Joseph DeVito, author for
Joseph DeVito

Joseph DeVito is a 13 year fire service veteran and spent 5 years with EMS. Joe currently serves as a Captain and training paramedic with a department in Southwest Florida. He also works as an Adjunct Fire and EMS Instructor. Joe considers himself a “guardian of the brotherhood” meaning he attempts to keep firefighters positive through the “3 E’s” Enthusiasm, Encouragement, and Education. Please contact Joe via twitter @joed911 or via email [email protected]. Stay safe and keep learning.

Jeremy K. Rhode

Jeremy K. Rhode has over 11 years in the fire service and currently serves as Captain for USAG Italy Fire and Emergency Services, Italy.  He served as Training and Operations Chief for the U.S. Air Force Fire Protection for 9 years prior to being selected to attend Officer Training School in 2010. As an Air Force officer, Jeremy directs worldwide logistics support. Captain Rhode holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science Management as well as a Master of Arts degree in Emergency and Disaster Management.

Scott Ebbert
Scott Ebbert

Scott Ebbert

Scott Ebbert has over 20 years of experience in both the career & volunteer fire service in Baltimore County, Maryland. Assignments include busy engine & truck companies and time in the Department’s Fire Investigation Division.

Scott has assisted with developing & teaching various training programs and has  testified as an expert witness in both criminal and civil cases. Currently, Scott is a Lieutenant assigned to Truck 8 (Fullerton) and continues to work  as a Fire Investigator.

Scott resides in Parkville, Maryland with his son Conner and energetic chocolate lab, “Jax”.
Johnny Winston Jr

Johnny Winston, Jr. has been a member of the City of Madison Fire Department since 1996.  He was promoted to Division Chief of Organization and Community Liaison in February 2015.

Division Chief Winston oversees Hiring and Promotions, Community Outreach, Racial Equity and Social Justice initiatives and Grants.  Before being promoted, Winston held the positions of Firefighter, Recruit Academy Training Officer, Fire Investigator and Lieutenant.  Chief Winston has a Master’s degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University and a Certificate in Public Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ​

Jim Moss

Jim Moss Drinking Water

Jim Moss is a career fire officer, certified personal trainer, and co-author of Firefighter Functional Fitness: The Essential Guide to Optimal Firefighter Performance and Longevity.  He is a passionate advocate of firefighter fitness and wellness on the local and national levels.  He trains, writes, and teaches firefighters how to maximize their physical performance, careers, and lives through Firefighter Functional Fitness.

Jim is a Lieutenant and EMS Training Officer with the Metro West Fire Protection District of St. Louis County, Missouri, where he has been since 2007. He was previously with the St. Louis Fire Department as an EMT/Paramedic.

He possesses a B.S. of Fire Science from Columbia Southern University and a B.A. of Spanish from Truman State University. He is certified in Fire Officer I/II, Fire Instructor I, Vehicle Rescue Technician, Driver/Operator, and as a Hazardous Materials Technician.

His passions are firefighter fitness, mentorship, leadership, and teaching/learning about anything and everything FIRE-EMS related.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
-Proverbs 27:17

Les Karpluk

Chief Les Karpluk (Ret.) has over 32 years in the fire service with the Prince Albert Fire Department(Canada).

Chief Karpluk has been a speaker at numerous conferences across Canada and is a regular contributor to Fire Chief in Canada and Fire Fighting in Canada.  He has authored and coauthored 60 articles and in addition to writing trade articles, he facilitates for Dalhousie University, Lakeland College .

He has certificates in Fire Service Leadership and Fire Service Administration through Dalhousie University, as well as the Bachelor of Applied Business: Emergency Services through Lakeland College.

In November 2012 he achieved membership status with the International Organization, The Institution of Fire Engineers; an organizational that upholds professional standards by offering assessment of knowledge and experience and engages with stakeholders to identify and promote good practice and enhance technical knowledge worldwide.


