Samantha Sonnett

Samantha Sonnett is a police officer with the New York City Police Department where she is aSamantha Sonnett is a police officer with the New York City Police Department where she is alead instructor for the COBRA Unit (Chemical, Ordinance, Biological, and Radiological Awareness).

As a COBRA instructor she and her team are responsible for training approximately 5,000 uniformed members of the service annually in the proper response andmitigation of CBRNe incidents. The COBRA Unit works collaboratively with the Center for Domestic Preparedness to ensure that the largest city in the nation remains at the ready tocombat emerging CBRNe threats.Ms. Sonnett is a veteran of the Unites States Air Force. She holds numerous certifications in the CBRNe/Hazmat field and is a certified instructor not only for the NYPD, but she also travels the nation on behalf of Texas A&M’s Extension Service and Pro Board accreditation service to certify first responders in WMD/Hazmat operations.

Ms. Sonnett has 19 years of experience with the NYPD and is focused on the progressive growth of the departments CBRNe capabilities. She is also an advocate for the expansion of CBRNe programs within police department’s across the nation.

Commander Claude Paradis

Claude Paradis, Commander of the Montreal Police Service, Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Measures Section (SPVM).

Since April 2022, Commander Paradis has been in head of the Counter-Terrorism unit. In April 1991, he joined the SPVM as a patroller in downtown Montreal.

Throughout his tenure, he has held many positions within the service, including patrolman and sergeant in downtown Montreal. In 2016, he was promoted to commander, allowing him to hold positions such as head of the airport unit and district head in multiple units. Since 2019, I've been a member of operational command teams as a field commander and operation manager.

He earned a certificate in industrial relations from the University of Montreal and a master's degree in public security from the University of Trois-Rivieres.

Robert Lemire  

Robert Lemire, Police Officer - Boston Police Department, Special Operations Division, Hazardous Materials Response Unit

Officer Robert Lemire serves as a Police Officer for the Boston Police, Special Operations Division, Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU) and as a Chief Petty Officer, Intelligence Specialist in the United States Coast Guard Reserves.

Officer Lemire graduated from Worcester State University in 2010 with a BS degree in Criminal Justice. Ofc. Lemire has served as a police officer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 14 years and in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves for 10 years. Through both positions, Ofc. Lemire has completed several trainings including:

  • Hazardous Materials Technician
  • Advanced Forensic Investigations for Hazardous Environments
  • Clandestine Laboratory Safety
  • Digital Forensic Examiner
  • S. Coast Guard Intelligence Specialist School
  • S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy
  • S. Coast Guard Leadership and Management School

Through his position with the Boston Police Department HMRU, Ofc. Lemire responds to all CBRN, WMD & TIC calls in the City of Boston. The mission of the HMRU is to ensure proper mitigation guidelines are followed, provide enforcement and prosecution for violations, liaise with local, state, and federal partners, and ensure the preservation of life and property.

Lieutenant Colonel Scott D Hawks

Lieutenant Colonel Scott D Hawks entered military service in 1992 at the age of 17 as an enlisted Infantry Soldier in the Army Reserve, transferring to the Minnesota National Guard in 1994.  In June of 2000 He was selected as one of the original 22 members of the 55th CST as an E5 Survey Team member and later commissioned as a CBRN officer in 2004 with the 54th Civil Support Team in the Wisconsin National Guard.  In 2008 he made his way back to the Minnesota National Guard serving twice more with the 55th CST as Survey Team Leader and Deputy Commander.  During his career he has also served as the Officer-in-Charge / Deputy Commander of the 55th CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), 434th Chemical Company Commander, Deputy State Public Affairs Officer, 34th Infantry Division CBRN Officer, and 175th Regional Training Institute Officer Candidate School company Commander.  Prior to taking command of the 55th Civil Support Team LTC Hawks was assigned as the Minnesota National Guard State Public Affairs officer during an unprecedented historic period in National Guard history.    

LTC Hawks earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Hamline University in 1998, and his Master of Science degree in Administration-Leadership in 2021 from Central Michigan University.  His military education includes Chemical Officer’s Basic Course, and Captains Career Course, Intermediate Level Education Common Core and Advanced Operations Course, Air Assault, Technical Escort, Public affairs Qualification Course, Civil Support Skills Course (equivalent), and Civil Support Team Pre-Command Course.  LTC Hawks is a certified Minnesota Emergency Manager, and has also served 10 years as a firefighter for the Excelsior Fire District, currently in the rank of Captain.

