About Our Adjunct Instructors

Our adjunct instructor corps is an elite group of public safety communications training professionals who teach APCO Institute courses throughout the United States as well as virtually and online.

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.

The Adjunct Instructor Corps

Melissa Alterio

Melissa is currently serving as 911 Communications Director for the City of Roswell Police Department in Metro Atlanta, GA. Her duties include all aspects of management, direction, coordination, training and quality control of the 31-person staffed PSAP. Prior to this position, Melissa worked at Orange County Emergency Services (NY) where she spent the majority of her career in the Training Division. Her passion is teaching dispatchers how to improve their performance; focusing specifically on topics like Active Shooter Incidents, Crisis Negotiations and the core telecommunicator classes.Melissa is a graduate of Marist College and has recently completed APCO’s Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) program. Her focus and priority is to be a mentor, coach and positive role model to members of the 911 community. Melissa also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Women in Public Safety. She is an experienced instructor, conference coordinator and participant in various public safety areas.In her spare time, Melissa enjoys family gatherings, volunteer work and quality time with her dog.

Lysa Baker
Lysa Baker began her career in public safety in 1997 and is currently an Adjunct Instructor for the APCO Institute. Her career began, in Oklahoma, as a telecommunicator at the Nichols Hills Police Department and later transitioned into her role at the Yukon Police Department where she remained for twelve years. During this time, Lysa became a Reserve Police Officer, Communications Training Officer, Assistant Supervisor, and jailer. In 2010, Lysa accepted the 9-1-1 Education Coordinator position for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments. This is where she was able to discover her passion for being an instructor and helped build a successful training program for central Oklahoma. She became an APCO agency instructor and instructed Public Safety Telecommunicator, Communications Training Officer, Fire Service Communications, and Communications Center Supervisor courses. During this time, Lysa also served as the state of Oklahoma TERT coordinator.

Lysa pursued teaching full-time in 2017 when she was hired as an Adjunct Instructor for the APCO Institute. Lysa has served two presidential terms on the APCO Oklahoma Chapter Executive Board and remains an active member on the state level. In 2011, Lysa began working with the Oklahoma Public Safety Conference Committee and continues to serve as registration co-chair. Additionally, Lysa is currently serving as Co-Chair of the APCO Professional Development Events Committee. Lysa’s certifications include being accepted into the inaugural APCO Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE) program, APCO Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL), and Emergency Number Professional. Lysa studied Criminal Justice and Organizational Communications at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Rhonda Braudis
Rhonda Braudis is currently the 911 Communications Director for the Marshall County Communications Center in Marshalltown, Iowa. Rhonda initially began her career with 911 Emergency Services in 2002 at the Salem Police Department, Salem Oregon as a 911 call taker. In 2003 Rhonda moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas to be closer to her family. She worked at the Fort Smith Police Department until 2013.

Rhonda has functioned in many capacities within her career, she began as a call-taker, became a 911 Dispatcher, CTO, Lead, created 911 Education programs, Tactical Dispatching programs, and served as the CALEA Communications Manager. While in Fort Smith Rhonda became an RPL (Registered Public Safety Leader) in 2009. Rhonda became an Adjunct Instructor, also in 2009, for APCO and also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Rhonda in 2017 took on the task of teaching courses for the CDP (Center for Domestic Preparedness) in Anniston Alabama.

Rhonda has earned her Bachelors in Organizational Leadership, University of Arkansas, and her Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management, American Military University. After graduating from her master’s program, she accepted a position at the Independence Police Department in Independence Missouri in 2013 as the Communications Administrator serving almost six years prior to her current position.

Rhonda completed her CPE (Certified Public Executive) certification this past July, 2019 through the APCO Institute prior to beginning her new role as the 911 Communications Director in Marshall County, IA.

Bernard J. “Buster” Brown, ENP, RPL
Bernard J. “Buster” Brown ENP,RPL, is past president of NENA and 911 Director of Fayette County 911, in Fayetteville, Georgia. Originally from Lancaster, New York, he has been in public safety for 32 years and has served in almost every capacity in emergency communications, from dispatcher to 911 director.

Buster has appreciated the advancement of the industry and has been involved as a career partisan for learning. He applauds the guidance of mentors along the way and strives to collaborate, support and coach others in a proactive manner to better the community through service in public safety.

Buster and his wife, Nancy, have two sons and four daughters. He is an outdoor enthusiast, enjoys meeting new people and laughing at least once a day.

