the Team

Daniel B McManus
Chief Operations Officer
           With an extensive background in rescue services, Daniel is known for his highly responsive and intuitive nature. After rising through the ranks in the fire service for nearly 25 years Daniel McManus currently serves as the Division Chief of Special Operations for the City of Columbia Fire Department. Previously Chief McManus served as the South Carolina Assistant State Fire Marshal and as a District Chief in his career. A knowledgeable graduate of Ringling College, McManus is now studying for his Master’s in Homeland Security specializing in Disaster Management.
           He truly loves what he does and has been an integral part of over 60 multiagency incidents in the last eight years. His experience is vast and includes large-scale fires, swift water rescues, specialized helicopter rescues, hazardous materials responses, large area searches, and complex recovery missions. During his tenure as Chief of Operations for South Carolina’s State Emergency Response Task Force he sustained the State Urban Search & Rescue Task Force, developed the second nationally recognized Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART), and the State’s first (large scale) swift water/floodwater response program.
           With almost a decade of being the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) State Search And Rescue (SAR) coordinator, encounters like the recent statewide floods in South Carolina, Super Storm Sandy and so many others, it’s no doubt that his new endeavor, Poseidon, will help thousands more. Poseidon is McManus’ crisis prevention, management and resolution company, dedicated to providing land, air, sea rescue and training services for individuals and businesses in need. Serving North American and Caribbean areas, McManus and his team are some of the most committed, educated, and prepared rescue personnel in the country. 
Henry Hickman
Aviation Rescue, Open Ocean Instructor / Advisor/Recon

 

           Henry Hickman is a South Carolina native who has dedicated the last fifteen years to others as a career firefighter/paramedic. In addition to working as a first responder, Henry has served as a rescue technician/medical specialist with SC Regional USAR (Urban Search and Rescue), SC ERTF (SC Emergency Response Task Force), SC-HART (SC Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team), and is currently the Aquatic Rescue Program Coordinator for the Myrtle Beach Fire Department.
           Henry also has a degree in Health Science in addition to a vast array of advanced certifications in many unique and technical disciplines. Henry continues to serve his local and state community with compassion, professionalism and integrity in addition to being part of the Poseidon family. His passion to protect and assist others is what makes Henry an invaluable asset to the clients we serve.

Anna C. DeWitt
Senior Instructor, Aviation Rescue, Rescue Swimmer Insructor, Heath & Physical Capabilities Advisor
               Anna DeWitt first started her career in Emergency Services working for Darlington County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as an Emergency Medical Technician.  Thereafter she joined the Darlington County Fire District and passed her state interior fire training in 1996. In 1997 Anna began a path in Rescue and committed to achieve Technician Level training in all of the Technical Rescue disciplines. In 2004 Anna was one of the founding members of the S.C. Urban Search and Rescue program, Task Force 1 where she was trained in and eventually instructed almost every kind of rescue discipline.  As of most recently, Anna interviewed and passed the entrance tests for the State Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (HART) in August of 2009. Truly a life long passion that came true. Anna was on the top 1% of all physical and agility requirements for the team for 6 years.
 
               Anna has worked on many emergencies including Hurricane Katrina as a Rescue Squad Officer, Hurricane Sandy as a Rescue Swimmer, and the statewide floods in South Carolina with more than 28 helicopter rescue hoists.
 
               Anna loves what she does, and her sense of selfless compassion makes her a welcome addition to the Poseidon team.
Jeff Matthews
 Senior Lead Instructor for Rope Rescue , Confined Space, Trench Rescue and Structural Collapse
 
Mr. Matthews has over 24 years of experience in emergency and disaster response, and technical skills training. A 20-year veteran of the fire service, Jeff currently serves as an operations division captain with the Charlotte, NC Fire Department where he supervises 4 firefighters. In addition to his response duties, Jeff is also an active member of NC-TF-3 based in Charlotte, NC.

