The APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor Corps is an elite group of Instructors, hand picked by the APCO Institute to serve as Ambassadors in delivering training and education to public safety communications personnel throughout the world.
These Instructors are the “best of the best” and must pass a stringent application and review process that requires demonstration of an above average knowledge of the subject matter and the embodiment of professionalism in their conduct - both in and out of the classroom.
Adjunct Instructor Corps
Diane has been in public safety for over 20 years. She started out as a dispatcher and worked her way through the ranks to supervisor, trainer, operations manager and the 9-1-1 Communications Manager. She currently serves as Training Coordinator for Allegheny County 9-1-1 in Pittsburgh, PA, which will have almost 200 employees staffing 63 dispatch positions, for 130 municipalities, over 200 fire departments, over 20 EMS Agencies the County Police and Sheriff's Departments later this year. Diane has been involved with APCO Institute since the inception of the APCO Institute Online and participated in the first APCO Institute Online class.
Mark has been an APCO Instructor since 1998. He implemented his metropolitan service District's first CAD system in 1997 which involved converting from pen-and-paper dispatching to a mainframe based CAD system. Mark has been a speaker at both APCO and NENA National, Regional and State conferences/expositions and served as Vice President for Louisiana's Chapter of NENA and President of the Louisiana Chapter of APCO. As an APCO instructor, Mark has trained and certified over 250 students from various agencies including the New Orleans Police Department Causeway Patrol, Louisiana State Police, Belle Chase Navel Academy, various Police Departments, 9-1-1 agencies, and fire department communications personnel. Mark is currently the Executive Director for the Terrebonne Parish Communications District/E-911 System.
Art Braunschweiger is a full-time dispatcher, dispatch supervisor and training supervisor for CenCom, a regional 6-county EMS, Fire and Aeromedical dispatch agency in Summit, New Jersey. He is an EMT and has been in public safety communications for ten years, and teaches Public Safety Communications and Emergency Medical Dispatch at the student level for the Essex County Police Academy in Cedar Grove, NJ. Art has been an adjunct instructor with APCO since 1998. In addition to teaching for APCO at public safety agencies in 10 states, Art has held APCO courses for the US Military Police and representatives of the Health Ministry of Kuwait.
Bernard Brown is the Asst. Director for the City of Danville, Virginia. He has been in Emergency Services for 25 years and has served in almost every capacity from 911 Dispatcher to 911 Operations Manager, to his current position as Asst. Director. Bernard is also a General Instructor for the Department of Criminal Justice in Virginia. He has been involved in the Volunteer Fire and Rescue service since 1983. Bernard was appointed an Adjunct Instructor in 2007 and received his APCO- RPL designation in 2008.
Training and Administrative Supervisor
Emergency Communications Department, Cambridge, MA
Leslie has over 20 years experience in many facets of public safety. She began her career at the Boston Police Department as a communications equipment operator and a trainer. She became the first recipient in Massachusetts to receive the Jeff Grossman 9-1-1 Award in 1994. Leslie served as President of the Massachusetts Communications Supervisor Association from 2003-2005 and remains active in promoting training and development of dispatchers statewide. Leslie has been an APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor for 12 years and has taught throughout the New England area sharing her police, fire and EMS experiences. She served on the Conference Committee for the APCO International Conference held in Boston in 2000. Leslie recently joined the Emergency Communications Department in Cambridge, Massachusetts located in Harvard Square as the Training and Administrative Supervisor.
Fonda M. Dixon has been with the Pennsylvania State Police for 29 years. For 22 years, she was a Police Communications Operator (PCO) for the State Police Station in Clearfield, PA. Fonda became a Police Communications Operator Instructor in 1994 and in 1997 was selected as the PCO of the Year for the Pennsylvania State Police. In 2004 she was promoted to Supervisor for Employee Training Section. She is a past secretary for the PA Chapter of APCO.
David Dodd is the Communications Director at Cleveland County 911 Communications in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, from Gardner-Webb University, has been an active APCO member since the 1980's and is a Past President of the NC APCO Chapter. David became an Adjunct Instructor in 1997, with the creation of the APCO Institute Online.
