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Bea Day – Incident Commander
Bea has worked for the Forest Service since 1985.  She began her career on the Sawtooth NF in Idaho as a seasonal, working in Timber and in Fire as a Hotshot crew member.  Bea received her permanent appointment in 1990 on the Tonto National Forest and over the next 20 years worked in a variety of jobs as an Engine Captain, District Assistant Fire Management Officer, and Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer.  She moved to the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands and was the Forest Fire Management Officer from 2008 through 2016 when she moved into the Risk Management Officer for Fire Operations job in the Southwestern Regional Office.

During her time in the Southwest, she had tenures as Incident Commander of a Type 2 Incident Management Team and as IC for the Southwest Type 1 IMT.  In 2019, she moved into her current role as the Incident Commander for the Portland National Incident Management Organization (NIMO).

Sara Sweeney – Superintendent, Mormon Lake Hotshots

Sara started her fire career with a rural fire department in tiny Pownal, VT in 1998 where the only rule for responding to a “brush fire” was that you probably didn’t want to wear a sleeveless shirt.  In 2000, she was hired onto the BD crew for the Manchester Ranger District where she spent two years thinning and burning and acquiring the “fire bug” after going west on throw-together Type 2 crews.  She was hired for the first full operational season of the Midewin Hotshots in 2002, then spent three years rappelling in R6 for the Wenatchee Rappellers.

In 2006, Sara returned to the IHC community as a senior with the Rogue River Hotshots based in Prospect, OR.  In 2007, she migrated to the Baker River Hotshots in NW Washington, where she spent several years as a squadleader.  In 2012, she made the jump to R2 when she detailed into and then accepted the Assistant Superintendent position with the Craig Hotshots in NW Colorado, and spent three years working for the BLM.  At the end of the 2014 season, she returned to the Inland Northwest in R1 and accepted a position as the Assistant Superintendent for the Bitterroot Hotshots based in Darby, MT.

Through all of these job moves, her one constant was a home base nestled in the heart of Washington state’s North Cascades, where she was able to feed an obsessive passion for trail running, mountain biking, Nordic and backcountry skiing, and almost anything else outdoors.

In 2018, she was offered and accepted her current position as the Superintendent of the Mormon Lake Hotshots, where she continues to be passionate about learning, fitness, and passing on the fundamentals of fire and leadership to the next generation.  In her “spare” time, she is enjoying finding new playgrounds in the Southwest by skiing, biking, and training for and competing in ultramarathons.  Additional pastimes that keep her gainfully busy involve travel adventures with her husband, cooking healthy food, sporadic attempts to master Russian, and trying to coax vegetables from the recalcitrant northern Arizona soil.

Stuart (Stu) Rodeffer – Logistics Section Chief Portland NIMO Team
Stu, joined the Forest Service Nov, 2019 coming from Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management where he was the Safety Officer. He retired after a 22 year career as a firefighter/paramedic (Battalion Chief) for the Northwest Fire District in Tucson, AZ. Stu, has an eclectic history of all-hazard and NWCG assignment, he describes himself as a life long learner and wants to make a difference.

March 18, 2021
Leading towards a more inclusive Wildland Fire Community “Just because it has always been does not mean it has to continue to be”
Presented by Terry Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters

As our societies grow and change, the wildland fire community has to continue to evolve in its workforce and practices to better meet the expectations place upon it. Although the thought of and having diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations can be challenging, they represent opportunities for each of us to engage and lead from where we are. This session will focus on learning through sharing stories and experiences to provoke introspection problem solving.

February 23, 2021
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A Practice for Challenging Times and All Times. A way of being happy
Presented by Michelle Reugebrink

Considering the intensity of the past year, from historic wildfires to social and economic tensions to a global pandemic, it is no wonder that many of us are experiencing burnout, stress, and anxiety. This includes first responders who regularly experience critical incidents and ongoing stress. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) program is available to help you cope with a range of stressors and anxiety through a medical and science-based approach. Psychological resilience can be learned through specific practices and has been found to bolster resiliency in the face of, and in recovering from, stress.

November 23, 2020
Nine Insights from Living with PTSD: From Darkness to the Light, a Wildland Firefighter Perspective
Presented by Marc Titus

PTSD is quietly impacting wildland firefighters with its often devastating personal and professional repercussions. While no official numbers exist, suicide has become another statistic now necessary to track within the wildland community as anecdotal data show an alarming trend. While agency’s come to grips with this burgeoning problem, firefighters can educate themselves to better understand the dynamics of stress, trauma and PTSD. This event will provide a unique view of the insidious nature of trauma, its effects on the human being with an eye towards recovery and nine key insights derived from the experiences of a wildland firefighter afflicted by this nervous system injury.

October 6, 2020
Emotional Intelligence for Wildland Fire Professionals
“WHY IT MATTERS AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE”
Presented by Kelly Martin

It is crucial for wildland fire professionals today to be technically competent in their jobs. What is less obvious and less understood is the cognitive competency needed for our professional job performance. This event will provide you a better understanding of our own thought processes and how we make decisions on emotional feelings, social inputs, and how developing a high level of Emotional Intelligence can affect risk decision job performance as well as our daily performance.