iTEMA Board

President and Interim-Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Photo of Board Member - Jake HeflinJake Heflin is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation. He is from the Wa-Xa-Ko-Li District and Tzi-Zho Wah-Shtah-Keh clan. His Osage name is Tah-Wah Gka-Keh (Town Maker). Jake is the current President and CEO for the Tribal Emergency Management Association – “iTEMA”.

Jake is a Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of Long Beach Fire Department. Currently, Jake is assigned to the Community Services Division as serves as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program Manager for the Fire Department. Jake has been involved in emergency services for over 22 years. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Jake started with the fire service in 1991 as a Paid Call Firefighter for the Orange County Fire Department. In 1994, Jake graduated from Paramedic School at Saddleback College in 1994. In 2000, Jake was hired by the Long Beach Fire Department. Jake is a member of California Urban Search and Rescue Regional Task Force #3. He is a member of the Long Beach Fire Department Honor Guard and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) team. Previously, he has served as the LBFD Paramedic Committee Chair, the California State Firefighters Association (CSFA) EMS Committee Chair and a member on the CSFA Tribal Committee. He also sat as a member of the California State Emergency Medical Services Authority Directors Advisory Group. Currently, Jake serves as a Director for the Long Beach Fireman’s Mutual Benefit Association.

Jake is a Paramedic Preceptor for Los Angeles County and has served as a skills and peer instructor for fire and EMS related training. Jake has a Bachelors of Science in Occupational Studies – Vocational Arts from California State University, Long Beach, Ca., Associate of Science in Fire Administration from Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, Ca., Associate of Science in Fire Technology, Medical Services Officer, Santa Ana College, an Associate of Science in Public Fire Service from Santa Ana College, and an Associate of Science in Paramedicine from Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, Ca. Jake holds a California State Teaching Credential and is certified by the California State Fire Marshal’s office as a Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and Fire Officer.

In 2005, Jake was hired as a Consultant for the Osage Nation to design and develop an all-encompassing emergency healthcare system for Osage County, Oklahoma and the Osage Nation. Since then, Jake’s involvement with emergency services in “Indian Country” has increased significantly. Jake sits as a Tribal Representative for a multi-agency federal government task force known as the Tribal Assistance Coordination Group (TAC-G). The TAC-G’s primary focus relates to emergency management in Indian Country. Jake served as a member of the National Tribal All-Hazards Incident Management Team Focus Group sponsored by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and is a past Vice President of the National Native American Emergency Medical Services Association (NNAEMSA). Jake is the National Director of Tribal Affairs for the California State Firefighters’ Association. Jake is an adjunct instructor for FEMA/EMI where he teaches tribal emergency management, CERT Train-the-Trainer and CERT Program Manager throughout the country. In addition, Jake also serves as a CERT Train-the-Trainer Instructor for California Volunteers.

Jake has served in both the public and private sector throughout his tenure in emergency services. During 9 years with the Orange County Fire Authority, Jake served in various capacities including a Paid Call Firefighter, Paid Call Fire Apparatus Engineer and Paid Call Fire Captain. He was also an instructor at multiple Paid Call Fire Academies. From 1994-2000, Jake was employed by Adams Ambulance/American Medical Response. During that time, Jake worked as a Paramedic, Field Training Officer, and Operations Supervisor.

Jake has also worked in the technology industry where he worked as the Director of Operations for a small start-up company that was doing research and development for a pre-hospital product that was designed to assist medical providers in obtaining a printed patient history via a small dime-sized micro-chip information button. Currently, Jake is providing direction to a new start-up company that is bringing enhanced technology to Personal Emergency Response Systems.

Jake sits on the Board of Directors for Global Peace Partners, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit.

Organization with the stated goal to transport teams of emergency responders with needed supplies and equipment, anywhere in the world within hours of a global catastrophe.

Vice President and Interim-Chief Operating Officer (COO) [Not Pictured]

Kenneth (Ken) Tiller serves as the Second Lieutenant Governor for the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. Ken is the current Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the Tribal Emergency Management Association (iTEMA) and serves as the appointed Tribal Representative for the All-Indian Pueblo Council.

Ken is the former Emergency Management Coordinator for the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. He held that position from 2004 until retiring in 2013. Ken was responsible for emergency management operations covering a land base of approximately 600,000 acres and a resident population of 8,315 with a transient population of approximately 20,000 that travel through the Pueblo every day along Interstate 40.

