She is a 22 year veteran K9 handler with California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA). She has served on the Board of Directors for the organization, serving in various positions including President, Vice President and Treasurer of CARDA. She has deployed on more than 100 missions with her dogs certified in Area - Air Scent, HRD/Cadaver, and Water, as well as, serving as a flanker to other teams in the field. Donna Sanford is an educator by career, teaching for over 28 years in special education and more recently in the general education setting in the Temecula Valley Unified School District and in Escondido Union School Districts.

Kris Kordana

Oh Crap. Things that I wished I’d known about water purification before I got diarrhea.

I’m currently a member of the Yolo County SAR team. I’m a practicing internal medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente in Davis, CA. I graduated from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 1995 and I served nearly 15 years in the US Air Force where I practiced medicine and deployed as a Critical Care Air Transport physician. I’m an Advanced Wilderness Medicine Provider and I have also been certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support. I enjoy backpacking, hiking, backcountry skiing, kayaking, swimming, cycling and running.

Matt Sharper

Matt Scharper is a Retired Deputy Chief with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) - Law Enforcement Branch where he served as the California State Search and Rescue Coordinator. Matt retired during his 20th year of service to the State and he was headquartered out of the Region V office, located in Fresno, and he supervised the entire “Special Operations” Division of CalOES Law Enforcement Branch. Matt is a recognized expert in the field of Search and Rescue. Prior to Cal OES Matt spent almost 20 years with the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team, beginning as a volunteer and his last 13 years there as a full time Deputy and Sergeant and Search and Rescue Unit Coordinator. Matt has over 40 years of combined field and management search and rescue experience. He has coordinated literally hundreds of searches, rescues, and large and small-scale disasters. A previous college instructor for search and rescue topics of: Search Management and Tactics, Technical Rope Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue, Man Tracking, and Law Enforcement Incident Command Systems along with other Law Enforcement topics. Matt was a member of the California POST Missing Persons specialist committee and he was a also member of the Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) Working Group for Search and Rescue as well as FEMA’s NIMS working group of “Emergency Management” . Matt also served as the Vice Chairman of the National Association for Search and Rescue’s State Search and Rescue Coordinator’s Council. He was the lead instructor for the CalOES Search and Rescue Instruction Program, instructing the “Direction and Control of the Search Function Course” and the “Winter Operations SAR Management Course” and was responsible for all State of California SAR programs. Matt’s 33 year law enforcement career has earned him California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificates of “Advanced, Supervisory, and Management”.

Upon Retirement, Matt continues in his life long quest at saving lives as he returns to Cal OES as a contract Search and rescue Management Instructor, in both Direction and Control of the Search Function and Winter Search and Rescue Management curriculums. He also travels the United States teaching specialized Rope Rescue courses for CMC Rescue out of Santa Barbara California and he travels the world conducting Mass Fatality Operations for Kenyon International based in Houston Texas.

Assistant Chief Celeste Fowler

Celeste began her Law Enforcement career as a Police Officer in Springfield, MO in January of 2000. There, she was involved in various units: patrol, bicycle unit, PAR/COP unit, field training officer and was a defensive tactics instructor. In 2008 she moved to Siskiyou County and joined the Sheriff’s Office. In 2010 she became the SAR coordinator. Celeste not only was involved in SAR in CA, but also in Oregon. Siskiyou is a part of California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue (CORSAR). SAR has been one of the most fulfilling duties of her career. In 2015 she promoted to a Detective in the Major Crimes Unit. In 2017 she became a member of the SWAT Team and later that year was promoted to Sergeant. In October of 2018 she moved to Sacramento and became an Asst. Chief with Cal-OES Law Branch. She has been assigned to HQ, Region IV and SAR program. Her current Assignments include Region III, SAR, and the K9 program.

Assistant Chief Mark Baldwin

California SAR, The Big Picture

Mark is an Assistant Chief with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) - Law Enforcement Branch and is the California State Search and Rescue Coordinator. He is the lead instructor for the CalOES Search and Rescue Instruction Program, instructing the “Direction and Control of the Search Function Course” and the “Winter Operations SAR Management Course” and is responsible for all State of California SAR programs. Mark began his law enforcement career with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff in February of 1986. For the next 26 years, he held several assignments throughout the department, which allowed him to experience many different disciplines. Mark was a Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, Patrol K-9 Handler, Patrol Detective, and Patrol Sergeant. In 1999, he took on ancillary duties as a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy Instructor. For thirteen years, he developed and taught course curriculum in several disciplines for new Peace Officer candidates and Advanced Officers. In 2004, Mark returned to college and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Mark’s last assignment for the Sheriff’s Office was as the Search & Rescue (SAR) Coordinator. He successfully managed and coordinated twelve SAR Teams consisting of 225 volunteers accomplishing various search and rescue missions and critical incidents incorporating the functions and principles of the Incident Command System, Mutual Aid Agreements, and multi-agency or inter-agency coordination. In 2012, Mark retired from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and moved his family to Northern California. Beginning 2013, Mark accepted a position as an Assistant Chief/ Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Coordinator, for the Cal OES Law Enforcement Branch. In that role, he has served as the Rail & Transit Security Coordinator, Terrorism Liaison Officer, Law Duty Officer, Assistant to the State Search and Rescue Coordinator, and currently the State SAR Coordinator. In Mark’s 36-year law enforcement career he has earned California’s Commission of Peace Officer Standards (POST) Advanced, Supervisory, and Management certificates.

Assistant Chief Troy Clegg

Troy discovered his passion for Search and Rescue in 1995 when he joined the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team as a volunteer. In 1999 he was hired on to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy to pursue his interests in SAR. In 2005 he moved to Shasta County and joined the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office where he gained significant and meaningful training and experience in the field of Search and Rescue. Several duties at the Sheriff’s Office included; Major Crimes Detective, Search and Rescue Coordinator, Boating Safety Supervisor, Swift Water Team and Dive Team Supervisor. He ended his Career at the Shasta County at the rank of Lieutenant and Chief Deputy Coroner. Troy is currently in possession of his Management POST Certificate. Troy’s current employment is with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services as the Assistant Chief for the Law Enforcement Branch in Region III. This position allows him the ability to move about the northeast portion of California to assist the Counties with their emergency needs. In the absence of an emergency, he travels to the counties and assists with preplanning and preparedness for emergencies that are eminent or unforeseen within the state.