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At the Ready Region IV Expo

At the Ready Region IV Expo

Iron Works Convention Center

Thank You to Our Amazing Attendees, Instructors, and Exhibitors

First Responder Challenge
First Responder Challenge

At the Ready's Region IV Expo was provided free to members of law enforcement, EMS, and fire fighter departments, inviting responders to:

   •   Attend an Expo event that includes local, regional, national and international vendors, open through extended hours designed to accommodate shift work

   •   Receive free training through programs selected to meet the needs of small, rural, and volunteer departments

   •   Explore and test new equipment, and have the opportunity to impact the development of technology made to suit your needs

   •   Network with regional departments that share the same challenges and environment


At the Ready's Region IV Expo has been featured in NVFC's Dispatch! The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. See the article here.

Our Exhibitors


Vyper is the home of the Universal TUL^V (Tactical Ultra-Light Vehicle). As the global leader in our field, we provide unique solutions for your unique missions. By utilizing our Modular Precise Operating Devices (mPODs), we help you achieve results for your evolving needs.


Enabling self-care and survival in the modern world by sharing our experience, some science, and an extra large stash of PBR tall boys. Since 2008 SpeerOpTech has delivered advanced capabilities US Govt. and OGA's that improved the security, tactical, rescue, and casualty care outcomes. The US Government distributor for Cold Fire Defense Blend (CFDB) ™ and Sole GSA distributor for the Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet. GSA contract GS-07F-016BA, Schedule 84. Participant in the DLA vendor process with DAPA pricing for the Prime Vendor program. Self certified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Concern.



Beartooth pairs with your existing iOS or Android smart device to allow for localized peer-to-peer voice, text, and geolocation communication when cell service and wifi are unavailable.

September 11th Discussion Panel - Information Sharing in Public Safety: How Far Have We Come?

This important discussion on how public safety organizations can get better at sharing the necessary information and resources to improve the quality of life in their communities was held on the evening of September 11th. It included representatives from a broad field of public safety disciplines sharing their unique perspectives on information silos, and breaking them down to improve public safety. For a primer on this topic, and more information on the panel discussion, please visit Chief Robert Avsec's article here.

David Marsee

David Marsee
David Marsee began his career in 1987 as a firefighter/paramedic in Durham County. In 1994 David became shift training officer for EMS functions, and managed five volunteer fire department’s EMS continuing education program. In 1998 David was promoted to Captain with the Durham County Fire and Rescue. In 2002 he then moved to prevention for the County of Durham. In 2005 he took over as Emergency Management Coordinator for Durham County. In 2006 David became a member of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office Hazardous Devices Unit, “Bomb Squad,” as their bomb medic and hazardous material specialist.

During his time as EM Coordinator he has overseen the development of a local Incident Management Team (IMT), a robust LEPC, and expanded and revised the Durham County EOP. David has assist in the development of Durham Public School’s Emergency Action Plans, Animal Shelter plans and special needs population mass care plan. He sits as Chair of the Durham County EMS Advisory Council and LEPC. He is a member of the Durham County Terrorism Task Force Committee, Durham County Public Health Preparedness Coalition, North Carolina IMT, and North Carolina State Medical Assistance Team. David holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fire and Emergency Management.

Stacy Drakeford

Stacy Drakeford

Stacy Drakeford is the Director of Police and Fire Services for the City of Washington. . Prior to this position, he was the Director of Public Safety in Clinton South Carolina. He has over 27 years in the Public Safety Profession.

Director Drakeford is a second generation Public Safety Professional. He began his career with the Bennettsville PD in 1987. He resigned from there, where he was appointed as a South Carolina State Trooper. He worked as a State Trooper for three years. For twenty years, he worked for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. For the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, he worked in various capacities; such as a narcotics agent for the Governor's Raid Team, SWAT Team Member, Supervisory Special Agent, and Assistant Director of Special Operations.

Director Drakeford obtained a BS degree in Political Science from Presbyterian College. He has two Masters Degrees from Troy University in Public Administration and Criminal Justice. He has graduated from various management programs; such as, FBI National Academy, South Carolina Executive Institute, Rural Executive Management Institute, Fire and Rescue Management Institute, and the Chief Officer Executive Development Program.

Robert Futrell, Assistant Chief, Director of Homeland Security

Robert Futrell

Assistant Chief Futrell began his career in 1981 after serving 4 years as a U.S. Army Infantry Sergeant. He started as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Columbus EMS Department. He obtained certifications as a Cardiac Technician then Paramedic. In 1986 he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief of EMS. When the Fire and EMS Departments were merged in 2001 he was placed over the Special Operations Division as a Deputy Chief. In 2004 the Operations and Special Operations Divisions were merged and he was made the Deputy Chief over the combined divisions. In November 2010 he was promoted to Assistant Chief.

In July 2014 Chief Futrell was appointed by the Mayor to serve as the Director Of Homeland Security for the City of Columbus. He serves as the Task Force Leader for the Georgia Search and Rescue Team, Task Force 4A. He also serves as the Georgia State Public Safety Diving Instructor. He holds a Masters Degree in Management from Troy University and, in addition to certifications as Paramedic and Firefighter; he is also a Georgia Certified Peace Officer and serves as a Tactical Medic for the Police, Sheriff and ATF tactical teams. He is also Certified in Homeland Security Level 5, Hazardous Materials Technician, Rescue Technician and has a National Security Secret Clearance through the Department of Defense.

Chief Michael Beyerstedt

Michael Beyerstedt

Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt has more than 27 years of experience in the fire service, serving the last 5 years as the Fire Chief in Gulfport, MS with 11 stations and 163 employees. He began his fire service career in Jackson, Michigan where he worked his way up through the ranks to become the Fire Chief. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development, a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. Chief Beyerstedt is the Vice President of the Mississippi Fire Chief’s Association, and chairs the Harrison County 911 Emergency Communications Commission. He has also been a speaker at both Fire Rescue International (FRI), and the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC).

Chief Beyerstedt has been married to his wife Kelly for 30 years they have two sons and three grandchildren. He enjoys golf, exercise, reading, and cycling.

Panel Moderator, Chief Robert Avsec

Chief Avsec
Battalion Chief (Ret) Robert P. Avsec served with the men and women of the Chesterfield (VA) Fire & EMS Department for 26 years. His career as a fire officer is rather unique in that he spent a cumulative total of 9+ years in staff officer positions as: Director of EMS Division, Co-Manager of Emergency Communications Center (911), and Director of Training & Safety Division. Chief Avsec also served multiple tours of duty in the department's Emergency Operations Division.

Chief Avsec holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati and a Master's degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. He also is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. His post-retirement career has included consulting work with a private sector EMS agency, staff instructor and course developer with the Georgia Fire Academy, and private sector consulting with Department of Defense and federal agencies. Today he is a freelance writer for a major fire service trade journal on-line and has his own blog, ‘Talking “Shop” 4 Fire and EMS.’

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