Jeryl Brown
Jeryl is the Special Initiatives Officer for Orange County Emergency Services and has been a Telecommunicator for over twenty-five years. She has been a certified instructor since the 1990s and has vast experience in classroom presentation to include, but not limited to, curriculum and testing development and on-line course development and implementation. She is proud to have been at the beginning of the Telecommunicator Certification Course for North Carolina Telecommunicators, during her time as a Criminal Justice Instructor Coordinator with the NC Justice Academy, where for eleven years, she taught, edited, and implemented the curriculum across the state of North Carolina.

Jeryl is an experienced online instructor, conference speaker and event coordinator. She is also a past NC APCO President and board member and remains active in the NC Chapter of APCO, as one of the chapter Training Coordinators.

Jeryl enjoys spending time with her new spouse, Kevin. She is also a dedicated Girl Scout Troop leader and serves as the Durham Service Unit 215, Area 11 Manager for NC Coastal Pines Girl Scout Council. She is also a dedicated choir member at Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where she participates in various ministries.

Kimberly Burdick
Kimberly Burdick has been in the public safety profession since 1989. She began her career as a dispatcher and remained with her agency in Chouteau County Montana eventually becoming the Manager/Director and Information Technologist for her center. She created and implemented her agency’s first training program in 1997 when she was promoted to Supervisor and no program existed. She has since led her agency to be the only P33 certified center in Montana. Kimberly naturally followed her love for training by becoming an APCO Adjunct Instructor in 2007. Her favorite classes to instruct are Communications Center Supervisor, Public Safety Telecommunicator I and Communications Training Officer. Kimberly loves to explore her home state of Montana with her husband and family. She enjoys music, camping, and shopping.

Leslie Carroll
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.

William D. “Bill” Carrow
Bill has over 39 years public safety communications experience, 32 with the Delaware State Police where he served as Chief of Communications for 15 years. He retired March 31, 2017 after 5 years as the first Deputy Director of the Communications Division under Delaware Department of Safety & Homeland Security. Bill’s accomplishments include completing rebanding of over 13,000 radios ahead of schedule and ushering in a technology refresh project for the state’s 800 MHz radio system.

He served on the APCO Board of Directors from 2007-2012 and was APCO’s 75th president. Notable accomplishments include chairing two APCO International conferences and active participation on the nationwide COML Level 3 training standard committee. Bill was part of the Public Safety Alliance that fought for the “D” block spectrum to be used by FirstNet, promoted partnership through establishment of the CALEA committee and established increased overall membership through the group membership initiative.

He is a volunteer firefighter/NR-EMT, serving for 43 years at the Citizen’s Hose Company Smyrna, and for the past two years has served at Little Creek Fire Company.

In addition to being an adjunct instructor for the APCO Institute, he is a field instructor for the Delaware State Fire School.

Bill has received the Leadership in Technology Award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2004, Civilian Employee of the Year for Delaware State Police in 2004, and was named to the Fellowship of the Radio Club of America in 2011.

Carlton Carter
Carlton Carter II is the Training Coordinator and NCIC ATAC for the York County Department of Public Safety Communications in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Carlton is a graduate of Limestone College and the APCO Institute RPL Program. Carlton has worked in public safety communications for over 20 years. He is an APCO Adjunct and FBI NCIC Instructor. Carlton coordinates the in-house training program as well as provides Incident Command System and radio communications training for responders and one private utility that utilizes the county’s 800mhz trunked radio system. Carlton has presented at various conferences on the state and national level. He has worked with local and state agencies to create free on-line radio interoperability communications courses for telecommunicators and responders.

Carlton has received RADO, COML and COMT all hazards radio communications training. Carlton has also worked with local, state and federal agencies to create an active shooter training program for telecommunicators in South Carolina and is an ALERRT Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) and Active Attack Integrated Response (AAIR) Instructor. Carlton currently serves on the planning committee for active shooter drills in York County, South Carolina. Carlton has also functioned as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for over 20 years.

Chief Tina Chambers
Chief Chambers has 24 years of experience with the Shreveport Fire Department. Chief Chambers began her career with the department April 21, 1997 as a Fire Communications Officer I (FCO I). Throughout her career, she temporarily filled vacancies in the Division as a FCO II and Assistant Chief of Operations and Training. While working in these various positions she took the opportunity to enhance her knowledge, skills, and abilities to prepare her for any future promotions. On March 1, 2014, she was promoted to Fire Communications Officer II (FCO II). On August 24, 2015, she promoted to Assistant Chief of Communications. On August 16, 2021, she was promoted to her current position as the Chief of Communications.

