Instructors

We employ expert instructors from multiple disciplines to meet your needs. Our instructors are Peace Officers, Firefighters, PSAP Managers, Emergency Managers, Radio Operators, Communications Unit Leaders (COML), and Communications Unit Technicians (COMT).

Men gathered around table for training session
Paul Vanvoorhis

Paul VanVoorhis

Owner & Founder of Preferred Response

Paul has 25 years’ experience in public safety. Paul is a veteran Minnesota state trooper and currently holds the rank of lieutenant. Paul specializes as an emergency manager and project specialist. Paul has always strived to improve performance across multi-discipline public safety organizations. Paul is dedicated to upholding our company values and delivering the greatest possible experience to our partners.

Motivated, public sector professional with multiple college degrees and a successful 25-year track record of accountability and leadership skill set. Talent for solving problems rather than managing issues.  Diplomatic and tactful with government and non-government professionals at all levels. Accustomed to multi-tasking, large and small project management, and short/long term strategic planning.  Demonstrated history of producing results, meeting goals and thriving in deadline-driven environments.

Flexible and versatile – able to maintain professionalism under pressure. Poised and competent with demonstrated ability to easily transcend cultural differences.  Excellent team-building skills.

Brent Bukowski

Instructor: Law Enforcement, Fire, and Communications & Dispatch

Brent serves as a Sauk Rapids Police Officer and Fire Fighter. He holds the rank of police sergeant. Brent has 19 years of experience in Law Enforcement/Fire Service. Brent has served as a SWAT member with a Central MN Joint L.E. team. Brent has also served as a patrol K9 Handler. Brent has achieved instructor status in several active shooter platforms including 3ECHO and ALICE. Brent holds the Minnesota Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) certification of Minnesota Emergency Manager.

Al Fjerstad

Instructor: Communications & Dispatch 

Al started his career in public safety over 32 years ago as a 911 dispatcher for the City of Richfield, Minnesota. In 1990, he was hired by the Hennepin County, Minnesota Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) as 911 Dispatcher. Al was quickly promoted to Supervisor and Training Officer of the 911 Center and worked in this capacity for several years. In 2001 Al was again promoted to Radio System Administrator for the 800 MHz ARMER system with HCSO. As the Radio Systems Administrator, Al developed radio fleet maps, code plugs, as well as helping program and maintain a fleet of nearly 7,000 radios. In August 2011, Al was hired by the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office as the PSAP Manager and Emergency Management Director for the County. Al has trained numerous trainers and end users in the State of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota on the System functionality. Al is also intimately familiar with the design, build and operational functionality of TICP’s including the Central Minnesota TICP.

Seth Hansen

Instructor: Fire and Communications & Dispatch

Seth has a long history in public service. He is currently the Director of Emergency Management for Wright County, Minnesota. Seth also serves as the Fire Chief in Big Lake, Minnesota. He has an extensive background as an 800 MHz ARMER System Administrator. Seth trains various organizations regarding ARMER usage and standards, as well as SKYwarn, CERT, and Radiological Emergencies.  Seth’s other duties include: Maintain and develop memorandums of understanding (MOU’s), Maintain 800 MHz radio communication networks and systems, demonstrate a high degree of proficiency regarding the maintenance, repair, programming, and configuration of the various consoles, and radios. Liaison or point of contact for the radio coordinator and dispatch regarding 800 MHz radio communication needs. Ordering of equipment, and general knowledge of the dispatch center. Assist in maintenance of Communication facilities including radio sites, track and renew FCC licenses as necessary. Perform Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board (CMESB) Regional System Administration functions for ARMER 800 MHz, including CPS/APEX programming for the region, Status Board, Radio Cache, and STR. Plan, implement, and test the county emergency communications systems. Provide technical guidance and training for the ARMER 800 MHz system, sirens, phones, and Code Red/Everbridge.

