Current Instructors and Bio's
Dan Zinge is a retired District Chief with Palm Harbor Fire Rescue (FL) and a 34 year veteran of the fire service. In 2008, Chief Zinge founded the North American Vehicle Rescue Association and through his work with NAVRA he is asked to lecture and teach at sites all over North America and Europe. In addition to his work with NAVRA Chief Zinge is the current Chair of the World Rescue Organization. As a long time advocate of the rescue challenge concept functioned as the Incident Commander & training coordinator of PHFR’s National and International Championship extrication team. Through his experience & efforts Chief Zinge is considered an expert in the field of vehicle rescue management.
Rick LePervost has over 34 years of fire service experience with 15 years of technical rescue experience and is the current NAVRA Director of Operations. Rick is a World Rescue Organization Assessor and one of NAVRA's lead Medical Instructor/Assessors. Rick is also dual certified as a Registered Nurse and has over twenty years experience as a Trauma Nurse. As a member of NAVRA's highly successful extrication team, Rick was the medic.
Carlos Eguilez BIO
Carlos retired in October 2018 as a FF/Driver Engineer/Paramedic who served for 31 years with the City of Coral Gables Fire Rescue Department (since 1988). As an original member of the CGFD Special Response Team (SRT) in 1991, Carlos remained involved competitively as a Medic, Technician and Incident Commander from 1991 through 2006. He served as the Team
Coordinator for 25 years (from 1992 through 2015). CGFD has won a total of 7 Regional, 1
International and 1 World Extrication Competitions. He was elected and served as the TERC (Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee) USA Executive Board Secretary (2006 - 2009) and has been a TERC USA Regional (1997), National and International (1999) Judge. In addition, Carlos was appointed to the World Rescue Organization Executive Board (2002 - 2004) and has been a WRO Assessor since 2001. He was appointed Lead Extrication Instructorfor the Miami Dade Medical Campus Paramedic and EMT Programs from 1994 through 2018, has also been a State Certified Vehicle Extrication Instructor since 1993 and is a certified VMR OPS/Tech Instructor.
Carlos had served as the NAVRA Assessors Coordinator from 2013 through 2016 and as Head
Judge in various World, National and Regional events for the Organization. He is currently a NAVRA/WRO Certified Assessor and was awarded the first ever NAVRA/TERC USA "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2016 by the Association.
Mike Harvey has over twenty-two years of fire service experience and sixteen years of technical rescue experience. Mike is one of NAVRA's lead Instructors and is a Regional
Assessor. As an original member of Palm Harbor Fire Rescues highly successful extrication team, Mike worked as the IC and most recently as a tool specialist.
RICHARD FERNANDEZ EMT-P, AS/EMS, IS A 24 YEAR VETERAN OF THE FIRE SERVICE. EMPLOYED BY CORAL GABLES FIRE DEPARTMENT, FL. USA, RICHARD HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF THE CGFD SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAM SINCE 1994. HE HAS COMPETED AS A MEDIC, TECHNICAL RESCUER AND INCIDENT COMMNADER. RICHARD RETIRED FROM COMPETITION IN 2004 AND HAS BEEN AN ASSESSOR SINCE 1997, STARTING AS A REGIONAL AND NATIONAL ASSESSOR FOR TERC USA AND CURRENTLY AN INTERNATIONAL ASSESSOR FOR NAVRA AS WELL AS THE WRO WHERE HE HAS ASSESSED MANY WRC CHALLENGES OVER THE YEARS. RICHARD WAS THE REGION 3 CHAIR PERSON FOR TERC USA AS WELL AS A MEMBER OF THE THEIR EDUCATIONAL COMMITTEE BEFORE RETIRING HIS POSITIONS TO FOCUS ON TRAINING ABROAD. HE HAS 19 YEARS OF TECHNICAL RESCUE EXPERIENCE AND IS AN INSTRUCTOR FOR MIAMI DADE COLLEGE WHERE HE DELIVERS BOTH EMS AND FIRE RELATED COURSES. RICHARD IS ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS FOR INTERAMERICAN FIREFIGHTERS INC, WHICH IS A TRAINING COMPANY REGISTERED IN THE USA AND COLOMBIA WHOSE MISSION IS TO PROVIDE QUALITY FIRE/RESCUE AND EMS TRAINING/CONSULTING AS WELL AS EQUIPMENT DONATIONS TO BROTHER/SISTER FIRE PERSONNEL FROM ALL OVER LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBEAN. TO THAT END, RICHARD IS THE PROJECT MANAGER OF THE INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ON BEHALF OF NAVRA, WHO WILL PARTNER WITH INTERAMERICAN FIREFIGHTERS INC, TO ACCOMPLISH THIS VERY WORTHWHILE AND NECESSARY MISSION. RICHARD IS CURRENTLY COORDINATING THE NAVRA SHADOW ASSESSOR PROGRAM AND HOPES TO BUILD AND STRENGTHEN THE LEVEL OF ASSESSORS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION. HE MAY BE REACHED AT R.P.FERNANDEZ@ATT.NET, CELL# 305-345-1309
Mike Huffman is a 26 year veteran of the fire service, currently serving as a Captain at Harlem- Roscoe Fire Department (HRFD). Mike previously served as a Firefighter/ EMT for nine years with the North Park Fire Protection District prior to joining HRFD where he received a Certificate of Honor from the Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal for his heroism in helping save a young girl from her burning home. Mike has competed, taught, and assessed in rescue symposiums throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe. Mike is currently the HRFD Extrication Team Instructor and a Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee (TERC) International Judge. He is also a Lead Instructor for the Monroe Fire School (WI) in vehicle extrication, an adjunct Field Instructor for vehicle extrication for Safe and Fast Extrication (SAFE) in Milwaukee, WI, and North American Vehicle Rescue Association (NAVRA), and was an Instructor for FDIC HOT Class with PXT this year. Mike is the co-founder of Auto X, a mobile training unit/company that travels throughout the Midwest teaching vehicle extrication.
DAVID SWEET has been in the Fire Rescue Service since 1984 and is currently the Deputy Fire Chief for the North Lauderdale (FL) Fire Rescue Department. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Administration and is the author of the book published by Jones and Bartlett; Vehicle Extrication Levels I and II: Principles and Practice which is endorsed by the NFPA and the IAFC.
Chief Sweet has also written several training articles for Fire Engineering Magazine and Carolina Fire Rescue Journal and is a state of Florida Level 3 instructor offering programs on basic to advanced skills in vehicle extrication as well as FL-USAR vehicle rescue programs. Chief Sweet has also taught the H.O.T. (hands on training) in vehicle extrication as the lead instructor at the 2006 Firehouse Expo in Las Vegas.
In addition, Chief Sweet has been an assessor and coordinator for numerous extrication competitions from local and National events to the 2005 International held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Chief Sweet remains active in training through various teaching engagements, seminars, vehicle extrication competitions, and writing commitments in which he is currently working on the second edition to the Vehicle Extrication Levels I and II: Principles and Practice textbook due out in the fall of 2017.
Tom Winkler Division Chief (retired) City of Seminole, Pinellas County Florida has been a part of the City’s Extrication Team for many years serving as tool technician, incident commander and training officer. His team has successfully competed in the TERC and NAVRA circuits since the late 1980’s winning many local, state and national challenges. Tom was part of the original NAVRA organization and competition team and a co-founder of the Suncoast Extrication Coalition. Tom currently works as a Hurst Jaws of Life Rescue Tool Specialist with MES and instructs throughout the Southeastern United States at many regional VMR educational events.