Chief Chambers graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1991. In 2009, she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration from Bossier Parish Community College. In 2012, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University. In 2013, she earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University.

Chief Chambers’ certifications include Association of Public Safety Communications Officials Public Safety Telecommunicator Instructor, Emergency Medical Dispatcher Instructor, Fire Service Communications Instructor, EMD Manager, Communications Center Supervisor Instructor, Communications Training Officer Instructor and serve as an Adjunct Instructor for APCO. EMI/FEMA, EMT-B, Firefighter I.

Chief Chambers is a member of the International Associate of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc. (APCO).

Chief Chambers is a lifelong resident of the City of Shreveport. She is the daughter of Ms. Mary E. Chambers and Mr. Ernest Smith. She has one daughter and son, four granddaughters and one grandson. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, fishing, eating crawfish and is a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

Lee Ann Delp, RPL
Lee Ann is the Operations Manager for the Essex Regional Communication Center. She began her career in West Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1998, where she still works part-time as their Emergency Management Director and works an occasional dispatch shift. Discovering a passion for teaching and the 9-1-1 profession, Lee Ann has served on numerous boards and committees including five terms as president of the Massachusetts Communication Supervisors Association. Lee Ann enjoys teaching both live and online classes as an APCO Adjunct Instructor, which she has done since 2012. When she is not working or teaching, she loves spending time with her family, dogs and miniature horse.

Julie Righter Dove

Julie J. Righter Dove has been a public safety communications professional for over 40 years. She has dedicated her career to the improvement of public safety services and the PSAP environment. During her years at the Lincoln Emergency Communications Center, Lincoln, Nebraska, she served as a dispatcher, trainer, administrator and ultimately the director of the center for over 20 years. During her last two years with the cty she served on special assignment as the project manager for multiple public safety technology and construction projects.

Julie currently serves as a CALEA (Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies) Commissioner, is an APCO Life Member and has served as an APCO Regional Board of Director, Chair of APCO Project RETAINS, Chair of the State of Nebraska Wireless Advisory Board and has participated on many other APCO committees at both the state and national level. Julie has been an APCO Adjunct Instructor since January of 2019, shortly after her retirement from the City of Lincoln.

Natalie Duran
Natalie Duran has been actively involved in public safety since 1976. Natalie worked 36 years at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (MDFR) where she began her career as a Fire Rescue Dispatcher, Supervisor, retiring as a Fire Communication Officer (manager) in 2012.

Since retiring from MDFR in 2012, she has continued to pursue her love for training as an APCO adjunct instructor. In 2006 Natalie was one of the founding members of the National Joint Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) Initiative and has been instrumental in the teaching of basic and team leader classes nationwide. Natalie continues to serve as the Florida TERT State Coordinator and is actively involved with her Florida Chapter.

Natalie currently enjoys teaching the following APCO courses: Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST); Fire Service Communications (FSC); Law Enforcement Communications(LEC); Communications Training Officer (CTO); Communications Center Supervisor; Disaster Operations; Crisis Negotiations; Active Shooter; Customer Service; Surviving Stress; Comprehensive Quality; and Bullying & Negativity.

When not teaching or working Natalie likes to travel, read and meet new people (especially her public-safety family). In Natalie’s own words: “I am a very proud US Marine Mom of two awesome sons and a grandmother to six grandchildren. Truly Blessed.”

Debbie Gailbreath
Debbie has more than 30 years of public safety communications experience, having served as a calltaker, law enforcement dispatcher, trainer, supervisor, and manager at the Sarasota County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office. Her experience includes assisting with the consolidation of two law enforcement communications centers and five fire/rescue communications centers into a single PSAP, in addition to implementing a Quality Assurance program. Debbie currently serves as the Communications Accreditation Manager for this CALEA-accredited (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) PSAP.

Debbie has a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. She has been an APCO Adjunct instructor since 2011 and instructs online Communications Training Officer, Public Safety Telecommunicator, Communications Center Supervisor, Disaster Operations and the Communications Center, Public Safety Communications Staffing and Employee Retention, CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation Manager, and Illuminations courses.

