Unit Instructor

About Us

Hello! Aaniin!

Founded in 2013, FIRE 1 is dedicated to helping communities, City and Government Agencies and businesses establish skilled teams in the fight against catastrophic wildfire. Our mandate is to educate and train at the safest and highest quality level possible in forest fire suppression, mitigation and prevention.

Fire 1 employs only the most experienced in their field. Our comprehensive team has the background and experience in wildfire suppression and behavior to meet your training needs. I invite you to read the introductory Bio’s of the FIRE 1 team. Wildland Fire Fighting is their life’s work and their passion!

FIRE 1 is accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) to deliver the SP100; 105; 106; 102; 103 and the RX100.

Kelly Bredlaw (She/Her) - Lead Instructor

While employed as an Ontario Fire Ranger on an Initial Attack Crew with the NDMNRF for 10 seasons, Kelly gained experience in Forest Fire Suppression activities in both the East and West Fire Region. On several occasions she was also deployed out of Province (British Columbia, Manitoba, and Alberta) and out of Country (Montana and Oregon). Roles she has held during her career with the Ontario Fire Ranger program includes Crew Member, Crew Boss, Crew Leader-Incident Commander 4, and Fire Management Technician. During which she obtained her Advanced Wildfire Behaviour Specialist certification. Kelly brings a unique insight on how wildfire could affect structures. Kelly is certified at the 1001 and Hazmat 472 Technician Level with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A member of the Fire 1 team for the last two years, Kelly is also employed as an Acting Captain at an Industrial Fire Department.

Chris Frappier (He/Him)- Unit Instructor

Chris has 10 years of experience fighting forest fires with the NDMNRF. He was based out of the East Fire Region as a crew leader and experienced deployment to fires in the USA. He has been with FIRE 1 for over 6 years as a Unit Instructor Instructor and WFX fit evaluator. In addition to being a Registered Nurse (RN) with the College of Nurses of Ontario, Chris is also currently employed as a structural Firefighter with North Bay Fire & Emergency Services.

Clark Lemon (He/Him) Unit Instructor

With 35 years of service with NDMNRF, Clark has many seasons of fire crew experience including 4 as a Crew Leader. Clark has 10 years in Aerial Fire Operations at the Region and Branch level with responsibilities that included the annual delivery of the Provincial Air Attack Course.
He was Chairman of NDMNRF's Aviation Safety Committee for 7 years and was a member of the AFFES Health & Safety Audit Team, participating in field audits at several work sites, including Fire Management Headquarters. Although retired from NDMNRF as Manager of The Aviation Services Centre, Clark remains active working in areas related to aviation, fire, and aviation safety. In addition to being FIRE 1’S Unit Instructor; Clark joins Dave each season as a WFX fit evaluator.

John Twance - Lead Instructor

Member of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg with over 25 years of experience in Forest Fire fighting; John draws from over 12 years’ instructor experience (with 7 as Head Unit Instructor).
John is FIRE 1's main SP105/106 West Region Instructor.

Dave Cowan (He/Him) – Lead Instructor

Retired as Fire Management Technician-Kirkland Lake FMH after 35 years with NDMNRF. Dave has been with FIRE 1 for 4 years as an Unit Instructor and 4 years as one of our Lead Instructors. Dave also brings his passion for helping those reach their dreams as an accredited WFX FIT Test Administrator.

Murray St. Amour (He/Him) – Unit Instructor

A newcomer to FIRE 1 but certainly not to Wildland Fire Fighting and Fire training. Murray was a Crew Leader for many years with the NDMNRF. A Fire Operations Supervisor for 5 years in Haliburton, Murray was responsible for staff training at all levels. Murray retired this January, with the IC 3 designation.

Steve Smith (He/Him) - Unit Instructor

Steve spent 12 seasons employed by the NDMNRF within the Ontario Fire Ranger Program. He started with the West Fire Region and finished the last seven years as a Crew leader in the East Fire Region. Steve Smith has over 20 years in the structural fire service holding multiple positions including Training Officer and Assistant Deputy Chief. Although a member of FIRE 1’s team, Steve is also currently employed as a firefighter at an Industrial Fire Department.

Ralph Klietsh (He/Him) - Unit Instructor

Ralph spent 15 years with the OMNR Fire program advancing through the crew system to become a full time Fire Crew Leader. This path included postings in many key areas throughout Northern Ontario in places such as Nipigon, Thunder Bay, Armstrong, and Chapleau. He has significant experience with many aspects of Fire Management including Prescribed Burning, Fire investigation, and Fire Prevention. In his final years with the Fire Program, he worked as an Air Attack Leader out of Timmins as part of a heavy water bomber package providing air traffic control, coordination with ground crews, and target assignment before moving on within the OMNR.

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