Jeff Matthews is an Associate Consultant at Threat Suppression, Incorporated and is responsible for all of the technical rescue training courses offered at Threat Suppression. Jeff has more than 27 years of experience in emergency and disaster response, and technical rescue training. A 24-year veteran of the fire service, Jeff currently serves as the Chief of Health and Safety with a large, metropolitan fire department. Jeff is also an active member of the state’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, and deployed as a Deputy Task Force Leader to Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Prior to his current fire service employment, Jeff was employed by the Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Fire Department. Because of the department’s proximity to the coast, and the propensity of hurricane’s and tropical storms, Mt. Pleasant was in need of developing USAR response capability. In 2001, Mr. Matthews was named as the department’s Urban Search and Rescue Coordinator. During this appointment, a list of critical infrastructure was identified, a 5-year plan and a 10-year sustainment plan were created, and an interdepartmental (city-wide) response plan was written.
In 2010, Jeff published his first textbook, Technical Rescuer: Rope Levels 1 and 2 (Cengage Learning). Along with the technical writing of his own text, Jeff was relied upon to act as a subject matter expert for other titles to include Trench Rescue: Awareness, Operations, Technician (Cengage Learning) and Water Rescue (Cengage Learning). Jeff assisted in with the textbook Technical Rescuer: Structural Collapse (Cengage Learning) that is currently in development. He was specifically responsible for authoring the chapters on shoring and personal protective equipment. In addition, he was also a primary reviewer of the other chapters in the book.
Jeff is a recognized international expert in technical rescue, and in 2011 Jeff was asked to participate on the National Fire Protection Association 1006: Standard on Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications committee as a principle member. Jeff has also been called upon as a subject matter expert to evaluate standard operating guidelines, training plans, and to write programs of instructions for federal, state and local organizations.
In 2012, Jeff innovated his rope rescue skills into the realm of contingency rescue. These courses were designed to meet the needs of local, state, federal and military special operations personnel with regard to hasty rope egress, hasty collapse rescue, hasty auto extrication, fire survival and casualty management in the rescue environment. Jeff has extensively trained some of the Department of Defense’s most elite special warfare units.
Most recently, Jeff provided SME analysis and editorial commentary for an operational rescue article published in the Journal of Special Operations Medicine, Winter 2012 edition. Other writing projects include co-authoring the Operational Rescue chapter (Chapter 89) for Harvard University’s Disaster Medicine textbook.
Jeff is also the CEO of Technical Rescue Consultants, LLC (TRC). TRC focuses on technical rescue training for local, state and federal disaster response personnel as well as program evaluations and exercises. Jeff has served as a contract program manager for numerous technical training courses ranging from individual courses, to state-wide deliveries requiring the scheduling of 20+ trainers. In 2011, TRC was selected as the vendor to conduct a full-scale exercise and evaluation for the State of South Carolina and their Type 1 disaster response team, SC-TF-1. The exercise involved over 100 participants working at a simulated structural collapse. The evaluation also included a review of the team's deployment strategy and deployment execution. In 2012, TRC was selected by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council to provide FEMA equivalent training for central Florida’s urban search and rescue team, FL-TF-4 for a period of one year.
Jeff holds multiple instructor certifications. Jeff has an associate’s degree in fire science and a bachelor’s of science in business administration from Mountain State University. Jeff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.