Debbie has been an APCO member since 1988 and is an APCO Life Member. She is a Past President and Executive Council Representative of FL APCO and previously served as a Gulf Coast Regional Representative on the APCO International Board of Directors. She is a certified Florida Public Safety Telecommunicator, a CALEA Assessor and a Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL). She serves on the APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee, the Standards Development Committee, the CALEA Committee, and the Professional Communications Human Resources Committee (ProCHRT).

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Debbie remains an avid Indy car and NASCAR race fan.

Nick Goyette

Adjunct Nick Goyette is currently a supervisor and previously a Communications Training Officer for the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Emergency Communications Center (SEMRECC), based out of Foxboro, Massachusetts. Additionally, he is also an Instructor for Commonwealth Police Legacy, where he teaches his Well Being Checks class that he built from scratch for continuing education credits.

Nick graduated from Bridgewater State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Soon after, while working as a campus safety officer locally, he sought more responsibility and impact. Nick began volunteering for the Samaritans of Fall River/New Bedford, a crisis hotline, while self-sponsoring for APCO’s Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST) 1, Law Enforcement Communications and Emergency Medical Dispatch courses.
Those experiences led to employment at Mansfield Police Department for a communications dispatcher position. Then Mansfield regionalized communications operations with Foxboro, Easton and Norton to form SEMRECC. Nick later took the APCO courses Communications Training Officer, Communications Center Supervisor and PST 1 Instructor courses; all three led to more opportunities within the agency!

Nick is proud to have been a ground floor hire for SEMRECC since operations opened in 2019. Nick enjoys teaching people from all over the country, has a passion for True Crime and NFL football, and maintains he is both a Patriots and Buccaneers fan.

Sheri Hokamp, RPL, CPE
Sheri Hokamp serves as the Communications Supervisor for the Biloxi Police Department in Mississippi. She began her career with the department in 1985 as a Dispatcher, and has served as the Department’s Communications Supervisor and TAC (Terminal Agency Coordinator) since 1991. She served as a volunteer for the local community fire service for several years as a firefighter as well as a board member.

Sheri is an active member of APCO International and has participated as a chapter board member since 1991. She currently holds the position of President and Executive Council member for the APCO Mississippi chapter.

Over the years, she has participated in a wide variety of training programs and activities, include: first responder; emergency medical technician; emergency medical dispatch; NCIC TAC, police academy instructor; fire academy instructor; fire suppression; hazardous materials; rappelling; defensive driving; truck operations, air bank and critical stress debriefing, and many more. She is also a graduate of APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) and Certified Public-Safety Leader programs.

In addition to serving as an APCO Institute Adjunct Instructor, Sheri is an instructor for the Mississippi Board of Emergency Standards and Training (BETST).

Roderick Jackson
Roderick works for the Houston Emergency Center (HEC) in Texas as the Division Manager. He has been in Public-Safety for 19 years. He is responsible for the overall operations and supervision of personnel assigned to the Houston Emergency Center (HEC) Fire/EMS call taking and administrative functions. Responsible for ensuring operations are conducted in accordance with policies, procedures and guidelines of the Houston Emergency Center and the EMS Medical Director. Manages and directs Fire/EMS call taking evaluates referred job applicants, interview potential candidates, management of Fire/EMS call taking personnel and attendance records; Coordinates special projects including planning, research, presentations, promotions and evaluations. Interprets and disseminates administrative policies, procedures, rules and regulation in the day-to-day operations of 9-1-1. Roderick’s agency is the largest PSAP in the State of Texas and the call center floor is 36, 000 sq. feet (size of a professional football field).

Roderick has been an Adjunct Instructor for 2 ½ years. He has taught 50 classes in five states and over 100 classes online.

When not teaching or working Roderick likes to travel, fish, exercise and go to the movies.

Roderick’s own words: “I am glad to be a part of APCO International and its Adjunct Program. I love teaching and spreading my knowledge to other public safety communication personnel which makes others better at their job/careers.”

Carol Janssen
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.

Pam Kaufman

Pam has worked in public safety for 40 years. Her experience includes public safety communications, EMS and firefighting. She is currently a Customer Success Manager with a corporate partner where she assists public safety customers on CAD, mobile and RMS products. Her previous employment was with APCO International as the EMD Program Manager, where she oversaw all aspects of the EMD Program, including curriculum development. Prior to APCO, she was the Assistant Director of Communications of the South Bend (IN) Police and Fire Communications where her duties included all aspects of training, EMD Manager and Quality Assurance. Pam resides in Port Orange, FL.

