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John Shafer is a 23-year veteran of the fire service and is currently Chief of Training & Safety at the Washington Township Avon Fire Department.  John is a recognized instructor who has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada delivering specialized training programs on Building Construction, Fireground Search, Fire Behavior, Firefighter Safety, and the Close the Door initiative.  He has taught nationally at FDIC, Firehouse World, and Firehouse Expo.

John is currently a Technical Advisor for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Fire Safety Public Education Research Group and has been a part of several recent UL fire research studies; the latest one being Attic Fire Research.   He also served for 2 years as an advisor and safety officer for the Kill the Flashover Fire Research Group in South Carolina.

Along with IDHS staff and Governor Mitch Daniels, John was instrumental in the development and implementation of the statewide District Training System.  Because of this work, he was the first hired Regional Fire Training Coordinator for District 7, where he served in that role for 10 years.   In addition to his work with District 7, he served a year as the President of the Indiana Fire Instructors Association (IFIA).

John strives to bring advanced training and new technologies to the Washington Township Avon Fire Department; keeping an open mind when learning about new advancements and discoveries while respecting the historic past of the fire service.   John is passionate about sharing his findings with others and one of the ways he does this is through social media.  John manages several fire service training pages and is also the founder and editor of and is co-owner of

John has not only authored fire service training material on-line, but also wrote a chapter titled Search for Suburban Fire Tactics (Pennwell Books) and was a Technical Reviewer and Contributor for the following fire service textbooks: Evidence-Based Practices for Strategic and Tactical Firefighting (Jones & Bartlett), Principles of Fire Behavior and Combustion, 4th edition (Jones & Bartlett), and Brannigan’s Building Construction for the Fire Service, 5th edition (Jones & Bartlett.)

John began his fire service career at Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department (Putnam County, Indiana), where he served for six years.  In 1999 he transitioned into a career firefighter for the Honey Creek Fire Department, and has served the Greencastle Fire Department for more than 10 years.  He utilizes his experience as both a volunteer and career firefighter to enhance his students’ experience in his training seminars for personnel from any aspect of the fire service.

John is a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, an active supporter of the NFFF, and Everyone Goes Home Initiatives by teaching several of the Everyone Goes Home programs throughout Indiana.  He holds numerous certifications as a Firefighter I/II, Fire Officer III, Hazardous Materials Technician, Instructor II/III, Inspector I/II, Strategy & Tactics, Building Construction, EMT, Safety Officer, and has been trained in numerous fire service and WMD courses.



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