LTC Hawks’ awards and decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Army Commendation Medal (5th Award), The Air Force Commendation Medal (2nd Award), The Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal (2nd award), Minnesota Medal for Merit, Michigan Life saving Medal, and numerous other awards and decorations.  

Charles Call

Dr. Call is a co-founder and CEO of BioFlyte, Inc., He has a systems engineering background with 25 years of experience in new product development and technology commercialization. He has led the development of BioFlyte’s solutions for airborne COVID detection and bioaerosol threat mitigation system for critical infrastructure protection. As a co-founder of Zeteo Tech in 2013, Dr. Call contributed to Zeteo’s success winning competitive contract awards for bioaerosol sensor technology development from DHS, DTRA, the US Army and other federal agencies. BioFlyte was created as a spin-out of Zeteo Tech to manufacture, market and sell contamination detection products under exclusive license from Zeteo Tech.  Dr. Call has served as a founding member of the Tuberculosis Aerobiology Advisory Group created and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support their initiatives aimed at understanding TB transmission.  He has deep technical expertise in aerobiology, fluid mechanics, microfluidics, and sensor development.  He received his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from UC Davis in 1992 and has been awarded 3 R&D 100 awards and over 35 issued US patents.

Battalion Chief Sean Newman

Battalion Chief Sean Newman has 26 years of service with the FDNY .  He is a charter member of the Department’s Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness (CTDP), opened in 2004, where he currently serves as executive officer and head of intelligence branch. He is assigned to Division 11 in Brooklyn. 

Sean has been editor and contributing writer for FDNY Watchline since its inception in 2008. Chief Newman was co-author of “Vertical Terrorism: The Threat Against High-Rise Buildings,” released in September 2016, as well as other strategies and papers related to counterterrorism and emergency response in complex environments. For the Fall 2020 edition of FDNY’s magazine, With New York Firefighters (WNYF), he authored the article: “A 25-Year Retrospective of the Freddy’s Fashion Mart Fire: The Continued Relevancy of Attacks Combining Fire and Firearms.” His most recent article, a chronicle of the history of CTDP, was released in WNYF’s Fall 2021 edition. 

Chief Newman has been part of briefs to high-ranking FDNY staff, homeland security executives, members of Congress and foreign dignitaries. Sean has advised many interagency partners, and speaks regularly, on weaponized fire, red teaming, interdisciplinary operations in dense urban environments, and the role of analytical intelligence in the fire service. He holds a master’s degree with honors in security studies from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the Naval Postgraduate School. His master’s thesis (2011), “Braving the Swarm: Lowering Group Bias in Integrated Fire/Police Units Facing Paramilitary Terrorism,” proposed how advancements in social identity theory could encourage group acceptance in interagency units responding to active shooter incidents that include fire and smoke. 

Deputy Fire Chief Robert Calobrisi

A first generation firefighter, Deputy Fire Chief Robert J. Calobrisi has served for 36+ years in the Boston Fire Department. This includes 15 years as a Division Commander (2005 to 2020), 3 years as Director of the City of Boston Emergency Management Agency (2002 to 2005) and 2+ years in the BFD Special Operations Command Division, where he currently directs both Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue training disciplines. From January 2009 to May 2010, he served as the Chairperson of the BFD's Board of Inquiry investigation into the Line of Duty Death of Ladder Company 26 Fire Lieutenant Kevin Kelley. He was also designated as the Chairperson of the BFD Apparatus Committee from 2015 to 2022. A 1996 BFD Roll of Merit recipient, he currently holds a BS degree in Fire Science from Salem State College  and a BS degree in Business Administration from Boston College.    

Dan Cartwright

Mr. Dan CartwrightDeputy Assistant Commissioner, National Fire Chiefs Council, National Deputy CBRN(e) Strategic Lead

Seconded from London Fire Brigade, Dan is responsible for establishing and maintaining strategic relationships with government, blue-light and military partners to ensure the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) contributes to delivering an effective, flexible, agile, and proportionate national multi-agency CBRN(e) response.

With experience of over 30 years in the fire service, Dan has provided representation at political, strategic, and operational level, delivering a coordination and liaison role to ensure that the views of the FRS are represented within these arenas. This has included regular liaison and meetings with MP’s and seniors in government, FRS, police, ambulance, military, as well as other leaders on the international stage to understand emerging CBRN(e) threats, risks, and vulnerabilities.

Dan has strived to develop the national CBRN(e) position as an exemplar of Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Principals (JESIP), making multi-agency collaboration core to the role and the foundation on which the success of the capability has been built.