Joell Kight
Joell Kight is a native of Fauquier County, she graduated from Waldorf College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In 2014, Joell earned APCOs Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) in 2015, she earned her Emergency Number Professional (ENP) through National Emergency Number Association and in January 2018 completed the APCO Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE) program. She began her career in public safety as volunteer firefighter with the Lois Volunteer Fire Department. While with the fire department she obtained her emergency medical technician-intermediate.In 1997, she began working for Fauquier County as an emergency communications specialist. Since then, she has been promoted through the agency to Shift Supervisor and Training Coordinator to her current role as the Communications Manager. Joell is an active member in the Virginia Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials currently sitting on the board as the Chapter President. She also is active in the Commonwealth of Virginia, working with the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) as a member of the Regional Advisory Council since 2015, working on initiatives to ensure Virginia’s transition to Next Generation 9-1-1. In 2019, she was recognized by the Virginia Chapter of APCO as the Director of the Year, 2018, and received the 2019 Regional Award for Outstanding Achievement in EMS – Outstanding Contribution to EMS Telecommunication.

Kathleen Lamb
Kathleen Lamb has spent just over 14 years in the 9-1-1 communications family. She is currently employed with the Westcom Communications Center in West Des Moines Iowa where she works as a Dispatch Supervisor. She has been an instructor with APCO for 12 years and an adjunct for going on four years. She is in her last semester of college pursuing her degree in Homeland Security/Public Safety Administrations.

Denesha Lemons
Denesha started her career with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Daytona Beach, Florida. She began as a 911 call taker and then served as a law enforcement dispatcher, communications training officer (CTO) and assistant supervisor, and was one of the first dispatchers to become Fire/Emergency Medical Service cross-trained when the communications center became fully consolidated.She spent several years as a supervisor before being re-assigned to a communications training coordinator position. As a CTO, she worked with the State of Florida to achieve Florida Public Safety Telecommunicator Certification for her agency. Denesha is an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and served on the APCO Florida Training Committee.She was recognized by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office for her performance and awarded the Telecommunicator of the Quarter Award three times in her career. She is a Certified Individual and Group Critical Incident Stress Debriefer. She left the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in August 2016 to pursue an adventure in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She currently teaches APCO’s CTO and EMD courses, and is working to obtain additional certifications to further her knowledge in public safety. Denesha enjoys attending and volunteering at the chapter and International APCO conferences.

In her spare time she enjoys exploring her new state of Colorado and competing in 5K runs. She truly loves training in public safety and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Laurie Lewis
Laurie Lewis has been in public safety for 32 years. She retired after a 31-year career as a Training Coordinator with Administrative Duties for an agency that dispatched Police/Fire/EMS and Paramedic services. Her position involved creating and implementing training programs, creating testing materials to include computer simulation modules for the hiring process, working as a 9-1-1 public safety dispatcher and in charge of the day to day operations of the dispatch center. She also served as an Emergency Management Dispatch Communications Officer on the Emergency Operations Center Team.

“I loved my job and always ventured outside the scope of my agency to further assist in our profession,” she says. She has worked on numerous APCO committees to include Training Review and conducted Occupational Analysis on the different career paths in the profession. She created a wellness session titled Random Acts of Kindness, Promoting Telecommunicators in Public Safety and presented at APCO’s Annual Conference. She led her team to be guests on the Rachael Ray Show as the Powerhouse 9-1-1 Dispatchers. Ray recognized the team, for the service we performed to the public. She says it was an amazing experience and very humbling.

She loves to cook, travel, explore, exercise, spend time with family and friends and just about everything that can be categorized as an adventure. Semi-retirement has moved her to the realm of online living such as virtual conferences and classes. She is happy to have retired but also grateful to have the opportunity to still serve in public safety.

She currently holds a training position with Mashantucket Pequot Public Safety (part-time). She has been with this agency for 9 months. She was also awarded the APCO Commercial Advisory Council (CAC)/Silent Key scholarship to attend the Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) class in 2021.

Christian Lyons
Christian Lyons is a Supervisor and Certified Training Officer for the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  A typical work day for Christian consists of supervising the operations of a shift of Communicators that are responsible for processing emergency phone calls and dispatching for 85 different law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies.

