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2013-2014 Executive Board of Directors

The next executive board meeting is scheduled for:

November, 2013

[Click here to view executive board roster]

Current Board Members:
(Click on a board members name to view a picture and bio)

Bill Gardner- President
Rusty Kattner- First Vice President
Paul Hamilton- Second Vice President
Henry Perry- Third Vice President
Harvie Cheshire- Fourth Vice President
Joe Ondrasek - Secretary
Jim White- Assistant Secretary
Ben Kennedy - Chaplain
David Wade- Past President
Jo Dee Ondrasek - Mascot (non-voting)
Chris Barron - Executive Director (non-voting)
Rayford Gibson - Parlimentarian (non-voting)


Name: Bill Gardner(click to email)
Rank: Chief
Department: Leander Fire Department

Bio: became a member of the Panhandle District and the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association.  He also volunteered with the Matador Volunteer Fire Department and Littlefield Volunteer Fire Department over the years.  Bill obtained several certifications including SFFMA Master FF, Fire Prevention specialist, Certification Coordinator and Level II Instructor, TCFP Certified Instructor, TCFP Master FF, as well as becoming a Certified Paramedic and several other certifications.  In the late 90s he worked for both Lubbock County EMS and Lamb County Emergency Management simultaneously while volunteering at Sudan Fire Department.

 In 1999 Bill relocated to the Central Texas.  While working for Austin/Travis County EMS he volunteered at Jollyville Fire Department (‘99-’03) then at Leander Volunteer Fire Department (’03-’05).  Recognized twice as the ATCEMS Paramedic of the Year (1999 & 2001) as well as the EMS First Responder of the Year (2001 & 2002) at Jollyville.  He instructs at TEEX area schools and Annual Schools and has been the Lead Instructor on the Transport Fire Course at Municipal Fire School since 2009. 
Bill served on the TEEX EMS Leadership Academy Advisory Board and the Governor’s EMS Trauma Advisory Board for several years.  He also serves as a member of the Williamson County Fire Chiefs Association, the Williamson Country Public Safety Technology Committee, and the Cen-Tex Type III Incident Management Team.  The Wilco Technology Committee was responsible for researching and identifying a universal CAD system county wide which began the first phase of implementation this spring.  As part of the Incident Management Team, Bill has deployed major incidents such as, Hurricane Ike, Montague County Fire , Management of the Swine Flu Epidemic, and the Possum Kingdom Fire as well as several regional and local events.

 In 2005 Bill accepted the position of Deputy Fire Chief for the Leander Fire Department.  In 2008 he graduated from the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy and in 2010 he was appointed Fire Chief of Leander FD.  LFD is a combination department with over seventy-five members working out of three stations.


Name: Rusty Kattner (click to email)

Bio: <Coming Soon>

SFFMA - 2nd Vice President

Name: Paul Hamilton (click to email)

Bio: <Coming Soon>

SFFMA - 3rd Vice President

Name: Henry Perry (click to email)
Rank: Chief
Department: Bastrop Fire Department

Henry Perry first became part of the fire service in 1973, when he was elected mascot of the Central Texas district, serving in 1974.  Henry was elected Mascot for the SFFMA in 1977, serving in 1978 at the Lubbock convention.   
Henry began firefighting with the Lampasas Volunteer Fire Department in 1984, rising to the rank of Captain, before his job with the LCRA moved him to Bastrop in 1994.  Henry joined the Bastrop Fire Department in 1994, serving as Captain for 1 year, Asst. Chief for 10 years and serving as Chief of the Department since 2006.
Henry served the Central Texas district as President in 2003.  His father Buddy, served as president of the Central Texas district in 1983.  His mother Katrinka served the TFA as President in 1985.  His Daughter Chelsea served the Central Texas district as Mascot in 2006.
Henry has been employed by the Lower Colorado River Authority since 1986. Henry has held the positions of patrolman, district operator, system operator and shift supervisor system operator.
Henry has taught at the Capital Area Interagency Wildfire & Incident Management Academy since 2001.  Henry instructs as TEEX annual municipal school in Phase 1, Ground Cover.  He also instructs at the Bastrop FD annual TEEX area school.

SFFMA - 4th Vice President

Name: Harvie Cheshire (click to email)

Bio: <Coming Soon>



Name: Joe Ondrasek (click to email)
Rank: Chief
Department: Brazos County Precinct 4 Volunteer Fire Department

Bio: Joe Ondrasek joined the Brazos County Precinct 4 Volunteer Fire Department in 1982. As a member of this organization he Trained and gained certification in the SFFMA program. Progressing through the ranks and currently serving as Fire chief since 1992. The Department is an all Volunteer Fire Department operating out of 3 fire stations, covering 120 square miles of Rural Northwest Brazos County. Each year the Department responds to over 500 calls for service including: Fires, Rescues, Haz-Mat, Motor Vehicle Accidents and First Responder EMS incidents.  The Department operates 3 engines and 3 brushes trucks.  Each Fire Station is equipped with Dormitories which are made available to qualifying firefighters at no charge. While maintaining his membership with the Volunteer fire department, he became certified as a TCFP firefighter and Investigator, as well as Paramedic and numerous other certifications which he maintains today.
In 1994, he was hired by the City of Bryan Fire Department, a job he had dreamed of and waited for. Being born and Raised in Brazos County, he believed that one day he would work for the Bryan Fire Department being exposed to the fire service early in my childhood through parents who were members of Brazos County Precinct 4 VFD.