Ken served in the United States Army as a member of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. From 1977 through 1981 Ken was assigned to various areas that included a deployment to the Middle East as a Reconnaissance Specialist. He was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army as a Sergeant (E-5).

Upon returning from active duty, Ken joined the City of Albuquerque Fire Department. Throughout his 20 years of service with the fire department, Ken served as a firefighter/paramedic and performed various other duties such as search and rescue, hazardous materials response, and fire prevention activities.

Ken served the Albuquerque Fire Department with distinction and honor. He was awarded several commendations for “Dauntless Courage in the Line of Duty”. He received the first Medal of Valor presented to an Albuquerque Firefighter. In 1986, Ken was selected that Firefighter of the Year for his heroic actions during a swiftwater rescue in which Ken’s selfless actions resulted in the rescue of a young boy that had been swept down an arroyo during a flash flood.

In 2000, Ken received recognition and acknowledgement for “Dauntless Courage and Professional Skills” from the State of New Mexico’s 44th Legislature Second Session for his role in the Ciero Grande Forest Fire. Ken and the members of his engine company played a vital role in protecting not only the City of Los Alamos, but also the Nation’s first Nuclear Energy, Weapons and Research Center at Los Alamos.

As an enrolled Tribal member, Ken continues to serve the people of the Pueblo of Laguna. Currently, Ken sits as the Second Lieutenant Governor, an elected position within his Tribal government. Throughout previous years, Ken’s responsibilities have included Council Representative for the Village of Paguate, First Fiscale and a prior term as Second Lieutenant Governor. He is active in his community and continues to serve the people of Laguna Pueblo as a mentor and cultural advocate. Ken is fluent in his native language.

In 2004, Ken developed and received approval for the Laguna Pueblo Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Ken continues to develop and enhance the Pueblo of Laguna’s Division of Emergency Management. He routinely provides direction and guidance for other Pueblos throughout New Mexico as they create and develop emergency management capabilities.

Ken is also a contract instructor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) where he specializes in teaching Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Government, Emergency Management Operations for Tribal Government, and Continuity of Operations for Tribal Government. Ken is also teaches Mitigation for Tribal Government, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer and CERT Program Manager across the country.

 

Photo of Board Member - Dore BietzDore Bietz (Northern and Southern Me-Wuk) resides on the Tuolumne Rancheria in Central California. After receiving a degree in Landscape Architecture, Ms. Bietz has worked for tribes specializing in realty and land use. As a former council woman, Dore understands the complexities of tribal governments and the need to foster better communication between tribes and outside agencies. An expert in California Indian land issues, Ms. Bietz has testified in front of Congress, worked with the administration on land regulations and served as a technical consultant to Tribes throughout the country.

Ms. Bietz currently works as a Planner for the Tuolumne MeWuk Tribal Council where she is involved in every aspect of community development. Ms. Bietz also serves as the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribal CERT as the Program Manager and is a CERT Instructor working with the Tribal Community in developing their emergency management system. Outside of her daily work routine, Dore is a member of the National Ski Patrol and serves as a first responder to both the Dodge Ridge and Kirkwood Ski Resorts.

 

Photo of Board Member - Jason DobronzJason Dobronz became the Emergency Management Specialist II for True North Emergency Management in October 2013; Jason has been in the field of Emergency Management since 2004. Prior to joining True North Emergency Management, he was the Director of Emergency Management for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He joined the Seminole Tribe in 2008 and during his tenure for the Seminole Tribe, Jason was responsible for preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disaster for the Tribal Government and Seminole Gaming.

Jason has been involved in 13 federally declared disasters during his tenure in Emergency Management. He also developed and taught college level courses for Broward College. He has also served roles for Broward County Emergency Management and the City of Delray Beach. Jason earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Emergency Planning from Lynn University. Jason has also earned his Professional Development Series and Advanced Professional Series Certifications from FEMA. Jason currently holds the Florida Professional Emergency Manager certification.

 

Photo of Board Member - Mike RussMichael Russ has a full time position as the Disaster Services Manager for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, in Highland CA, Michael G Russ is responsible for maintaining, organizing and coordinating the emergency and disaster preparedness response and training for the tribe and its employees. This includes the development and implementation of emergency plans and procedures as well as developing programs for the enhancement of disaster preparedness training.

In addition to his Disaster Services Manager position, Michael is also a Fire Captain with the San Manuel Fire Department and has been with the Department since its establishment in 2003. Prior to his employment with San Manuel, Michael has been in the Fire Service, first with the California Department of Fire Protection (CalFire), then with the San Bernardino County Fire Department, dating back to his first experience as a Volunteer Firefighter in 1980. He obtained his Emergency Medical Technician certification in 1987 and still maintains his active status as an EMT I.

