ALERRT Newsletter - March 2022
ALERRT Newsletter - March 2022
March 2022
Fire As A Weapon Integrated Response (FAAWIR) Course

The ALERRT Center at Texas State University and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have been awarded funding to develop a state-of-the-art eLearning program to train Fire and Law Enforcement personnel on responding to Fire as a Weapon (FAAW) events.
ALERRT has already developed a 16-hour in-person version of the FAAW Integrated Response (FAAWIR) training. The specific goal of this project is the development of a 4-hour eLearning version of the FAAWIR training to disseminate nationally via ALERRT’s inhouse eLearning platform (LMS).
Fire as a weapon (FAAW) is the use of fire, smoke, or flammable materials normally used with other attack vectors that confound incident response and which requires an integrated response for incident stabilization. Criminals and terrorists have used FAAW in many incidents, including well-known incidents such as: Waco TX, 1993; Mumbai India, 2008; Ferguson MO, 2014-15; and Honolulu HI, 2020 as well as many smaller incidents. FAAW incidents are continually evolving, both in magnitude and frequency, and the training to mitigate FAAW must also continually evolve.
The ALERRT eLearning Team is in the process of taking the material from the 16 hour in-person FAAWIR course to develop a 4 hour eLearning delivery via the ALERRT LMS. In early March 2022, the FAAWIR course was delivered to the Fayetteville Arkansas Police and Fire Departments and the Springdale Arkansas Police Department. The eLearning Team filmed the course presentations, the hands-on practical application workstations, and the scenarios. This footage will enable to the Team to script and streamline for a 4 hour course. The anticipated date for completion of this project will be September 2022. Please visit the ALERRT eLearning website for updates as this course getting developed.

Wednesday, October 5 - Saturday, October 8 | Gaylord National - Oxon Hill, MD
Vendor registration for the 2022 ALERRT Conference is now open!
Visit to see opportunities and register.
Speaker registration can be accessed at

Attendee registration will be opening in April, so be sure to mark your calendar. This year's conference starts October 5!
  • March 19, 2022
    2022 ILEETA Conference
    St. Louis, MO
    Regional Manager Marty Adcock will be at an ALERRT booth in the vendor show for networking and information.

ALERRT Welcomes New Regional Managers

ALERRT recently added two new Regional Managers to help with scheduling classes, answer questions, and to be a points of contact for training related issues in specific areas of the United States.

We'd love to welcome Joseph Shirley, who will be in charge of our Western region, and John Cantarella, who will be covering the Northeast. You can find our full list of regional managers at We are thrilled to have you as part of the team!

John Cantarella is recently retired from The Fire/EMS service where he did a total 27 years. The last 21 years being for the Woodlands Fire Department. He did Special Operations Rescue and Hazmat with all the certs that go with it. He was the TACMED trainer for his department teaching the TECC medicine. When the big push was building up in Iraq in 2003, John decided he needed to do his part and enlisted in The Navy Reserves, went to bootcamp at 40 years old, became a Corpsman and a Command Fitness Leader. He served in South Korea with SOCCOM at Camp Kim and did one tour in 2007 in Kuwait and Iraq as an Ad hoc Doc for CASESVAC work from Iraq to Germany, as well as doing CFL and Sick Call duties.

He has been married to his beautiful wife Melanie for over 31 years. They have two adult children, each having blessed them with a granddaughter. John credits all of his accomplishment and what he has, to the help of his family.

“I’m purpose driven and my purpose now is ALERRT, and has been since 2018. I believe in this mission and I know it saves lives. I am the new North-East Reginal Manager and the medical liaison to Doc Cain. I am looking forward to being part of this mission and this TEAM."

Joseph Shirley is a retired firefighter with over two decades of extensive experience in fire, technical rescue, incident command system, wildland firefighting, urban search & rescue, and medical.  He began his fire service career with Orange County Fire Authority in Southern California before relocating to Northwest Arkansas joining the Fayetteville Fire Department.  He progressed through the ranks from First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter, Driver Operator, and Captain throughout his career.  Captain Shirley spent most of his career assigned to an Engine company before shifting leadership roles to help oversee the fire department’s training division.  He has earned an Associate degree in fire service and a Bachelor’s degree from John Brown University, earning Summa Cum Laude honors. 

Before accepting the Regional Manager position over the West, Joseph worked as an Adjunct Instructor for the ALERRT program.  Some of you may have had the opportunity to witness his radiant smile and positive, cheerful disposition.  When Joseph isn’t working, he loves spending time with his family.  He is a God-fearing man, married to his beautiful wife, Taylor.  Joseph and Taylor have four children together; three boys and a daughter who keep them on their toes.  On the weekends, you can find him coaching two travel baseball teams, riding dirt bikes, camping, or attending his daughter’s dance recital.

Joseph is excited to be a part of the ALERRT family!  His goal is to help strengthen and expand the ALERRT program with the utmost eagerness, enthusiasm, and zeal.  

Hunter Martaindale
Director of Research
How long have you been with ALERRT? I started working at ALERRT in 2010 as part of the logistics crew.
What does your day-to-day look like at ALERRT? My main tasks vary from writing research articles and grants to planning / executing studies.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ALERRT? This is going to sound original, but the mission of ALERRT and the people here are my favorite things. It’s also always nice to hear from practitioners that they found some of our research valuable.

What was the first job you ever had? My first job was cutting yards when I was 12’ish years old. I still cut a lot of Bermuda grass to this day…
What is your least favorite food? Durian – you don’t want to know…

What sort of pets do you have? Normally I just have a dog. However, my son sometimes likes to make bug friends/pets.
Where is your favorite place to be in your free time? With the family. My wife and I have a 4-year-old son and a 6-month-old daughter.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? Formatting issues…
Tonya Green
Program Coordinator
How long have you been with ALERRT? 9 years this summer! 
What does your day-to-day look like at ALERRT? If I am not on the phone with an RM or a POC, I am at my computer emailing one of the two. Working hard to get our courses on the calendar.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ALERRT? Getting to meet people from across this great nation (and even further)! I am blessed to get to know so many wonderful people near and far. I especially enjoy talking to people in one of my regions (NE). They have the best accents! :-D

What is one thing you have yet to cross off your bucket list? Fly fishing in Montana.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? The dishes – dishes are the worst!

What was the best concert you ever attended? Best concert I ever attended was Beer by the Bay – LeAnn Rimes. She covered Elton John’s – Rocket Man and I lost it. It was incredible! Best encore in the history of ever.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? When people txt me and say “call me”! Just call me! If I don’t answer, I’ll call back.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? I would buy back the H-O Ranch where I grew up and attempt to buy back the land they have since sold off. 6,000+ acres of beautiful hill country to call home for my family.

The Call

Be sure to check out ALERRT's podcast The Call on YouTube or Spotify.

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Pete Blair, Ph.D.
Executive Director

John Curnutt
Assistant Director

Hunter Martaindale, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Kelly Nichols
Director of Finance
Dwayne Sander
Director of Information Technology

Zane Childress
Director of Logistics

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In the aftermath of recent active attacks, a record number of Civilian Response classes have been held across the nation. We have received many calls for a flyer that can be printed and distributed to participants. 
Newsletter Archives
An archive of the ALERRT Newsletter, The Responder, is available on our website at
Major Funding Partners

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

Department of Justice

The State of Texas

FBI, Department of Justice

National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center

Department of Homeland Security

Local Working Partners

City of San Marcos

Hays County Sheriff’s Office

Texas School Safety Center

Texas Tactical Police 

Officers Association

Gary Job Corps Center, 
San Marcos - Department
of Labor

Professional Partners

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