Fire Services Administration


Michael Mikitish, Director

Mike Mikitish

Office: University Programs/ISU Meridian


Adjunct Faculty

Craig S. Aberbach, Fire Chief

Craig S. Aberbach

Fire Chief

Office: City of Hailey Fire Department, Idaho

Aberbach was named Fire Chief for the City of Hailey in November 2013. He has over 25 years of fire rescue, emergency management and administrative leadership experience. He has served as division chief, battalion chief and captain of special operations. His broad experience includes operations, life safety, prevention and support services, labor matters, and budget preparation and planning. Prior to becoming Hailey’s Fire Chief, he was a Division Chief with the Cape Coral Fire Rescue & Emergency Management Services Department located in Southwest Florida from 1986-2013, holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Hodges University, a Bachelor's degree from International College, and an AA in Fire Science. He is a Florida State Certified Fire Instructor 3, Fire Officer, Fire Inspector and EMT. He instructs fire classes for Edison College, the Florida State Fire School, FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Idaho State University and various vocational programs. His efforts and excellence earned him the recognition of the State of Florida's Fire Service Instructor of the year in 2000.

Michael Irwin, Fire Chief

Michael Irwin

Fire Chief

Office: City of Springdale Fire Department, Arkansas

Irwin began his employment career in retail management where he worked for over 13 years. During the past few years of this career he became involved in volunteering for both a Fire Department and EMS service. In 1989, Irwin was hired as a career firefighter with the Lee's Summit Fire Department where he enjoyed a great career and retired at the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. Irwin accepted an appointment with the Pocatello Fire Dept in Jan 2009, and served there as Fire Chief until August of 2012 when he accepted the position of Fire Chief in Springdale, AR. Irwin says Springdale FD is a great department and has a very bright future. His ultimate goal is to provide the best, most efficient emergency services available, while continuing to improve the department, and the goal of achieving accreditation.

Irwin has a MBA in Business Administration from Baker University, a Bachelor’s in Business Management from University of Phoenix, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program and a graduate of the NFA, University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute.

Christopher D. Amenn

Christopher D. Amenn

Deputy Chief of Planning

Office: Meridian Fire Department


The Planning Division for Meridian Fire provides executive level support in the areas of planning, research and development. Our Planning Chief, Deputy Chief Chris Amenn, works extensively with other City, State and Federal agencies along with various private sector entities to coordinate delivery of emergency services. This position is responsible for community risk assessment and analysis, managing the capitol budget, planning for fire station and administrative facilities, fire apparatus purchased, personnel, department testing, performance and quality control, and developing and updating policies.

Deputy Chief Chris Amenn has served as a firefighter since 1987, when he began with a volunteer Fire Department in the St. Louis Metro Area. He became a paramedic in 1990 and continued to serve with a number of agencies in that area. He served as a training officer, a special operations officer and as a member of the St. Louis Metro Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3. He has held the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief which was his position with Webster Grove Fire Department when he left to join the Meridian Fire Department in January of 2010. Since joining the Meridian Fire Department, Chris has served as the Training Officer, Division Chief of EMS, Deputy Chief of Operations and now fills the role of Deputy Chief of Planning. He holds an AAS in Fire Science from SouthWestern Illinois College, and a B.S. in Fire Service Administration from Lindenwood University, and is currently completing his graduate studies at Webster University. Chris lives in Meridian with his wife, Nicole and Daughter, Ainsley; where they have come to feel like a part of the community.

Robert Kronenberger, Fire Chief

Robert Kronenberger

Fire Chief

Office: City of Middleton Fire Department, Ohio

Robert has been in the fire service for over 27 years between volunteer and career departments. He has served the Middletown Fire Department in Connecticut for 23 years in various ranks including: Lieutenant, Training Division Captain, Deputy Chief, and in 2014 was promoted to Fire Chief.

Robert is involved in many community organizations including the Vice President of the Middletown Kiwanis and the Advisory Board on the Middletown Salvation Army.

He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. He earned a B.S. in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University in 2008 and earned his M.S. in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2009.