Michael is currently certified as a Chief Fire Officer, CA State Fire Officer, Hazardous Materials Technician, Rescue Specialist, Rescue Systems Instructor, Confined Space Rescue Instructor, CERT Instructor and CERT Program Manager. He is also certified in Critical Stress Management (CISM) and Peer Support and has assisted in several high profile incidents.

Michael achieved an Associates of Science Degree in Fire Technology and has numerous certifications from the National Fire Academy, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), FEMA, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), Texas A&M University, CA State Peer Support Association, CA State Fire Training, and CA State Training Institute (CSTI). He is currently enrolled in the Tribal Administration Certification Program at Claremont College.

 

Photo of Board Member - Willo SylestineWilliam “Willo” Sylestine is the Emergency Management Coordinator of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. He has served as the Fire Chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Nation Volunteer Fire Department since 1997 and has been a member of the Fire Department for 25 years. Willo worked as an Emergency Medical Technician in Jasper, Tyler, San Jacinto and Polk Counties for over 10 years. He previously worked in Law Enforcement from 1996 – 2005 as a Jailer, Dispatcher, Sheriff’s Deputy for Tyler County and Police Officer for the City of Onalaska and was the Director of Security at the Entertainment Center Casino.

Willo has obtained numerous hours of training in Emergency Management, Fire Suppression, Prevention and Awareness. He is a member of the DETCOG Emergency Response Task Force and Communication Committee. Willo has served as the Chairperson of USET’s Emergency Services Committee for the past six years and is involved with the construction of the TEMAC, Tribal Emergency Management Assistance Compact, with USET Emergency Services and Justice Committees; a document they hope all of Indian Country may benefit from.

 

 

Photo of Board Member - Roger TungoviaRoger Tungovia was born and raised on the Hopi Reservation. He entered the military in 1972 and actively served with a Mobile Infantry unit, and an Air Assault unit, active reserve and National Guard for a total of nine (9) years.

Worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for twenty (20) years in the Road Maintenance Department. Started as a laborer, truck driver and worked my way up to the heavy equipment operator supervisor. Was trained as a Heavy Equipment Instructor.

Was hired by the Hopi Tribe in 1995, and worked in different programs for the past 17 years. Programs such as; Property Dismantling & Disposal Program; Abandoned Mine Lands Program; Heavy Equipment Rental Program; Hopi Coal Project, Solid Waste Compliance Inspector; Environmental Clean Up Projects; Bioterrorism Program, Emergency Management Program; Clean Air Partnership Project; Renewable Energy Program; also trained as a Commercial Drivers License Instructor and continued as a Heavy Equipment Operator Instructor. In 2010 was recalled back into emergency response for dealing with a severe winter storm and a major flooding incident on Hopi and was hired in December of 2010 to develop and implementing the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Services.

 

 

 

 

iTEMA Sergeant at Arms (Not Pictured)

Fuzzy Fletcher brings a vision of working in unison for the good of Indian Country and rural America. He has worked in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security arena for 12 years, most recently with the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe as the Director of Public Safety. During his time with the Snoqualmie Tribe, Mr. Fletcher wrote all of the Emergency plans for the Tribe, including: Comp. EM plan, All Hazard plan, Clinic and medical preparedness plans and Hazard ID Assessments. He is certified in ICS 100-400 as a trainer along with multiple other certifications, including Active Shooter and multiple Terrorism Certifications.

Prior to his work with Snoqualmie Tribe as the Dir. of Emergency Management (EM) and Homeland Security, Mr. Fletcher served as the Mayor of the City of Snoqualmie, WA from 1998-2005. As Mayor, he participated in the writing and editing of the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and was instrumental in code writing for communication readiness and operability for the 1st Responders for the City, as well as continuing to train with the City’s HAM team (SECAST) as a technician, to this day.

Mr. Fletcher has been active in communications for Homeland Security, fire, police and emergency services for Tribes and rural jurisdictions for his entire EM career. Mr. Fletcher is currently on the King County Executive Radio Policy committee. He served on the SAFECOM Executive Committee as a Tribal representative. The SAFECOM Executive Committee (EC) and SAFECOM Emergency Response Council (ERC) work with existing Federal communications programs and key emergency response stakeholders to address the need to develop better technologies and processes for the multi-jurisdictional and cross-disciplinary coordination of existing communications systems and future networks.

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