(888) 977-1635

Our Directors

The Fire Services Training Institute (FSTI) provides training to today’s volunteer public safety community including non-profit, industrial and tribal fire agencies.

Programs & Resources

Briefing Room with Mike Williams

Table Talk with Chief Ronny J. Coleman

Deer Valley Press Wildland Fire Training


Alertar y Preparar Listos

Howard W. Rayon Distinguished Service Award

Our Directors

Michael S. Williams, President & Executive Director

Williams spent over a dozen years in California law enforcement and was a POST certified field training officer. In 2006 he founded the Fire Services Training Institute (FSTI) to find solutions to the challenges confronting the volunteer fire service. He has been an active member of California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA) since 1994, having served on the volunteer and public relations committees, and as a southern division deputy director. He sits on several local organizations including the Santa Barbara County CERT Executive Committee, Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council, the Tri-Counties Training Officer’s Association, Santa Barbara Chapter of CAER and is a founding member of the Santa Barbara PIO group Emergency Public Information Communicators (EPIC). Since 2008, Williams has served on the California State Board of Fire Services representing CSFA and the volunteer fire fighters of California. He has received many professional awards including the Los Angeles Police Department’s “Meritorious Unit Citation,” Santa Barbara Citizens’ Council on Crime “Thomas Guerry Award,” “Skill in Conflict Resolution” award and the California State Firefighters’ “Tom Garner Award” for his seven year production of HELOPS in Santa Ynez.

In 2012, FSTI was named as one of the group recipients of the California Volunteers Governors Award for the countywide Santa Barbara County CERT program. FSTI provided the program for the Cities of Buelton and Solvang as well as the Santa Ynez Valley.

Williams is an established writer on public safety issues and co-host of the California Fire Safe Council and FSTI sponsored radio show Community Alert on KZSB – AM 1290 in Santa Barbara.

Jerry Davies

Insurance Industry, corporate and trade association media, public relations, legislative advocate and marketing consultant. He is currently the Chairman of the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC), effective January 1, 2015. CFSC is a California organization offering financial grants to more than 160 local fire safe councils in the state to fund local fire prevention and disaster safety programs. Serves on the Board of Fire Services Training Institute and immediate past board chairman and communications committee member of the Insurance Information Institute, Insurance Information Network of California and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Davies experience includes 35 years in television, radio and newspaper news and as a public relations, legislative advocate, marketing and external media communications officer in insurance trade associations and in insurance companies throughout the U.S.

Davies holds a BA Degree in Journalism and Business, University of Miami, Florida and a MS Degree in Journalism and Sociology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Kevin Nida, FSTI Director

Kevin Nida is one of the original founders of FSTI, and is a Battalion Chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department, serving since 1980. Kevin is currently assigned as a Battalion Chief and Policy Director under Mayor Garcetti’s administration and LAFD Technical & Operations Lead on the LA-RICS Project.

Kevin served for 10 years as CSFA’s President and is their immediate past President. Kevin has an extensive emergency services and emergency communications back ground. He also served the San Fernando Police Department as a Designated Level I Reserve Officer from 1987-2000.

Barbara J. Andersen, Director

Barbara Andersen most recently served as the Chief Strategy Officer at the Santa Barbara Foundation where she provided departmental leadership and oversight of community engagement, which included communications and marketing, grantmaking and initiatives, evaluation and learning, as well as public policy and advocacy. Barbara also facilitated the Foundation’s investments in emergency and disaster readiness, including the Community Disaster Relief Fund. Previously, Barbara founded All Points North Consulting, a firm specializing in strategic planning, partnership development, and program evaluation for nonprofit organizations and foundations. She also served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Orfalea Foundation for four years, where she was primarily responsible for initiating and overseeing national and state level partnerships, managing program evaluation and documentation efforts, and policy engagement aligned with multiple programmatic initiatives including school food reform, youth development, early care and education, and emergency readiness. Barbara holds an MPA with a concentration in International and National Security Policy and a BA in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

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Sam Nader, Director

First of all, I want to express how proud I am to be part of LISTOS and FSTI.
I am Samuel Nader Mena, a Mexican Lawyer originally from Mexico City and permanent resident in the United States, along with my family since 2015.
My passion for solving problems, interacting with people from different cultural, ethnic, economic and social backgrounds, and in particular the ability to help others, has allowed me to be part of FSTI and LISTOS.
From my own experience, I have faced various emergencies due to natural disasters, of course like all the COVID 19 pandemics, in all of them my life and that of my family have been at risk. These circumstances make you reflect on the values of life and the importance of being prepared to face a disaster or emergency, in all its aspects: economic and financial, social, personal, administrative, medical, psychological, etc.
My work and cultural experience has allowed me to develop in many fields and generate an extraordinary synergy with the objectives that FSTI pursues and reach people and families who traditionally do not have access to this knowledge.
Training at the family level in emergency preparedness would allow the creation of training networks through family cells, which share information and help us to be a more resilient and prepared society.

Sam Nader Mena, Director

Williams C. Teie, Deer Vally Press

Chief Teie retired after 34 years from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – CDF (Now CalFire). Starting his career as a seasonal firefighter, he worked up through the ranks to Deputy Director for Fire Protection. As Deputy Director, he was responsible for all fire protection programs within CDF. During his career he was very active in the California fire service community serving on several statewide boards and committees including President of the California Fire Chiefs Association in 1986.

Today, Deer Valley Press, Firefighter’s Handbook On Wildland Firefighting, Strategy, Tactics and Safety, Fourth Edition and Leadership For The Wildland Fire Officer, Leading In A Dangerous Profession, Second Edition are published through Fire Proteccion Publications, Oklahoma State University and are two of the most successful publications on wildland firefighting worldwide. 

Brian Woodbeck, CERT Grant Manager and Program Manager

The FSTI CERT Sub-Awards and Equipment Vendor Bids program is managed by Brian Woodbeck. Brian serves as FSTI’s CERT Grant Manager and Coordinator of FSTI supported CERT programs throughout California. He recently retired as Deputy Chief, California Office of Emergency Services after 12 years with the agency, previously, working at the Fort Irwin and San Bernardino County Fire Departments. Brian brings extensive public safety experience throughout the state and has been engaged with some of California’s largest emergency events. He can be contacted at [email protected] or click on ‘Contact Us’ in the menu.

[email protected]

Contact Us

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How to Reach Us

PO Box 550, Santa Barbara, CA 93116

(888) 977-1635

Who We Are

FSTI has provided training to the volunteer public safety community since 2006. It has been our mission to provide high quality training to firefighters while at the same time promoting community safety.

Fire Services Training Institute (FSTI) is a non-profit public benefit corporation with both state and federal tax exempt status.