The Best of the Pacific Northwest: The Top 8 Fire Science Instructors

The Pacific Northwest is known for its beautiful forests and wilderness. Luckily, these eight fire science instructors are preparing the next generation how to protect this pristine area. For their years of service, level of education, rank, and more, these eight instructors have earned the title for the best in the Pacific Northwest.

Art Benefiel Washington Institute

Professor Benefiel has extensive experience teaching Technical Fire Management and fire/fuels classes for Washington Institute and Forestry and GIS classes at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). He is currently a Professor of Forestry and Geographic Information Systems at COCC, Bend Oregon. He has a Master of Forest Resources Degree, from the University of Washington, in Wildland Fire Management.

Ernesto Alvarado University of Washington

Dr. Alvarado has served for 14 years with the USDA Forest Service Pacific NW Research Station’s Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team. He is currently Research Associate Professor of Wildland Fire Science.

Gary Heigel Rogue Community College

Heigel is Instructor and Department Chair at RCC's EMS program. Before joining the teaching faculty, he served in roles as paramedic, training officer, flight paramedic, field supervisor, and EMS operations manager.

James Shaw Rogue Community College

Shaw has been a full-time instructor at RCC since 2005 and still works part-time as an paramedic. He is a member of the National Association of EMS Educators.

Janean Creighton Oregon State University

Creighton, an OSU Extension Specialist, is currently working to create a Fire Science Exchange Consortium serving forestry research for northwest universities in Oregon and Washington.

Louisa Partain Portland Community College

Partain, instructor for the PCC's Emergency Medical Services (EMS/EMT) program, was named Oregon Emergency Medical Services "Educator of the Year" in 2006. She previously served 15 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Banks Fire Department.

Michael Ciraulo Clark County Fire & Rescue School

Ciraulo has served as Chief Officer within the Clark County Fire & Rescue Department for the last 13 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Fire Service Administration from Grand Canyon University.

Todd Ellingson Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Ellingson is Medical Director for the OIT/OHSU Paramedic Program. He serves as Director of Adult Simulation for EM resident education. He is recipient of the 2011 W.E. Baird Award for Teaching Excellence.