  • Member of the Venerable Order of St. John
  • Queens Diamond Jubilee
  • Federal Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal
  • Saskatchewan Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal
  • Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Chief Fire Officer designation
  • 2009 Career Fire Chief of the Year by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs



John Hayowyk Jr

John Hayowyk Jr. has over 20 years in the fire service.  He is currently a Lieutenant for the City of Passaic FD in NJ (Ladder 1).  John is also a NJ Certified Level 2 Fire Service Instructor and teaches at Passaic & Sussex County Public Safety Academies.  He also heads up of the Training Division for the Roxbury Twp. Volunteer Fire Dept and  is an active Fire Inspector & Arson Investigator and also maintains his EMT certification.

John has a passion for teaching all levels of education in the fire service.  He enjoys when he is able to see the “A-Ha” moment in his students and fellow firefighters when they master the skill or fully understand the information that they are given.   John also continues to his education in various classes and courses to maintain his knowledge and skills.

Outside the fire service, John has a full house with his wife and 5 children.  He enjoys going to his children’s’ sporting events and vacationing with the family. imageJohn Hayowyk

Erik Wood

Captain Wood is a 16 year veteran of the fire service. He started his fire service career in the United States Coast Guard in 1997 where he specialized in shipboard and oil rig firefighting and hazmat mitigation. He eventually became an instructor for maritime firefighting certification courses.

Erik currently serves as a captain with Shawnee County Fire District #2 in Auburn, Kansas.
In addition to his home department Erik assists in writing policy, procedure and standard operating guidelines for several other departments and is a contributor with His current responsibilities with Shawnee County Fire District #2 include acting as the on-call shift commander, supervision of department probationary personnel, development and instruction of the department “Rookie Class” , and general oversight of the department’s training program.

Captain Wood has been a IFSAC certified instructor since 2005. He currently serves as an Associate Instructor with the University of Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute where he teaches Firefighter 1 & 2 national certification courses and serves as a exam site evaluator for national certification. He is currently a member of the Kansas State Firefighters Association, State Capital Area Firefighters Association and the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.

Erik is currently married to his wonderful wife Sara who is the NFIRS State Program Manager for Kansas with the Office of the State Fire Marshal

They have two wonderful children Alyssa (7), and EJ (3) and reside in Auburn, KS. When Erik isn’t busy with his fire service activities he enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and buying and selling antiques of all kinds!




Rob Cannon
Rob Cannon

Rob has served as a fire service leader for more than 25 years.  He is currently serving as an engine company Captain with a large metropolitan fire department, where he also serves as a Public Information Officer.

Rob is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.  He earned a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Charlotte, and a graduate diploma in National Security Studies from the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I. His significant training schools have included:  U.S. Navy Engineering Officer of the Watch School, U. S. Navy Firefighting School, U. S. Navy Repair Locker Leader School, Swift Water Rescue, and Airport Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) certification.

Rob’s fire service career began in 1986 as a shipboard firefighter in the United States Navy.  As a naval officer, Rob led firefighting efforts onboard the destroyer USS JOHN RODGERS (DD-983) from 1991-1994.  During this tour he led multiple international firefighter training efforts with South American navies.

Rob is a qualified U. S. Navy Officer of the Deck and Engineering Officer of the Watch.  His personal citations include a Navy Commendation Medal for his leadership during Hurricane Katrina response.  He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Following his active naval service, Rob joined his current department where he has served for more than 16 years in various urban settings.

Rob owns a leadership development consulting company (, and lives in Cornelius, NC with his wife and 4 children.

Rob Cannon, his wife Michelle, and their four children

Rob Cannon, his wife Michelle, and their four children

If you have any questions for Rob you can contact him at [email protected]



Robert C. Simmons

Robert C. Simmons is a 14 year veteran of the fire service, and he currently serves as an Assistant Chief in the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud Fire Department, South Korea where he manages the training division. His career has taken him around the globe as a volunteer, active duty Army firefighter, and a Department of Defense civilian firefighter.

