With over 34 years in the Mobile, Alabama, Fire-Rescue Department, Rick retired at the rank of Deputy Chief. As a Chief Officer, he directed the Divisions of EMS, Bureau of Fire Prevention, Training, and Operations and was instrumental in the development of the department’s Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team, Alabama Task Force One (ALTF-l), and continues to serve as a Task Force Leader.
As Deputy Chief of Operations, Rick was directly responsible for the day-to-day leadership, supervision, and direction of all operational activities of the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department. Overseeing an operational budget of over $22 million, he provided direction in emergency preparedness, planning, logistics, training, and incident mitigation, as well as developing programs and methods to best allow emergency response units to interface with the community.
Retiring as a Commander with over 28 years of service in the Coast Guard Reserve, Rick’s final assignment was as the Senior Reserve Officer, Sector New Orleans, where he was responsible for the training and operational readiness of over 210 personnel to meet challenging Coast Guard missions. Indicative of his knowledge and experience, Rick has responded to some of recent memories’ largest incidents. He has served as a Reserve Chemical Response Officer, Reserve Operations Officer, and Senior Reserve Officer with the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force (NSF). While assigned to the National Strike Force, Rick was called to active duty service in response to the World Trade Center after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Throughout his careers, Rick has instructed numerous courses in Hazardous Materials, Incident Command, and other emergency management courses at local, county, and state levels, as well as for federal agencies’ and private industry emergency response members. Lending his expertise to academia, he has also taught courses for the University of South Alabama’s Center for Emergency Response Training.
Rick has a Bachelor in Arts in History from the University of South Alabama and a Bachelor in Arts in Fire Administration from Memphis State University. He additionally is qualified as a Type 3 Incident Commander, Type 3 Operations Section Chief, and has been designated a Certified Emergency Manager-Advanced Level by the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers.