Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

Back to News Home Page

News Release

March 30, 2011

FWS Fire Presence on SA IMTs Continues to Grow and Thrive

“There was really no choice to be made,” explained Tony Wilder, the first-ever FWS Type 2 Southern Area (SA) Incident Management Team (IMT) Incident Commander (IC), describing his move from the Type 2 Team to the Type 1 (Red) Team. “The Incident Management System cannot function without members continually growing, moving up, and, in this case, moving out….. My career goal was to lead the Type 2 Team, but I’m a team player. So, when the time came, I answered the call. I would expect no less from anyone on any of the teams.”

With Wilder moving “over” (“It’s not ‘up’,” he insists, “but ‘over’.”) to the Red Team, the path was opened for more demonstrated leadership from FWS. Relatively new to the FWS, Mike Dueitt, (Prescribed Fire Training Center Director, Tallahassee, FL) filled in behind Wilder as the IC for the Type 2 SA IMT. This placed 2 of the 3 IC’s on the SA IMTs as FWS employees – a new record in the Southeast FWS “Fire Hall of Fame!”

The three Southern Area Incident Management Teams are interagency and include members from several Interior Department agencies, the US Forest Service, and many state agencies. The teams include agency employees, as well as retirees and other Administratively Determined (AD) positions. Since the establishment of the Type 2 Team in ????, the number of FWS members has continued to grow. This year, the Type 2 Team has 18 FWS employees, the Red Team has 12, and the Blue Team has 3.

Bob Eaton, Chief, Division of Fire Management for the SE Region, is proud of the growth he has seen since his tenure as Chief began in 2009. “There are several trends that are heartening,” he added. “It’s been great to see FWS folks rise in leadership positions. But, it’s also been good to have more and more FWS trainees coming along. That's how we build the program.”

Mike Dueitt is honored to have been recruited as the new IC for the Type 2 team. “I’ve been working in Incident Management for 24 years, mostly with the US Forest Service. A little over a year ago, I accepted the position of Director at the Prescribed Fire Training Center for the Fish and Wildlife Service. I’m really looking forward to building on the accomplishments of the team. I am honored to be in this position with such a great collection of skills.”

Other FWS SA IMT members* include:

Type 2 Team (Dueitt Team)
Mike Duett, Incident Commander
Catherine Hibbard, Public Information Officer, Region 5
Bonnie Strawser, Public Information Officer
Tom Crews, Safety Officer (Trainee)
Pete Kubiak, Operations Section Chief
Glenn Stratton, Operations Section Chief
Dave Walker, Operations Section Chief, Region 5
Timothy Craig, Division Supervisor
Jay Mickey, Division Supervisor (Trainee)

Robert Vernachio, Division Supervisor (Trainee)
Matthew Joyhnson, Division Supervisor (Apprentice)
Cory Waters, Helibase Manager (Trainee)
Peter Dybing, Supply Unit Leader
James McCray, Facilities Unit Leader, Region 2
Greg Blanks, Security Manager
Jason Vehrs, Security Manager
Holly Cyprian, Time Unit Leader, Region 2
Phil Weston, Plans Section Chief

Type 1 Team (Red Team)
Tony Wilder, Incident Commander
Robert Eaton, Safety Officer (Trainee)
Paul Reynolds, Division Supervisor
Greg Titus, Division Supervisor
James Langford, Division Supervisor (Trainee), Region 3
Thaddeus Herzberger, Division Supervisor (Trainee), Region 2
Larry Smith, Division Supervisor (Trainee)
Josh O’Connor, Division Supervisor (Trainee)
Keith Penrose, Ordering Manager (Trainee)
Helen Czernik, Cost Unit Leader (Trainee)
David Brownlie, Plans Section Chief, Region 5
Jennifer Hinkley, Situation Unit Leader

Type 1 Team (Blue Team)
John Patrick Pearson, Operations Branch Director, Region 2
Jon Wallace, Division Supervisor
Michael Good, Ordering Manager (Trainee)
*(Region 4, unless stated as otherwise. List includes both FWS employees and FWS-sponsored AD employees).

The teams are always looking for new recruits. FWS employees with fire qualification or interested in becoming qualified for IMT position should contact one of the team members for more information.