In 2010, Mr. Matthews became a published author releasing his first book, Technical Rescuer: Rope Levels 1 and 2. Along with the technical writing of his own text, Mr. Matthews asked to act as a SME for other titles to include Trench Rescue and Water Rescue. In 2011 participate on the NFPA 1006, Standard on Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications committee as a principle member. Jeff has also been called upon as a SME to evaluate SOG’s, training plans, and to write programs of instructions for federal, state and local organizations to include the DoD.

 

Deployment experience: Hurricane Bertha, Hurricane Fran 1996, Democratic National Convention 2012

  Joe Sorrentino
FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Instructor Guru 
 

Joe has worked for the City of Sunrise (FL) Fire Rescue Department since 1983 and is a Captain assigned to the Technical Rescue Team. He is also a Planning Officer and Hazardous Materials Manager with FEMA’s Miami Urban Search & Rescue Task Force (FL-TF2). He is a nationally recognized Disaster Management instructor and is also a lead instructor at the Broward Fire Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Joe and has a degree in Fire Science and is a certified Paramedic and is also a Florida Fire Service Instructor. He has been deployed to numerous National and International disasters and served in the field as well as the command staff. These include the Puerto Rico Humberto Vidal collapse, World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, Haiti Earthquake and many other major disasters. 

Along with speaking at many conferences across the country, Joe’s area of specialty instruction includes: 

  • Firefighter safety and survival 

  • Large scale incident command systems 

  • Disaster planning and management 

  • Urban Search and Rescue operations 

  • Exercise planning, development and delivery 

 

In addition to teaching, Joe has developed and managed many very large scale events across the country. These events have included thousands of participants, live collapse site operations, multi-agency operations & deployment of assets from multiple jurisdictions. These events integrated many response disciplines into real time operational exercises, some of which have lasted for several days. 

Todd Milam
Rope Rescue, Structural Collapse, Trench Rescue Instructor, Process, Procedure and OSHA Specialist 
 

A 24 year veteran of the fire service, committed to mentoring and educating. I possess unparralled fire service experience, having the opportunity to serve in all capacities and ranks with career and volunteer departments. In a addition to my fire service experience, I have 10 years of Construction Safety & Health Management experience. I possess an uncompromising work ethic and a passion to deliver superior results. I have strong communication abilities with all levels within an organization ensuring teamwork and execution.

Todd has traveled the country instructing advanced collapse rescue since the late 1999's. Mr. Milam's dedication to the rescue discipline founded him as an original member of the South Carolina Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 1 in 2003 as a Rescue Squad Officer where he served until 2008.

Paul Chiapetta
Heavy Equipment  Operator, Metal Cutting, Rigging, Rope Rescue, Structural Collapse Specialist 
 

A 30+ year veteran of the fire service, committed to mentoring and educating. Paul started as a volunteer and came through the ranks to a Battalion Chief. He is a true leader in his industry. A founding member of the Technical Rescue Program in Greenwich Connecticut and progressive Fire Chief for Ice, Dive, Trench and water rescue - all of this was 20 years ago. His dedication and vision has paved the way for dozens of firefighters and progressive chief officers of today. 

Paul is a true technician, an accomplished specialist can confidently teach all disciplines. Paul can do just that for 25 years. In fact he has traveled the country instructing confined space, rope rescue, trench rescue, advanced machinery rescue, collapse rescue, metal cutting, heavy lifting since the mid 1990's. Paul's dedication to the rescue discipline founded him as an original member of Connecticut's State Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 1 in 2003 as a Heavy Equipment Operator/Rigging Specialist. And his passion for the fire and rescue service has made his classes and mentoring a favorite among those who know him.