Brown County Green Bay, WI
Tracy Ertl has been a 9-1-1 dispatcher/telecommunicator with Brown County Public Safety Communications in Green Bay, Wisconsin for over 15 years. Brown County is a joint dispatch center serving 43 agencies with a dispatch/telecom staff of 57. Tracy has been utilized by her agency as a shift lead, acting lead, trainer, instructor (both internal and regional), mentor and quality assurance reviewer. Peers and management named her Brown County's 2004 Telecommunicator of the Year. She was selected by the United States Olympics Committee for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy where she served as a communications specialist because of her public safety and writing experience. Tracy has an ongoing crime series at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and enjoys bringing online classes to life with her writing. She is a former EMT with special interest in fire dispatch and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications.
Brian Geraghty joined the Plymouth County Massachusetts Sheriff's Department Communications Center in 1992 after a decade of EMS service in the city of Boston. He has served the Sheriff's Department as Communications Training Officer, Sheriff's Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director, Staff Instructor, In-Service Training Program Coordinator and currently serves as Director of Training. Brian is currently the Secretary of the Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association Education & Training Committee, an adjunct professor for Cape Cod Community College and has taught at the Ronald Reagan Institute for Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. Brian has been an APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor for over a decade and his experience in public safety issues has allowed him to teach students from 30 states and 3 foreign countries.
Bill currently is an emergency program specialist for the State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Bill started his career in public safety as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He was a telecommunicator for eight years, serving two different municipalities in Connecticut, before becoming a Communications Center Manager and Emergency Management Director for the Town of New Fairfield, Connecticut. During this time he also became an instructor for the State of Connecticut Telecommunicator program as well as an APCO instructor. Bill holds a Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Jacksonville State University as well as received the designation of Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers. He is currently working towards a Master's Degree in Public Administration.
Rhonda Harper began her career in Salem, Oregon as a 911 Call Taker in 2002 and has been with the Fort Smith Police Department in Fort Smith, Arkansas since 2003. For the past nine years Rhonda has served as a Communications Training Officer, Lead Telecommunicator, Tactical Dispatch Coordinator, and created a 911 Education Program that is taught in elementary schools and to community organizations. In 2010 Rhonda took on a new role as the Communications CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Accreditation Manager however still works in the 911 communications center from time to time (her true love and passion). Rhonda received her Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) designation from APCO Institute and was accepted as an Adjunct Instructor in 2009. She received her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith in 2010 and her Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management from the American Military University in 2012.
Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL)
Carol works for Allegheny County Emergency Services in Pennsylvania, which serves 1.3 million residents, including the City of Pittsburgh. She has been a telecommunicator since 1985 and has served as her center's training coordinator, police liaison and shift supervisor and has been an Adjunct Instructor for the APCO Institute since 1995.
Frank is currently the Director of Emergency Communications for the City of Meriden, CT. Prior to taking the position as Director in Meriden, Frank served the Town of Greenwich, CT for over 20 years, starting as a civilian dispatcher in 1986, becoming a police officer in 1988 and finishing his career by developing the town's Dispatch Training Program.. In addition to be being a certified instructor with the APCO Institute, Frank is a P.O.S.T. Certified Instructor for Radio and Telephone and a State Certified Telecommunications Instructor. Frank is also a member of the APCO Standards Development Committee and the APCO Atlantic Chapter. This 20 year plus career began with answering an add for Ambulance Driver/ Dispatcher, he wanted to drive the ambulance.
Steve has been the Director of Abbeville County Emergency Management in South Carolina since March 1998. He is a nationally registered paramedic, whose background includes four years in the U.S. Navy as a shipboard firefighter and Command Basic Life Support Instructor. In addition to his extensive experience and background in public safety, the South Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services named Steve “Director of the Year” in 1999 and again in 2004. Steve has been an APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor since 2000.
An APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor since 2005, Sharmel has been with Abbeville County E-911 in South Carolina since 1998 and currently holds the position of 9-1-1 Coordinator.
Bill has worked for Johnson County Emergency Communications Center in Johnson County, Kansas for fifteen years, the last nine years as Training Manager. He began his public safety career twenty-nine years ago; fourteen years in law enforcement which included ten years as a police officer and four years in police communications. Bill has been an APCO member for eight years and an Adjunct Instructor for four.
Stephen H. Reichman, Sr.
Steve Reichman is currently the Superintendent of Training for Bucks County Emergency Communications in southeastern Pennsylvania. He has been involved in emergency services for over 25 years and maintains multiple instructor certifications through the APCO Institute including an APCO RPL certification and an ENP certification through NENA. From 2000-2003 he served as an APCO Adjunct Instructor and has recently returned to the adjunct corps. He is also an EMT, Emergency Management Coordinator for his local municipality, and youth pastor. Steve has authored several articles for APCO and related trade publications. He enjoys meeting and communicating with his students through the Institute Online.
Prince George's County, MD, Department of Homeland Security
Public Safety Communications, Emergency Dispatcher
Dean has been with Prince George's County for 1 year. Prior to that he was the Training Coordinator and a police academy instructor with the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety for 8 years. Dean is an M.P.T.C. certified police academy instructor, a Certified N.C.I.C instructor, an F.O.P. Dispatcher of the Year recipient and a Certified First Responder. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Homeland Security Management.
Matt Shenk is currently a radio room Supervisor for Lancaster County-wide Communications, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Matt began working for Lancaster County in 1984 as a Telecommunicator and has worked as an Assistant Supervisor or a Primary Supervisor for the last 20 years. Matt has an extensive background in fire and EMS. He is also an active EMT and volunteer firefighter. Matt is a primary responder for Lancaster County's Field Communications Unit. Matt was on the scene for the Nickel Mines Amish School Shooting, as well as other police, hazmat, fire and major events in South Central PA., as a responder with the Communications Unit.
With more than 20 years of public-safety communications experience, I am currently the Director of the Technical Services Bureau of the Dublin Ohio Division of Police. We are a CALEA accredited law enforcement agency of 68 officers just northwest of Columbus Ohio. I am commander of a bureau that includes 14 telecommunicators and 2 supervisors serving in the police, fire and EMS communications center, 3 clerks and 1 property technician serving in the Records Bureau and 1 training sergeant who serves as the agencies accreditation manager.
I started my career as a law enforcement explorer and dispatcher for the Lima Ohio Police Department in 1985 where I served until taking a dispatcher position with Dublin in 1992. I was promoted to communications supervisor in 1994 and served until I was promoted to my current position as the first civilian police bureau commander in Ohio in 2005. I have been an APCO member since 1987, serving as 2nd vice-president of the Ohio Chapter from 1999 to 2001, and president of the chapter from 2001 to 2006. I have been and adjunct instructor for the institute since 1997 specializing in teaching the CTO, Supervisor and Manager courses.
Gary is the Director of Emergency Communications for Union County North Carolina. He has been involved in public safety communications since 1984 and has been a member of the volunteer fire service since 1981, serving several ranks including Assistant Fire Chief. Gary has a B.S. Degree in Aeronautical Science and attained an Associates Degree in Public Safety Communications as an inaugural student enrolled in the APCO Virtual College. He has been an Adjunct Instructor for APCO Institute since 2000, conducting classes both live and through APCO Institute Online.
Lori Van Gilder
Lori has worked for the Lake Mary Police Department in Florida for over 16 years and has served the City of Lake Mary as a volunteer firefighter for 8 years.
Lori has been active with the Florida Chapter of APCO since 1992 serving on the Training Committee (including Chairperson for five years) and Board Officer for 3 years. Lori holds a Bachelors degree in Vocational Education and Industry Training from the University of Central Florida, with an area of specialization in Public Safety Telecommunications, and is pursuing her Masters Degrees in Instructional Design, Crime Analysis and Criminal Justice.
Jack Varnado has served as Deputy Director at St. Tammany Parish Communications District in Covington, Louisiana since March 2004. His responsibilities include being the staff contact with seven (7) PSAPs, training, overseeing the GIS and MSAG maintenance and public education. Jack was previously employed by East Baton Rouge Parish EMS/9-1-1 serving in the positions of Chief of Communications, Shift Supervisor, Communications Training Officer and Emergency Communications Officer and Medical Response Manager for the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness. He has been affiliated with APCO since 1992 and became an Adjunct Instructor in 2003. He has also served as a contributing editor on several APCO Institute Courses and regularly conducts training sessions at the Annual APCO International Conference and Exposition. In 2002, Jack obtained his Associates Degree in Public Safety Telecommunications through the APCO Virtual College.
Rob works for St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, where he is a communications specialist in the air ambulance program. He has been a communications specialist since 1986 and has worked in the fire service, law enforcement and EMS. Rob has been an Adjunct Instructor for APCO Institute since 1998.
Tom retired in 1996 from the US Army after a twenty-two year career. He is the Director of the Cooper County Emergency Management Agency in Missouri. In his current position, Tom directs operations for a twenty-four hour Emergency Operations/9-1-1 Communications Center and a Mobile Command Center; he also serves as the County Floodplain Manager, GIS Coordinator, IT Coordinator, LEPC and Citizen Corps Chairman. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia College and has been an Adjunct Instructor with APCO Institute since 1998.