Meet the AVEA Team of Instructors

Randy Schmitz

Chairman & Course Developer

Randy has been actively involved in the Extrication field for over 31 years and is a Captain with the Calgary Fire Department. He serves as the Program Developer for the Annual Western Canadian Rescue Symposium. Frequently he conducts training in advanced vehicle rescue specializing in Large Vehicle Extrication and Electric Vehicle Response and presents extrication seminars and training sessions throughout North America and around the world.

Randy also writes articles for various fire magazines and is published in Fire Engineering, Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter Magazine. He has Instructed at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana USA for 10 years. Randy is currently the Chairman for the Alberta Vehicle Extrication since its inception in 2006 and former Educational Chairman for Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee Canada. He has competed and judged regionally and internationally in extrication challenges for over 20 years.

Jayme Hendrick


Edmonton Fire Rescue Service (EFRS) started June 2006.  Rank: FF

Member of the EFRS Technical Rescue Team since 2011 (Team is trained in High Angle and Low Slope Rope Rescue, Trench Rescue, Heavy Rescue, Confined Space, Structural Collapse).

Training Instructor Technical Rescue Team / VX Training Instructor / 1041 Level 2 Certified

Innisfail Fire Department (paid on call) started June 2002.  Rank: Captain

Jim Wilson


Jim was been a member of the Calgary Fire Department for 34 years. He retired as the rank of District Chief in 2021. Jim has had the privilege of assisting in the Big Rig H.O.T.S for the past 12 years. 

Jim grew up in a Trucking/Farm family in Northern Alberta (Smoky Lake), and began his firefighting career at the age of 17as a paid on call firefighter in his home town.   As a vehicle extrication instructor for the CFD since the early 90’s he has been instrumental in course development and “Hands on Training” of Calgary’s 1200 Firefighters.

He continues to instruct vehicle extrication for the AVEA on a regular basis. Jim has had the privilege of assisting in the Big Rig H.O.T.S. for the past 10 years in Nisku, Advanced Heavy Lift in Calgary, as well as Farm Extrication, Man in Machine entrapment, and light vehicle advanced extrication with a focus on “Hand Tools.”

Andrew Madarasz

Andrew started his fire career volunteering with the Black Diamond fire department in 2007 with aspirations to become a career firefighter. In 2011 his goals were met with a full time career with the Calgary fire department. Andrew is still active in training with the Black Diamond fire department and began his pursuit of becoming a vehicle extrication instructor in hopes to better his knowledge and the knowledge of fellow firefighters. He also became a member of the Heavy Rescue team with the Calgary fire department in 2013 utilizing his vast construction background and knowledge in hopes to become a valued member on the team. He has since become an instructor for the Heavy Rescue program with Calgary and strives to keep his knowledge up on current techniques and practices used throughout North America to better his and his team’s knowledge. 

Colin Carswell

Colin has been a member of the AVEA group for the past 5 years and and had been with Rocky Mountain Phoenix for the last 9 years. He has worked with us for years prior to with tool support.  He has been active in the  fire service for over 17 years, spending nearly 10 years with volunteer fire departments in BC and Alberta as well as spending 6 years as an Fire Instructor working with Industrial Fire Brigades across Alberta.  For the last 7 years Colin has been with Rocky Mountain Phoenix as the dedicated Rescue Tool Specialist for the company, providing service, sales support, and training to our customers. 

Julien Bourgeois

Julien started his career in 2007 where he very quickly developed a passion for vehicle rescue. Very early Julien realized the need for better training and knowledge in the industry relating to vehicle extrication tactics and set to work pursuing better tactics. Through knowledge he had and real world experiences, he began developing new tactics and programs that are in use today in many municipal fire services. In 2011 Julien joined Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association and  spent years absorbing and sharing experiences and  developing tactics to share with students. As an instructor within the group at AVEA he brings his passion, knowledge and a culture of learning within the group.

Julien is serving as Platoon Chief with Leduc County Fire Services located just outside the Capital City. He spends his shifts responding to a high volume of vehicle related incidents where his passion and dedication as a Vehicle Rescue Technician is put to use on every shift. If he is not responding to an event, he is training or working constantly on developing new tactics in an ever evolving industry. Julien in proud of his experience with AVEA as he has the ability to work along side the best Vehicle Extrication Instructors in the world and is humbled with the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience internationally. As a NFPA Certified Evaluator, Julien has had the opportunity to travel and not only train and certify firefighters but also learn constantly from students from all over the Country as they share their knowledge and experience with him.

Darrell Fleming

Started in the Fire Service in 1983 and served all ranks throughout his career. Darrell has received recognized PROBOARD / IFSAC certification as a Chief Fire Officer, Fire Service Instructor / Evaluator and Safety Officer. Additional education / competency as a Fire Inspector/ Investigator. 

Retired as Fire Chief with Leduc County in 2018, Darrell has been involved in specialized rescue operations for thirty years with extensive experience in the instruction of fire personnel in vehicle / machinery rescue.  Rescue competitions have challenged him for many years, both as a competitor and judge / assessor. His passion has been in the specialized field of heavy rescue and technology. Darrell looks forward to working with everyone to assist and advance your competencies in rescue operations  

Luc Coultry

Junior Instructor Luc Coultry grew up in Alberta but has called Fernie BC home for the last 20 years.  His emergency background includes Mountain Rescue, Paramedic, Mine Rescue instruction & competition, Rope Rescue Competition, and is an active member of Fernie Fire Rescue.  

Extrication, rope rescue, & confined space rescue are the areas that he thrives in.

Neal Schellenberg

Neal discovered his passion for Firefighting as a teenager which forged his future as an adult.

Growing up in a farming and earthmoving family naturally moved Neal into the work force as a heavy equipment operator and Pipefitter in the oil industry.