T. John Cunningham
Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Incident Command, Advanced Technologies
 
Chief T. John Cunningham has over nineteen years’ experience in the public safety field. He is presently the fire chief and emergency management director for the City of Elk River, Minnesota, a growing suburb located approximately 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The department serves a population of 33,000 spread across 66-square miles. He is responsible for providing strategic direction and department oversight for emergency response; fire, building, and life-safety inspections; city nuisance code enforcement; training and safety; and fire prevention.
Prior to moving to Elk River in 2009, Chief Cunningham was a volunteer district chief for a combination fire department in Greenwich, Connecticut, and one of the original members of the Connecticut Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. He also worked in the private sector, owning a successful IT consulting firm. Chief Cunningham has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Fairfield University and a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security Leadership from the University of Connecticut.
Steve Coffin
Hazardous Materials, Radiation and Nuclear Detection, Paramedic, Tox-Medic
 
Steve is known as a dedicated provider with 32 years experience, who undertakes complex assignments, meets tight deadlines and delivers superior performance.  He has extensive experience in instruction, developing training programs and implementing all aspects of fire service training.  Mr. Coffin operates with a strong sense of purpose and dedication to the task at hand.  Takes pride in all aspects of work.  Excellent at managing personnel, instilling in them a desire to succeed. During Steve’s extensive career he has been involved with Instructor and Developer of Training Programs- Incident Safety Officer- Special Operations Emergency Operations- Emergency Medical Services- Special Operations Equipment Specialist- Development and Implementation of Operational Evaluation Programs.
 
Steve has also been a Firefighter/Paramedic since the early 1990’s where he also obtained his passion for Hazardous Materials Specialist and Technical Rescue Technician. Today Steve continues his knowledge in Hazardous Materials as the Haz-Mat Coordinator in North Charleston Fire Department and as an instructor on the national stage for Radiation and Nuclear Detection.
Les Baker
Advanced Vehicle Extrication, machinery and complex situations
 
Les Baker has been in the fire service for just over 22 years. He started in Darlington County South Carolina, fitting, considering the town is world renown for a NASCAR racetrack and his passion is for extrication of vehicles.  Les has been published for his critical thinking and educational theories in major publications for many years. Mr Baker has also been the “master mind” behind the South Eastern Extrication School for the 10th year running. this school has instructed tens of thousands of students in basic, intermediate and advanced auto extrication. Truly a forward thinking leader ahead of his time and we are lucky to have a man like Mr Baker on board with us.
 
Les served with the City of Hartsville Fire Department starting in 2000 and then moved to  the City of Charleston in 2008 where he remains to this day. He is a dedicated advanced rescue technician always looking for a quality moment to assist someone.
Steve Rutherford
Helicopter Rescue Team Leader (RTL), Dive Master, OUPV USCG Captain, TRT/HMT
 
Steven Rutherford was with Horry County Fire Rescue for 22 years where he started as a volunteer and
worked his way up to a paid lieutenant. During his years he was part of the departments many special
operations teams where he served as a public safety diver, hazmat technician and rope rescue
technician.
In 2004 he joined the South Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Team where he promoted to
the rank as an assistant squad officer. In 2009 he joined the SC-HART ( SC Helicopter Aquatic Rescue
Team) where he was placed in a position as a Rescue Team Leader. Steven was hired by the State USAR
Task Force in 2010 for his knowledge, skill and abilities in aviation rescue, dive and collapse rescue. Steve worked a part-time position with the Task Force for 5 years for more than 30 hours a week as an critical part of supporting day to day operations. 
In 2016 Steve was hired to the private sector as an Emergency Response Specialist with a prominent nuclear power facility within South Carolina. With this offer Mr Rutherford decided to leave the public fire service to work the next decade with the federal/private partnership.
Over the years he has spent countless hours expanding his skills and knowledge in the technical
disciplines into Diving, Maritime studies including US Coast Guard Captains licenses. Steven enjoys spending his down time honing his skills for his professional career  while visiting his property in Key West. The remote location alone presents the challenge he loves.

SOUTH CAROLINA / NEW YORK CITY

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