Robert is a DoD certified Fire Instructor III and loves to teach and motivate others.  He has a passion for organizational leadership and developing the fire service leaders of the future, perfect fit for the FireFighterToolbox team.

As soon as he was old enough, he began his career as a volunteer in his home of Lincoln County, TN.  Shortly after high school, he enlisted in the Army as a firefighter and was assigned to the 562nd Firefighting Detachment at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  Robert was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served as a firefighter during the initial invasion of Iraq.  After leaving the Army, he became a DoD civilian firefighter where he remains today.

Robert has also worked with Fayetteville, TN Fire Department, the Ft. Leonard Wood, MO Fire & Emergency Services, the Redstone Arsenal, AL Fire & Emergency Services, and the New Market, AL Volunteer Fire Department.  He has served as a firefighter, driver/operator, crew chief, and station captain.

Simmons Bio Fam Pic
He has received numerous awards during his service, most notably the 2004 Department of the Army Firefighter Heroism Award for unit actions taken during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Robert currently resides in South Korea with his beautiful wife Kristi and their rambunctious sons Baylor and Cash. If he’s not teaching, you can usually find him hanging on a rope somewhere practicing his technical rescue skills.
Robert Fling

Robert has over 17 years in the fire service and is currently Assistant  Chief with the Dix Hills Fire Department, Long Island, NY.  Robert is passionate about the fundamentals of firefighting and the important role they play in building our future firefighters and leaders.

Robert states that taking a “back to basics” approach to training will give our firefighters the skills they need to ensure they do their job safely and efficiently. If you want to be a great firefighter you must have a passion for your job and the desire to learn everyday. He feels the biggest problem in the fire service is that we often allow a tragedy  to occur before we are willing to change our techniques or procedures. As leaders, we need to be progressive and constantly improve our operations before tragedy strikes.

Robert, his wife Liz and their daughters Courtney & Sara

Robert, his wife Liz and their daughters Courtney & Sara



Robert and his wife Liz reside in Dix Hills, NY with their two daughters Courtney (10) & Sara (8).  In addition to his career, firefighting activities and contributing on FirefighterToolbox, you’ll find Robert golfing, fishing, hunting, cross country skiing & Snow shoeing.


Buffy Schilling
Heath & Fitness Contributor

Buffy is a career firefighter and nationally registered EMT-P with over 12 years experience in the fire service. She specializes in firefighter fitness, health & wellness. Buffy has trained many firefighters and has been a trainer to Olympic athletes. Buffy has advised, consulted and coached other firefighters and fire departments. She is currently co-writing a cookbook with special emphasis on proper nutrition.

Buffy resides in Northern Virginia and with her 2 children and enjoys traveling the world, cooking and exercising.






Karlie Moore, Phd

Since 2007, Doctor Karlie Moore has been helping firefighters improve their health.

Her work in the fire service began with the Santa Ana College Fire Technology Department where she conducted fitness assessments for fire departments all over southern California. She now provides fitness testing and educational lectures to several fire departments in Oregon.

Dr. Moore studies the relationships between exercise/nutrition and chronic disease and she specializes in firefighter health. Her dissertation focused on improving the methods for assessing back injury and heart attack risk among firefighters.

She has developed the only protocol for firefighters of its kind. It’s a special treadmill testing protocol, which involves walking up an incline while wearing a weighted vest, to predict aerobic capacity in firefighters (as a measure of cardiac risk). Her further contributions to the fire service include providing education to firefighters about becoming healthier and happier via her website

In addition to being a contributor for FirefighterToolbox, Dr. Moore works at her consulting practice and teaches at Oregon State University.

Dr Moore & Her Husband

Dr Moore & Her Husband



Dr. Moore is married (to a firefighter) and resides in Corvallis, Oregon.