Colonel Stephan Saalow

Before he took command of the Bundeswehr CBRN Defence Command on 21 September 2021, Colonel Saalow served as Defence Advisor of the German Representative to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union in Brussels.He was also the Deputy Head of the Military Policy Section, which supports the Representative in the field of Foreign and Security Policy in all military-political issues including crisis management and capability development. Colonel Saalow has a wide experience in the area of EU Common Security and Defence Policy in Brussels, in the Ministry of Defence in Berlin but also in the field, where he served as Chief of Staff of an EU Mission in Africa and as Staff Officer Operations of the Eurocorps in Strasbourg.During his time in NATO he was special advisor of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk. Beside this he served in operations in Asia, Africa and Europe and commanded the CBRN Defence Regiment of the Bundeswehr. Colonel Saalow studied at the University of the Bundeswehr in Hamburg and at the National University of Singapore and holds a Master Degree of Business Administration. He was also awarded with the German Cross of Honor and with the French Medal of Defence.

Dr Christina Baxter

Dr. Christina Baxter is the CEO of Emergency Response TIPS, LLC which provides practical, evidence-based solutions for emergency response through the development of next generation tools for enhanced situational awareness and responder safety; instructional design materials for instructor-led and web-based programs in the areas of CBRNE, hazardous materials, and clandestine laboratory response; technology transition guidance for emerging technologies; and, emergency planning for hazardous materials and emergency response. 

Prior to forming Emergency Response TIPS, LLC, Dr. Baxter was the CBRNE Program Manager for the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office where she was responsible for identifying capability gaps in the combating terrorism CBRNE mission space, illuminating or developing innovative solutions, and delivering them to military, interagency, and law enforcement operators in the field as rapidly as possible. Dr. Baxter holds B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

She has greater than 20 years of experience in the hazardous materials/CBRN response community where she remains active in teaching and participating in standards development processes.  She is currently the chairperson of the NFPA Technical Committee on Chemical Protective Clothing and is a member of the NFPA Technical Committees on Hazardous Materials/WMD Operations, Technical Committee on Tactical and Technical SCBA, and others.  Dr. Baxter is also a member of the Interagency Board, the IAFC Hazmat Committee, and the IAFF’s Hazmat Advisory Board. 

Dr. Richard Schoske

Dr. Schoske serves as Chief, Diagnostics, and Detection Division for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Research and Development Directorate, Chemical Biological Technologies Department (RD-CB).  In this capacity Dr. Schoske overseas and manages an $90 million Research and Development Portfolio.  This portfolio includes projects in the areas of medical diagnostics, and chemical and biological agent detection. 

His educational background is in Biochemistry, Chemistry and Clinical Laboratory Sciences.  He has applied this knowledge in operational work experiences involving the development and deployment of novel medical diagnostic systems for the United States Air Force.  Dr. Schoske has an extensive background in counter Chemical-Biological Consequence Management Planning.  Prior to joining the DTRA, Dr. Schoske served in the United States Air Force for 21 years and is a retired Lieutenant Colonel.  During his time on active duty he served in numerous capacities including Chief, of a Medical Laboratory, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the United States Air Force Academy, Principal Investigator in Diagnostic R&D, and Emergency Medical Planning. He was selected as a Senior Air Force Laboratory Fellow for Science and Technology and is an American Society of Clinical Pathologists Certified Medical Technologist. He earned a Master’s of Arts in Biochemistry from the University of Scranton, and a PhD in Chemistry from American University in Washington DC

Dr. Scott Hartley

Dr. Scott Hartley is the CEO of Proengin Inc. which develops and manufactures chemical and biological detection systems.  In this role, Dr. Hartley is responsible leading and directing Proengin operations in North American.  Proengin is a leader in flame spectroscopy technology which is able to quickly and precisely identify key materials found in chemical warfare agents, precursor materials, binary agents, fourth generation agents as well as many toxic industrial chemicals.  This technology is also able to identify key biological materials found in toxins, bacteria and spores. Proengin technology has been adopted for use in over 72 countries and is used for military, first responder, HAZMAT, chemical and security applications. 

Prior to joining Proengin, Dr. Hartley was served in various Business Development roles for BAE Systems/Armor Holdings where he worked on personal protective equipment and combat vehicles.  He also previously worked at Gentex Corporation where he held various engineering, program management and general management roles.  Dr. Hartley holds BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics from Cedarville University, dual MBA’s in Finance and Operations Management from the University of Scranton, and a Doctorate of Management degree in Technology Systems Management from the University of Maryland.  He holds 11 patents and serves on the Board of Directors for the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition.   

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