Neal obtained a certificate in Public Fire protection from Manitoba Fire College in 1994. After a few years as an Oilfield Fire Fighter and EMT the opportunity to become a Calgary Fire Fighter presented itself in 2000. Over the last 21 years as a CFD member Neal has made Technical Rescue his main focus. Neal has instructional experience in the disciplines of Rope Rescue, Structural Collapse, Trench Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, and has been working with Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association for the last 9 years. Most recently, in 2017, Neal was promoted Captain. He previously held the position of Technical Teams Coordinator for three and a half years. This included working with a large team’s to facilitate, manage, research and develop the Technical Rescue disciplines in Aquatic Rescue (Surface and Dive), Heavy Rescue, Rope Rescue and Airport Rescue Fire Fighting for Calgary Fire Dept. Neal has a strong belief that Firefighters should be lifelong learners and building strong relationships is key.

Steve Eddy

Steve has been actively working with the fire service for over 35 Years. He has taken extensive training in North America and around the Alberta area in vehicle extrication and other rescue disciplines. Steve has been involved in the Big Rig Training with Randy for the past 13 years since its inception and has a deep knowledge of Paratech Equipment and TNT Rescue tools. Steve is active in vehicle extrication competitions in the pit set up and tool demonstrations and scenario design at a regional, national levels. He has instructed numerous emergency services in extrication as an assistant instructor with Randy to meet the different standards drawing on knowledge, at a world level.    

Peter Methner

Pete Methner is a Platoon Chief with the City of Niagara Falls Fire Dept. and he has served the city for over 34 yrs.

He continues to teach vehicle extrication at all levels throughout eastern Canada and Upstate NY. Pete has been instructing with AVEA for the past 10 years.

Gary Schultz

Gary comes from a farming & heavy duty mechanical background, east of Didsbury. He started with Didsbury Fire in 2008 and is currently a Lt. and is also a member of the Equipment committee.

Gary started with the Calgary Fire Dept in 2012 and works out of # 4 Fire on the Hazmat team since 2014, in addition to Hazmat, Gary is also a Pump & Aerial and Vehicle Extrication shift instructor. Gary started with AVEA in 2016.

Dave Brand

Dave is a civil engineer and emergency manager with a professional background in private industry and the public sector developing public and community infrastructure as well as providing community and public safety services. Dave was born & raised on a beef cow-calf operation, showed cattle across Canada, and then had a horse breeding and cattle operation of his own.

Dave’s first responder training and certifications include structural and wildland firefighting, vehicle extrication, dangerous goods, rope rescue, water and ice rescue, rescue boat operation, technical large animal (livestock) emergency rescue, grain entrapment rescue, structural collapse and traffic incident management. Dave was selected as one of the initial master trainers in Canada for the national BeGrainSafe grain rescue awareness program and has trained hundreds of emergency responders in both grain rescue and livestock emergency response.

Dave is also trained as an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) structural collapse technician and is certified as a FEMA/USACE Structures Specialist in addition to being trained in multiple ICS positions as an Incident Management Team (IMT) member.  Dave’s cross-training and experience both as “boots on the ground” and as an Agency Administrator allows him to view incident management and emergency response from a broad perspective. Dave is certified as a NFPA 1041 Level 2 instructor and believes that teaching and presenting to adult audiences across various disciplines is actually one of the best ways to learn from the experiences of others and be a continual student.

Daniel Soucie

Daniel Soucie is a Captain and a Training Officer with Leduc County Fire Services. Started in the Fire Service with Leduc County in 2011. Has served as firefighter, Lieutenant and recently, a Captain with Leduc County. He has extensive experience in fire suppression and rescue operations, with a passion in specialized rescue, particularly heavy rescue.

As a paid-on-call firefighter, department instructor / training coordinator, Captain Soucie instructs fire personnel in achieving certification of NFPA 1001, 1002 and 1006 and coordinates the activities for drill nights.

Daniel Soucie is Vice President / Field Service Technician with his company, Dan-Mar Equipment Sales & Services. As a Red Seal heavy equipment technician, working in the oilfield industry his experience with heavy equipment both on road and off road benefits his instructional skills in heavy recue.

Daniel has been instructing for AVEA since 2016 in Heavy Rescue – Big Rig Hots and participation in Advanced and Farm VX / Machinery.

Captain Soucie looks forward to meeting and instructing fire personnel in specialized rescue, passing on his knowledge and experiences as a rescuer.

Braydon Snyder

Braydon started his career in 2009 volunteering with Didsbury Fire Department. He had spent 10 years as a career industrial Firefighter & Captain in the Alberta oil sands and currently is an Emergency Response Manager with Teck Resources in the East Kootenay Fording River Operations. He has extensive experience instructing & evaluating classes in many NFPA disciplines within the fire service. He finds himself traveling all over AB & BC instructing & evaluating courses as a part time instructor/evaluator for JIBC, AEMA & AVEA. Braydon accepts that there is never an end to learning in emergency services, we can all better ourselves either by being a student or instructor in every class we take.  

Jesse MacDonnell

Jesse began his firefighting career in 2005 with Wheatland County where he continues to volunteer and help train members to this day. He joined Calgary Fire Department in 2009 and upon completion of his probationary year became a vehicle extrication instructor. Jesse is always looking to further his own skills and that of the crews he works with. Being on multiple departments has helped him learn skills from both rural/agricultural to bigger urban settings. Jesse began teaching with AVEA in 2022 after assisting with farm ex/heavy rescue courses within Wheatland County for a few years prior. His passion for teaching and continuous learning has grown over the years and looks forward to continuing with AVEA.

AVEA Sponsorships

The Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association (AVEA) would like to thank our valuable Sponsors. Select the corresponding logo to learn more about each company.