Fire Services Administration
Department Chair/Program Advisor
Office: Emergency Services Department, ISU Meridian Institute of Emergency Management
Mr. Michael Mikitish is the Department Chair of the Emergency Services Department and Director of the Institute of Emergency Management at Idaho State University-Meridian (ISU). Michael holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Boston University, a Masters in Public Administration from Boise State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Public Administration, Criminal Justice major, from the University of Arizona. From 1982-2005, he served in the U.S. Army in a variety of positions, including Pershing missiles Platoon Commander and Operations Officer, Field Artillery Battery Commander, Combat Maneuver Training Center Observer Controller, Field Artillery Instructor, Battalion Executive Officer, Division Fire Support Coordinator, Training Support Battalion Commander, and Professor of Military Science. Michael also owns a IT Cloud Service business with his son providing Cloud and Network Services to small and medium business across the US.
Craig S. Aberbach
Office: City of Hailey Fire Department, Idaho
Aberbach was named Fire Chief for the City of Hailey in November 2013. He has over 25 years of fire rescue, emergency management and administrative leadership experience. He has served as division chief, battalion chief and captain of special operations. His broad experience includes operations, life safety, prevention and support services, labor matters, and budget preparation and planning. Prior to becoming Hailey’s Fire Chief, he was a Division Chief with the Cape Coral Fire Rescue & Emergency Management Services Department located in Southwest Florida from 1986-2013, holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Hodges University, a Bachelor's degree from International College, and an AA in Fire Science. He is a Florida State Certified Fire Instructor 3, Fire Officer, Fire Inspector and EMT. He instructs fire classes for Edison College, the Florida State Fire School, FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Idaho State University and various vocational programs. His efforts and excellence earned him the recognition of the State of Florida's Fire Service Instructor of the year in 2000.
Office: Meridian Fire Department, Idaho
Charles began his career in the fire service in 1996 with the City of Sun Valley Fire Department, in Sun Valley Idaho, as an entry level firefighter. In 1998, he completed the Basic-EMT course. Through the next several years, he progressed through the ranks of the Sun Valley Fire Department to the rank of Captain. In 2001, Charles moved to the City of Hailey, Idaho at which time he joined Wood River Fire and Rescue as a Firefighter/EMT. Always interested in pursuing the next level, he completed paramedic school in 2003 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant/Paramedic for Wood River Fire and Rescue in 2006.
In 2004, Charles began his pursuit of higher education obtaining an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Fire Service Technology from the College of Southern Idaho in 2007, a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Colorado State University in 2010, and a Master’s degree in Education from Colorado State University in 2012. In 2013, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Sun Valley Fire Department, Sun Valley Idaho. In 2016, Charles accepted the position of Division Chief of Planning with the Meridian Fire Department in Meridian, Idaho. During his fire service career, he has also completed Pro-Board certification to the level of Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor II and is also a certified Fire Investigation Technician through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).
Captain of Fire Prevention
Office: Boise Fire Department, Idaho
Todd is a fire professional with over 17 plus years’ experience in Fire Protection and Fire Prevention.
Office: daho Falls Fire Department, Idaho
In October, 2014, Dave became the new fire chief of Idaho Falls Fire Department. Hanneman has more than 30 years of experience in firefighting and emergency medical services. In 2008, he became the fire chief of the city of Chula Vista where he implemented a new paramedic program and developed a fire facility master plan. He started his career in 1984 with the Cole-Collister Fire District in Boise. He transferred to Boise Fire Department in 1988 where he worked for 21 years and achieved the rank of deputy chief.
Hanneman holds an AA and BA in fire service technology from Boise State University and a MA in professional technical education from the University of Idaho. He served as president of the Sand Diego County Fire Chief’s Association from 2011-2014. In 2008 he was designated chief fire officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has provided instruction in many areas of fire and EMS services including leadership, incident management, National Incident Management System, incident stress management and public information.
Office: City of Jerome, Idaho
Chief Hughes came to the City of Jerome in 2013 to serve as Deputy Fire Chief, and was promoted to Fire Chief in October of that year. He serves on many committees within the City and represents the City of Jerome to different State agencies. He is a part time fire instructor with Eastern Idaho Technical College and an Adjunct Instructor for Idaho State University. Chief Hughes has been in the fire service for 19 years, serving in New Jersey, Connecticut and Oklahoma. He has spent nine years working for the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) at Oklahoma State University on many state and national projects relating to firefighter education, firefighter health & safety and public fire & life safety education. His areas of expertise are in structural firefighting, fire safety education and firefighter training. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration, a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Fire & Arson Investigation from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
Office: City of Springdale Fire Department, Arkansas
Irwin began his employment career in retail management where he worked for over 13 years. During the past few years of this career he became involved in volunteering for both a Fire Department and EMS service. In 1989, Irwin was hired as a career firefighter with the Lee's Summit Fire Department where he enjoyed a great career and retired at the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. Irwin accepted an appointment with the Pocatello Fire Dept in Jan 2009, and served there as Fire Chief until August of 2012 when he accepted the position of Fire Chief in Springdale, AR. Irwin says Springdale FD is a great department and has a very bright future. His ultimate goal is to provide the best, most efficient emergency services available, while continuing to improve the department, and the goal of achieving accreditation.
Irwin has a MBA in Business Administration from Baker University, a Bachelor’s in Business Management from University of Phoenix, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program and a graduate of the NFA, University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute.
Office: City of Middleton Fire Department, Ohio
Robert has been in the fire service for over 27 years between volunteer and career departments. He has served the Middletown Fire Department in Connecticut for 23 years in various ranks including: Lieutenant, Training Division Captain, Deputy Chief, and in 2014 was promoted to Fire Chief.
Robert is involved in many community organizations including the Vice President of the Middletown Kiwanis and the Advisory Board on the Middletown Salvation Army.
He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. He earned a B.S. in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University in 2008 and earned his M.S. in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2009.
Office: Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center
Rick Tivis graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Masters in Public Health specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology. He is a bio-statistician with 20+ years of experience in health related research. Currently, he serves as the Statistician for the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education at the Boise VA Medical Center and is a Research Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University. At ISU he teaches graduate statistics to future health care professionals and Analytic Applications for students in the Fire Service Administration program. Mr. Tivis has a passion for statistical literacy in all professions. Rick also serves as the statistical editor for the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation and is active in health care in the community serving as a founding and current board member of the Canyon County Community Clinic.
Office: Caldwell Fire Dept
Chief Wendelsdorf started his career in a high school cadet program with the Homewood Fire Department, located just south of Chicago, Illinois. After serving 5 years as a Firefighter/Paramedic with Homewood he moved to Flossmoor Fire Department and served as the Training Officer for the Department. In April of 1991 Chief Wendelsdorf moved to Caldwell Idaho, and served as the Assistant Chief responsible for Training and Hazardous Materials until 2004 when he was appointed Fire Chief.
Chief Wendelsdorf has an Associate degree in Fire Science, Bachelors in Fire Service Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration. He has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the National Fire Academy and has also been awarded the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) in 2003. In 2008 Chief Wendelsdorf was one of six Fire Service members to attend Harvard University Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. In 2011 Chief Wendelsdorf earned the recognition of Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE), a world leader in Fire Prevention and Life Safety.
Chief Wendelsdorf, enjoys teaching for Idaho State University. Chief Wendelsdorf serves on the Idaho State Interoperability Executive Council representing the Idaho Fire Chiefs; Idaho Hazardous Materials State Plan Planning Committee, and numerous other committees.
In 2010 Chief Wendelsdorf was elected as the Vice-President of the Western Fire Chiefs Association. In 2012 he served as the President of the Western Fire Chiefs and in 2014 moved to the International Directors position, representing the Western Chief on the IAFC Board of Directors. Chief Wendelsdorf was presented with the Award of Excellence, by the Western Chiefs in August of 2014.
Chief Wendelsdorf is married and is expecting his first child, and future Fire Chief, in April of 2015.
James L. Wenzel
Fire Chief (Retired)
Office: Klamath County Fire District No. 1
Jim has been involved in the provision, training, education, and administration of fire and emergency services for more than forty years, with 20 years at the Chief Officer level. Experiences have ranged from Fire, Emergency Management, EMS, Hazardous Materials, and Rescue, to training, education, supervision, management, administration, and leadership. Educational experiences include curriculum management, and online course development and instruction. Through those experiences, Jim learned to deal positively with students, teachers, responders, administrators, community leaders, and elected officials from planning and training, to crisis and recovery situations.
Jim has an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science, and a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in Instructional Technology. In addition, he has almost completed his Doctoral research, focusing on Distance Education and its implication for the national and international Fire Service and Emergency Management response communities. Certification as an Executive Fire Officer from the National Fire Academy and California Certified Chief Officer rounds out his education and training background.
Office: Pocatello Fire Department, Idaho
Gates is an 20-year veteran of the Pocatello Fire Department