He has been an adjunct Instructor for APCO for 3 years, starting his tenure in Saudi Arabia where he taught classes to Security Staff of Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world. Since then, he has taught dozens of online courses for APCO as well as traveled to Massachusetts and New York to teach APCO’s Public Safety Telecommunicator course.  He teaches Comm. Center Supervisor; Comm. Center Supervisor Instructor; CTO; CTO Instructor; PST; PST Instructor; FSC; FSC Instructor; Crisis Negotiations; Customer Service; Active Shooter Incidents; Surviving Stress and Disaster Operations.   He was involved in writing an updated version of APCO’s Fire Service Communications Manual.

When Christian is not working, he loves to do “handyman” work….he said “I know just enough about carpentry, electricity and plumbing to get myself into trouble.” He also likes to cook and spend time with his family.  He said he can’t forget to mention his two dogs Sadie & Abby-they control his house.  He has a cottage in the north-woods of Wisconsin, so he has spent quite a bit of time there fixing it up and just enjoying the tranquility of being in the middle of no-where.

Christian has worked in Public Safety for 23 years and has worn a few different hats including Fire Chief, Fire Inspector, Police Officer, Deputy Coroner and Telecommunicator.

In Christian’s own words: “Emergency communications is a great profession that ties in a lot of different aspects of public safety.  I am happy to say that I finished my Master’s Degree a couple of years ago in Emergency & Disaster Management-I thought that day would never happen!”

Robbie McCormick
Robbie McCormick began her career in public safety telecommunications in 2008, earning Executive Certification, the state’s highest level of PST Certification in 2015. She has been a front line dispatcher, first-line supervisor, training coordinator and now serves as the Executive Director of the Regional Emergency Dispatch Authority (REDA) in Eddy County, New Mexico. REDA accepted their P33 National Training Program Certification in 2012 under Robbie’s CTO Program Management and has received their recertification in 2015 under her directorship.

She is a New Mexico Department of Safety Master Instructor and Professional Lecturer in eleven disciplines, having instructed over 1,900 hours for the State of NM. She is an Adjunct Instructor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Department of Homeland Security.

Robbie earned her AA in Criminal Justice, and was named the Criminal Justice Student of the Year by NMSU in 2002. She earned her Bachelors in Social Sciences with a minor in Criminal Justice, graduating Magna Cum Laud from USW. Her Master’s is in Education with an emphasis in Educational Psychology and Academic Counseling, which formed the basis of her passion for adult education and learning styles. That passion has truly found its home in the area of public safety telecommunications.

Mrs. McCormick has developed several courses for accreditation at a state level. She instructs at both the NM DPS in Santa Fe, NM and Southeast New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, NM for their public safety basic academies. Since instructing at the state level, Robbie was instrumental in assisting New Mexico in adopting the APCO curriculum for their academies as well as using APCO courses for continued and advanced training for telecommunicators.

Through REDA’s affiliation with FLETC/DHS, she was also able to bring the APCO Institute and Curriculum to a Federal level by establishing the academies for a nationally certified Bureau of Indian Affairs Basic PST Academy, certifying both BIA and Tribal PST’s from across the nation.

She is a member of the NM Chapter of APCO and NENA and previous Vice President of the New Mexico APCO Chapter, teaching at the state conferences.

Steve McDade
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.

Sharmel Miller

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.

Joseph Murphy, RPL
Joseph works for Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office as a Communication Supervisor. He has been in Public-Safety for 16 years. He Supervises 5 others on his shift. He also answers emergency and non-emergency calls for the County. And he dispatches Fire/EMS/Law Enforcement for the County and Town. His agency also monitor radio traffic of other agencies to include Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation and the Tow Companies assigned to their county. In addition, Joseph assists with training during in-house academy and when new personnel are assigned to his shift. Joseph’s agency is in the process of implementing text to 911 capabilities.

Joseph joined the Adjunct Program in 2014. He teaches classes online and in a live atmosphere. Joseph is married to Brittany for 9 years, 3 Children: Christian 9, Roman 7 and Teagan 9 months. In his spare time he enjoys golfing, spending time with family, he enjoys all sports but mainly watching/playing Hockey. He also spent 14 years in a Volunteer Fire Department and 4 of those as the Chief.

Joseph’s own words: “I enjoy my job, learning and teaching. I like challenges and I hope to continue my career and development.”

Kevin Neiswender
Kevin Neiswender is currently 2nd Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner for the Berks County Coroner’s Office, Reading, PA, a position he has held since 12/11/20018. He transferred from a position as Training & Education Manager for the Berks County Department of Emergency Services.

He was previously Training & Education Manager, Berks County Department of Emergency Services, Pennsylvania. His career with the Department of Emergency Services spanned 27 years, holding positions as telecommunicator, watch officer, QA/training officer and the position of Training and Education Manager at the time of his transfer.

Even though he is no longer affiliated with the day-to-day operations of 9-1-1 public safety, he continues to have a strong desire to be involved and maintained his APCO Instructor certifications.

His career in public safety has been over 25 years in fire, EMS, emergency management and hazmat. During his years in the fire service, positions held were firefighter, Deputy Chief and Chief.

While not working, he enjoys golfing and working in his yard, and when yard work and golfing seasons are concluded, watching college and NFL football. During anytime of the year, he finds himself a huge chicken wing fan and enjoys trying different wing flavors.

Lori VanGilder Preuss
Lori VanGilder Preuss has been actively engaged in the public safety industry since 1986.  Lori spent 22 years at a Police Department in Florida, progressing from volunteer fire fighter to base level E-9-1-1 Operator to developing and instituting a Communications Training Officer Program, developing a Crime and Intelligence Analysis Program and prior to her retirement from there, supervising 3 divisions including E-9-1-1 Communications.

Currently, Lori enjoys working part time as a Telecommunicator.  Lori became active with the Florida Chapter of APCO, andserved in positions such as Training Committee Chair person, Board Officer and wasPresident of the State Chapter 2007-2008.   Lori started instructing with the APCO Training Institute in 1999, and enjoys facilitating both live and online classes.  Lori can be found instructing PST, PSTI, CTO, CTOI, CCS, DOCC, Surviving Stress, Crisis Negotiations, Active Shooter, CSTPS, Comprehensive Quality and is also very active with the Illuminations program.

Lori has served on multiple APCO Institute Curriculum work groups and has written several articles for publication. Lori has served on two International APCO Committees, and continues to serve on the Florida APCO Emerging Technologies Committee. Lori holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adult Vocational Education and Industry Training, and is a State of Florida Certified Public Safety Telecommunicator.

Dean Rohan
Dean has been with Prince George’s County for one 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.

Diana Scott
Diana is the Director of Communications for the South Bend Police and Fire Communications Center in South Bend, Indiana. She has been with the South Bend Police since 1999. She started as a Communications Specialist and then became a Communications Supervisor. In November of 2006 she became the Assistant Director of Communications in charge of all training within the dispatch center. In April, 2012 she was appointed as the Director of Communications. She has been an APCO instructor at the agency level since 2006 in 2011 became an Adjunct Instructor for APCO teaching EMD and PST both online and in classroom settings. She has served as a contributing editor for the development of the APCO EMD Manager Course and has served on the committees for several of the EMD curriculum updates. She is an EMT as well as an American Heart Association CPR/First Aid instructor and TC Faculty Member. In 2009 she received the Chief’s Award of Merit for her work instructing law enforcement officers in CPR, First Aide and Bloodborn Pathogens.

Matthew Shenk
Matt works for Lancaster County-wide Communications in Pennsylvania as the Primary Supervisor. He has been in Public-Safety for 30 years. He is responsible for the oversight of two Assistant Supervisors during day light hours. Staffing averages about 16 – 22 people during the day. He ensures that staffing levels are maintained for his shifts, approve leave, makes sure that call-taking and dispatching are handled properly, investigate complaints , schedule training for the staff with the training officer, arrange staffing for Public Education events, arrange tours and observers for the center, deploy as a Tactical Dispatcher during Field Communications deployments, serve on a statewide air-medical committee and state EMS plan committee, attend monthly county EMS, police, and fire chief meetings, serve on regional communications committees, and other duties as assigned.

Matt is also a Tactical Dispatcher, Emergency Management Specialist, FF-2 and Foam. Matt has been an Adjunct Instructor for 5 years and he has taught 30+ classes in twenty states. He teaches Active Shooter, Crisis Communications, Communication Supervisor, Fire Service Communications and Disaster Operations.

Matt was in the State Police Command Post for the Nickel Mines School shooting as a Tactical Dispatcher.

When not teaching or working, Matt is active in the local Fire and EMS agencies. And he is a Semi Pro and High School football official.

Jennifer Stewart
Jennifer is currently serving as 911 Communications Supervisor for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police in Charlotte, NC.  She has been there almost 18 years and is currently a Training Shift Supervisor. Her duties include all aspects of management, direction, staffing levels, training and instructing for the PSAP. Her passion is teaching telecommunicators about their new career and teaching trainers the importance of proper documentation and customer service and quality improvement.

Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Central Piedmont Community College with her degree in Political Science.  Jennifer completed APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) program. She is certified to teach as an agency Instructor as well as an Adjunct Instructor for APCO.  She has obtained her North Carolina General Instructor Certification and is certified to teach DCI/NCIC. Ms. Stewart is currently the Vice-Chair for APCO Agency Training Committee.

Kyle Turner
Kyle Turner has served at Fayette County 9-1-1 in Georgia since April of 1990. His career began as a 9-1-1 call taker/Fire and EMS dispatcher, adding law enforcement dispatch when his center consolidated, bringing dispatch for all public safety agencies together. He currently holds the position of 9-1-1 Training Manager.


Robert Vawser
Rob Vawser is the Communication Center Manager for Life Link III in Minneapolis, Minnesota. LifeLink III is the premier air ambulance program with five helicopter base and a fixed wing base servingall of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. He has been in the air medical industry since 2002 with AirSt. Luke’s in Boise, Idaho. Rob has been involved in emergency services since 1986 including fire,law enforcement, EMS, and communications. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in EmergencyManagement/Public Safety Communications from Jacksonville State University and is pursuing aMaster’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from Black Hills State University. Rob instructs online andlive classes. He has been an adjunct instructor for APCO since 1998.

Theresa Virgin
Theresa started her policing career in 1975 with Peel Regional Police in Brampton, Ontario as a records clerk. In 1976 she was selected as one of a group of the first civilian dispatchers for Peel Regional Police. In 1980, Theresa left Peel Regional Police and joined Durham Regional Police in Oshawa, Ontario, as a dispatcher and later a call taker. In 1989 she was awarded the position of Supervisor in Communications. Five years later, Theresa became the first civilian Manager of Durham Regional Police Communications Centre and 9-1-1 Manager.

In 2005, Theresa completed a Master’s Certificate in Regional Management from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and has been a certified APCO Agency Trainer since 2004. She served on the APCO Canada Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016, filling the roles of Director, President and Past President. She retired from policing in 2011. In 2015 Theresa participated in the Canadianization of the APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator 7th Edition Canada and in 2016 chaired the committee for the Canadianization of APCO’s Fire Service Communicators 2nd Edition Canada Course. Theresa was awarded the position of adjunct Instructor from APCO Institute in 2016, only the second Canadian to have an adjunct position.

Theresa currently is an instructor at Durham College and is the chairperson for the Program Advisory Committee in the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Program. Theresa has long been an advocate for communicators and communications training and has been an active member of APCO since 1994.

Charles M. Vitale, RPL, CPE
Charles has been involved in Public Safety since 1998. His first role was as an Emergency Medical Technican for a volunteer ambulance agency in New York. Shortly after, he began his career at the Rochester Emergency Communications Department in Monroe County, NY.

During his tenure, Charles has been involved in training new hires in the classroom and as a Communications Training Officer. His skill in contributing to the development of his agency’s training curriculum and programs for all positions led to the successful creation of an AAS Degree in Public Safety Communications. He graduated in the inaugural class after it was approved by New York State Education Department.

Charles is passionate about teaching and enjoys being in the classroom as well as in online learning environments. His approach to training inspires his students to strive to be better in their careers than he is! His team philosophy approach urges his students to work together towards excellence while keeping each other on track to achieve the highest of standards.

Additionally, Charles is certified as an New York State Municipal Police Training Council Master Instructor. He coaches and mentors new law enforcement instructors as they pursue state certification as instructors, and he teaches police officers and recruits about proper public safety communications.

How to Become an Adjunct Instructor

To become an adjunct instructor, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of five years’ experience in public safety communications
  • Minimum of two years’ experience as a public safety communications trainer/instructor
  • Possession of an APCO Institute instructor course certificate OR possession of a state instructor course certificate approved by the APCO Institute
  • Minimum one-year experience as a certified APCO Institute agency instructor

If you meet the qualifications and would like to be considered for an adjunct position:

  • Complete the adjunct instructor application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Show us your style. Provide us with a 10-minute video of yourself either teaching a class or making a presentation on camera. Don’t worry about the quality of the recording itself. We just want to see your instructional style and passion for teaching.
  • Email your application to us. We’ll then send you a link to upload your video.
  • Watch for an email to confirm the time and date for your interview or conference call.

After we receive your application materials, we’ll be in touch with you to schedule a time to talk about your experience and interest in becoming an adjunct instructor.