Charles Butterfield, Assistant Fire Chief

Charles Butterfield

Assistant Fire Chief

Office: City of Sun Valley Fire Department, Idaho

Charles began his career in the fire service in 1995 with the City of Sun Valley Fire Department, in Sun Valley Idaho, as an entry level firefighter. In 1996, he completed the Basic-EMT course. Through the next several years, he progressed through the ranks of the Sun Valley Fire Department. In 2001, Charles moved to the City of Hailey, Idaho at which time he joined Wood River Fire and Rescue. Always interested in pursuing to the next level, he completed paramedic school in 2003 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant/Paramedic for Wood River fire and Rescue in 2006.

In 2004, he began his pursuit of higher education obtaining an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Fire Service Technology from the College of Southern Idaho in 2007, a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Colorado State University in 2010, and a Master’s degree in Education from Colorado State University in 2012. In 2013, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Sun Valley Fire Department, a position that he currently holds today. During his fire service career, he has also completed IFSAC certification to the level of Fire Officer I and is also a certified Fire Investigation Technician through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).

Rick Tivis, Statistician

Rick Tivis


Office: Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center


Rick Tivis graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Masters in Public Health specializing in biostatistics and epidemiology. He is a bio-statistician with 20+ years of experience in health related research. Currently, he serves as the Statistician for the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education at the Boise VA Medical Center and is a Research Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University. At ISU he teaches graduate statistics to future health care professionals and Analytic Applications for students in the Fire Service Administration program. Mr. Tivis has a passion for statistical literacy in all professions. Rick also serves as the statistical editor for the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation and is active in health care in the community serving as a founding and current board member of the Canyon County Community Clinic.

Mark Wendelsdorf, Fire Chief

Mark Wendelsdorf

Fire Chief

Office: Caldwell Fire Dept

Chief Wendelsdorf started his career in a high school cadet program with the Homewood Fire Department, located just south of Chicago, Illinois. After serving 5 years as a Firefighter/Paramedic with Homewood he moved to Flossmoor Fire Department and served as the Training Officer for the Department. In April of 1991 Chief Wendelsdorf moved to Caldwell Idaho, and served as the Assistant Chief responsible for Training and Hazardous Materials until 2004 when he was appointed Fire Chief.

Chief Wendelsdorf has an Associate degree in Fire Science, Bachelors in Fire Service Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration. He has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) at the National Fire Academy and has also been awarded the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) in 2003. In 2008 Chief Wendelsdorf was one of six Fire Service members to attend Harvard University Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. In 2011 Chief Wendelsdorf earned the recognition of Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE), a world leader in Fire Prevention and Life Safety.

Chief Wendelsdorf, enjoys teaching for Idaho State University. Chief Wendelsdorf serves on the Idaho State Interoperability Executive Council representing the Idaho Fire Chiefs; Idaho Hazardous Materials State Plan Planning Committee, and numerous other committees.

In 2010 Chief Wendelsdorf was elected as the Vice-President of the Western Fire Chiefs Association. In 2012 he served as the President of the Western Fire Chiefs and in 2014 moved to the International Directors position, representing the Western Chief on the IAFC Board of Directors. Chief Wendelsdorf was presented with the Award of Excellence, by the Western Chiefs in August of 2014.

Chief Wendelsdorf is married and is expecting his first child, and future Fire Chief, in April of 2015.

Dave Hanneman

Dave Hanneman

Fire Chief

Office: daho Falls Fire Department, Idaho

In October, 2014, Dave became the new fire chief of Idaho Falls Fire Department. Hanneman has more than 30 years of experience in firefighting and emergency medical services. In 2008, he became the fire chief of the city of Chula Vista where he implemented a new paramedic program and developed a fire facility master plan. He started his career in 1984 with the Cole-Collister Fire District in Boise. He transferred to Boise Fire Department in 1988 where he worked for 21 years and achieved the rank of deputy chief.

Hanneman holds an AA and BA in fire service technology from Boise State University and a MA in professional technical education from the University of Idaho. He served as president of the Sand Diego County Fire Chief’s Association from 2011-2014. In 2008 he was designated chief fire officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has provided instruction in many areas of fire and EMS services including leadership, incident management, National Incident Management System, incident stress management and public information.


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