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Joseph "Joe" Burgess resides in Clermont, FL, with his wife Hilda and their three children. He became a firefighter in 1971 for the Tiogue Fire District in Rhode Island. Throughout his 33-year career in emergency response, Joe has served in several positions including Fire Chief of the Tiogue Fire District, secretary of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs and the Joint Council of Fire Hazardous Materials Committee. Mr. Burgess was also an active member and certified "Bomb Disposal Technician" for the Rhode Island Bomb Squad. His dedication to his profession has garnered him numerous honors, including two National Red Cross Merit Awards. In 1989, Joe opened the first office of Burgess & Associates Hot Zone USA. Presently, he teaches all levels of hazmat response, confined space rescue, high angle rescue and site-specific emergency response specialist programs. Mr. Burgess has shared his expertise in four FAVACA missions, including emergency response training in St. Kitts and Nevis. There, he gave a 40-hour bio-terrorism response class, did a full-scale terrorism exercise and donated 20 breathing apparatus for St. Kitts and Nevis firefighters valued at $3,000 each.
ST. KITTS-NEVIS FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES RECEIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TRAINING IN PREPARATION FOR INTERNATIONAL SPORTING EVENT. Carl Herbert, National Disaster Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency in St. Kitts requested FAVACA's technical assistance to prepare Fire and Rescue Services in the event of a chemical incident. The country is preparing to host two international Cricket matches in 2006 where thousands of visitors are expected to attend. Return volunteer Joe Burgess, from Clermont, the CEO and Senior Instructor at HotZone USA, has over 33 years of professional experience in all aspects of emergency response. First time volunteer William McDeavitt, Emergency Management Coordinator at Florida Hospital in Orlando, traveled to St. Kitts March 27-31, 2006 to provide training to improve emergency response skills in preparation for the upcoming events. St. Kitts Fire Chief Mr. Rawlings and officials from various agencies participated in the course. As the course required a lot of hands-on training, Mr. Burgess and Mr. McDeavitt provided the St. Kitts fire fighters with the necessary equipment required for the training such as a smoke machine, chemical suits, gloves, masks, vests, student supplies and other materials. A draft of an emergency response plan was produced at the end of the course.
BAHAMAS PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS CONFRONT BIO-TERRORISM AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. As the world is becoming more aware of the ramifications of bio-terrorism, it is the utmost concern that countries prepare for the worst. Paul Newbold, field director of the National Emergency Medical Services for the Public Hospitals Authority, in the Bahamas requested training in prevention, mitigation, and response to bio-terrorism and hazardous materials. Dr. George Buck, professor, Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, and the Center for Biological Terrorism Defense and Erin Hughey, research associate and instructor both with the University of South Florida in Tampa conducted the bio-terrorism training. Joseph Burgess, president and CEO and Hilda Burgess, manager, both with Hot Zone USA in Clermont conducted the hazardous materials training June 20-July 3, 2002. The participants included members of the national police force, fire brigade, defense force, EMS, doctors, nurses, the disaster preparedness committee and disaster coordinators.
ST. LUCIA FIREFIGHTERS AND EMERGENCY MANAGERS RECEIVE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRAINING FROM FLORIDA COUNTERPARTS. Dawn French, acting director for the National Emergency Management Office in St. Lucia requested training in hazardous materials, confined space and high angle programs for emergency managers and firefighters. Joe Burgess, president and CEO of Hotzone USA, Clermont, Florida and Julius Halas, fire chief at the Longboat Key Fire Rescue and president of the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association conducted the training November 29-December 9, 2001.