Chris Krajsa

Instructor: Communications & Dispatch and Law Enforcement

Chris has 31 years of experience in public safety. Chris began her career in law enforcement as a dispatcher for the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in 1982. Chris was hired by the Minnesota State Patrol in 1985 as a dispatcher and trainer. Chris ultimately completed her AS Degree in Law Enforcement while working for the State Patrol dispatch. Chris was hired as a Police Officer for the City of Minnestrista. One year later Chris became a Minnesota State Trooper, stationed in the West Metro.  While a Trooper, Chris served as a Field Training Officer (FTO) and Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) instructor.  Chris began working part time as a Sherburne Co 911 Dispatcher. In 2012, Chris was promoted to rank of Sergeant of the state patrol training academy. As a sergeant, Chris oversaw the hiring process, re-design of the state patrol FTO program, supervised the background process and was a master instructor live-in for resident cadets. In 2014, Chris retired with 20 years of service as a Trooper to become the state patrol’s PSAP Manager in Roseville. Chris managed 56 employees and was responsible for hiring/training in the communications center. During her time as PSAP manager, Chris served on communications committee for the Super Bowl, the MLB All Star game, and was involved in tactical communications for multiple civil unrest events in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. In 2018, she retired from the Minnesota State Patrol with 31 years of service. Chris continues to serve as dispatcher for the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Ostlund

Instructor: Communications & Dispatch, Emergency Management and Fire

Michael Ostlund (NØANP) has been in communications of one form or another since his parents gave him his first pair of walkie-talkies at age 5. Michael has spent be the better part of 45 years in Radio and TV Broadcasting and recently retired from Broadcasting, thereby giving Mike more time to pursue his other passion – Emergency Communications, which he has been a part of since 2007. Mike has been working an Emergency Management Coordinator specializing in Interoperable Communications with Hennepin County Emergency Management since 2013. Mike works on various communications related projects including helping HCEM with their Super Bowl LII Communications plans, along with other projects that serve to protect the 1.3 million Hennepin County Residents. Michael has been the Project Manager for the “DCT,” the Disaster Communications Trailer – a portable and mobile communications platform that houses multiple communications capabilities as well as a 30’ portable radio tower. The DCT is able to travel anywhere Emergency Communications are needed. Michael earned his Emergency Management Certification from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Homeland Security and Emergency Management in February of 2015 and his COMT (Incident Communications Technician) Certification in 2017. Mike is also serving as the Chairman of AERO – the Association of Emergency Radio Organizations, which is an organization that provides training to amateur radio operators so they can work with their local Emergency Manager. Michael is a certified ARMER (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) radio system trainer as well as a certified CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Trainer and has coordinated a “CERT Training Day” sponsored by HCEM for the past four years. Michael has taught numerous classes in Emergency Communications and Management to volunteers including teaching CERT Communications to volunteer groups across the metro. As Mike has nothing else to do, in 2017 he passed his Emergency Medical Responder Certification and serves as a First Responder and Firefighter for the Eagles Nest Volunteer Fire Department in northern Minnesota.

Tim Salto

Instructor: Law Enforcement

Tim currently serves as a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol. He holds the rank of lieutenant. Tim has 27 years of law enforcement experience both in Minnesota and Illinois. Prior, Tim was a Military Policeman in the U.S. Army. Tim has served as the State Patrol Firearms master sergeant which involves coordinating all firearms, use of force, and taser for current state troopers and the recruit academy. Tim currently serves as the State Patrol Special Response Team (SWAT) commander.

Angie portrait

Angie Wicks

Instructor: Communications and Fire

Angie Wicks is a Sergeant for the Blue Earth County Communications Center where she has been working since 2006. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Emergency Communications Board User Committee for the South Central Region. Angie is also a Next Gen 911 Subcommittee member and an ARMER Radio Trainer. In addition to her work with Blue Earth County, she served as a volunteer firefighter for nearly 13 years.

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