Married to Missy since 1986, he has three daughters: Lasey, Sarah, JoDee and one grandchild, Caleb Hager. The Fire Service is a Family affair for their family; they all try and stay involved in it at many levels. They are all active in Central Texas District of the Association and their daughters have served as the Sweetheart of the Precinct 4 Auxiliary.  Missy is also involved at the State level serving as Donation Chairman for the Texas Firemen’s Auxiliary.

Volunteer firefighters across this State continue to devote and dedicate their service to their communities. We should all expect the highest level of training and service of ourselves and strive to attain that individually.

Joe truly believes that the Volunteer Fire Service is the Core of Americas Fire Service and we should all be proud of our service in it and encourage those near us and in our communities to Give their time to their local Volunteer Fire Department.

SFFMA - Assistant Secretary

Name: Jim White (click to email)
Rank: Rescue Chief
Department: Overton Fire Department

Bio: <Coming Soon>


Name: Ben Kennedy (click to email)
Rank: Associate Training Specialist
Department: TEEX/ESTI


Name:David Wade (click to email)
Department: Deer Park VFD

Bio: David Wade joined the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department in 1980 and was awarded "Rookie of the Year" of his graduating class. Early in his career, he served as a fire inspector under the direction of the Deer Park Fire Marshal, and was a certified Paramedic from 1988 – 2005. He has gone on to serve the fire department in the roles of EMS Captain, Vice President, and President. He currently serves as Safety Officer, a position he has held since 1995.
The Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1950 to provide fire protection to the citizens of Deer Park.  At that time there were 11 charter members, one fire engine and a one bay fire station.
Since that time, the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department has grown to serve an area of approximately 17 square miles in Southeast Harris County, consisting of The City of Deer Park and the industrial district, which houses many of the largest producers of petro chemicals along the Houston Ship Channel.
The membership has grown to over 80 members, 16 pieces of equipment, 4 command vehicles, 4 support vehicles, 3 fire stations and a training field.  The Volunteers of Deer Park provide Fire and EMS coverage to over 33,000 citizens that live within the city, as well as fire education to over 3000 children each year.  Current call volume averages about 3,000 per year.

David is on the Executive Board of the Harris County Fire Fighters’ Association, and also serves on the Executive Board for the SFFMA Gulf Coast and Tri-Rivers Districts. He also serves as the Safety Coordinator for the SFFMA and TEEX-ESTI Annual Spring and Summer Fire Schools. David represents the firefighters of Harris County on the Regional Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), First Responder Committee.

David became Harris County’s first Industrial Liaison in December of 2004 and is assigned to the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management under the direction of Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. As the Industrial Liaison, David partners with Industry along the nation's second largest port, as well as other industries in Harris County, to assist with all-hazards emergency planning, security, and emergency communications during large-scale incidents. He was also instrumental in developing and managing the Nation’s first Industry Essential Personnel Credentialing System and the East Harris County Manufacturers’ Association (EHCMA) Hurricane Status Reporting System. As Industrial Liaison, David also participates on the EHCMA Security Committee, Area Maritime Security Council, Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council for the Southern District of Texas, and the Capt. of the Port’s Port Coordination Team, just to name a few. Since Harris County is home to the second largest port and the largest petrochemical complex in the nation, the liaison function is critical to the region’s homeland security, preparedness, and emergency response. Before his employment with Harris County, David worked for E.I. Du Pont, with over 25 years in operations and emergency response.
David is involved in several local, State, and national conferences, serving on steering committees, and often a guest speaker for, the National Hurricane Conference, Texas Hurricane Conference, and HotZone Conference.

David is a charter member of the State’s San Jacinto Type III Incident Management Team, and is credentialed as a Logistics Section Chief, Liaison Officer, and Safety Officer. One of the highlights of David’s career was his assignment as Deputy Unified Area Commander, Night Operations, for the “Reliant City” mega-shelter operations in Houston during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
David is the proud father of his daughter, Morgan Wade.

SFFMA - MASCOT (non-voting)

Name: JoDee Ondrasek
Rank: N/A



Name: Chris Barron (click to email)
Rank: Chief
Department: Manchaca Fire/Rescue

Bio: Chris Barron currently serves as the Executive Director of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas where he is responsible for researching, negotiating and implementing membership benefits, forming strategic partnerships and alliances, and providing testimony in the state and national legislature.  Barron has been with the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association over eight years and served in the role of Deputy Director before being promoted to Executive Director in January of 2006.  Prior to coming to the Association, Barron was the Director of Fire Prevention for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  He was responsible for the oversight of the State’s fire prevention programs including the Texas Fire Incident Reporting System (TEXFIRS), the Public Protection Classification Oversight, the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Programs, and the Fire Safety House.  Barron was responsible for the annual Fire Marshal Conference and was instrumental in the formation of the Texas’ Line of Duty Death Investigation Team.  He served as the representative to FEMA’s fire prevention initiative, PARADE, and served on the peer review panel for prevention grant programs.

For over 22 years, Barron has been a member of the Manchaca Fire/Rescue located just outside of Austin, Texas.  Barron has been the Chief for eleven years and continues to serve as the Chief of the three station, 62 member department, which serves 14 square miles and runs over 700 calls a year providing fire suppression, fire prevention, and EMS First Response services to the citizens of the area.   He has led the organization from an all volunteer based organization to a combination department that has four paid staff and a full time Assistant Chief.  He has been instrumental in writing and securing five Department of Homeland Security grants and numerous state and local grants. Barron is a certified advanced firefighter, instructor, emergency care attendant and fire investigator and teaches CPR and first aid for his department and local community.

Director Barron represents SFFMA on several statewide committees such as the Rural Fire Advisory Council, the TEEX Advisory Council, HB2604 Grant Funding Committee, and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System Emergency Response Committee. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Texas State University.


Name: Rayford Gibson


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