Established in July 2014 in the State of Arizona, the International Public Safety Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit public safety association, represents all public safety verticals: law enforcement, fire service, EMS, telecommunications, public works (water, sanitation, transportation), public health, hospitals, security, private sector, and emergency management.
Our Mission is to break down the cultural barriers and foster the relationships between EMS, fire, law enforcement, telecommunicators, allied emergency responders, and the communities they serve.
Our vision is for a stronger, more integrated public safety community capable of an effective joint response to all public safety incidents.
Inclusive – of the entire public safety community
Pride – in our efforts and accomplishments
Sharing – of information, resources, expertise, and time
Action – taking action as members and as an organization
Board of Directors and Officers
Our Board of Directors and Officers include practitioners in the fire service, emergency medical service, law enforcement, and the private sector.
IPSA Board Chair
J. Scott Quirarte is a Battalion Chief with the Ventura County (CA) Fire Department. He has been with the department 30 years. He spent 17 years as a member of Special Operations as a shift captain for the HazMat Team.
Battalion Chief Quirarte is the project lead for the Ventura County Interagency Active Shooter Response Workgroup. The workgroup developed coordinated response procedures for all county agencies. Battalion Chief Quirarte was also the lead instructor of program training for over 3000 law enforcement officers, firefighters, dispatchers and EMS personnel. He is also a founding member of Ventura County Stop the Bleed program.
Battalion Chief Quirarte is a Board Member of the International Public Safety Association and a member of the IPSA's RTF and TEMS committees. While serving as Vice-Chair of the IPSA's RTF committee, he served as a principal in the development of the IPSA RTF Best Practices Guide. Battalion Chief Quirarte is also the IPSA representative on the NFPA 3000 Technical Committee.
His course development and instructor qualifications include Hazardous Materials Outreach Instructor, State Fire Instructor, and a Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program-HSEEP Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP). He has developed and delivered numerous training programs/exercises across the country to a wide array of audiences and disciplines including, Public Health, military, fire, law enforcement, FBI, NSA, ICE, emergency managers, hospitals and the private sector.
IPSA Board Member
Chief Scott Edson retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) after more than 39 years to become the executive director of Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS).
Chief Edson is incredibly well respected by his peers across public safety disciplines throughout the Los Angeles region and the nation. His rare blend of public safety experience and credibility, thought leadership, deep technical knowledge, and long-standing relationships throughout the region and nation provide an unparalleled ability to operationalize interoperable and valuable technologies in public safety.
Chief Edson is also the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Public Safety Association, a member of the Board of Governors for the Global Society of Homeland and National Security, and a member of many more professional associations. Chief Edson has an Associate in Arts degree in Administration of Justice and a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management.
IPSA Board Member
Katherine Severson is a 24-year serving police officer and Sergeant in the Calgary Police Service (Alberta, Canada), currently leading the Emergency Management Unit within the Major Events & Emergency Management Section.
In her role she manages the Police Tactical Operations Center, plans her agency’s response to complex incidents and major events, and coordinates disaster response with the fire department, EMS, 911 Dispatch and other City partners. She is also a member of the All-Hazards Incident Management Team in Canada Taskforce 2’s National Disaster Response Team and has served in leadership roles during provincial and national disasters like floods and wildfires over the last 10 years. Katherine instructs incident management (ICS), interoperability in incident command and rescue taskforce response for four emergency service agencies.
She holds a Bachelors of Kinesiology, numerous certifications in disaster risk reduction, adult learning, incident management and Business Continuity. After serving on the Rescue Taskforce Committee with IPSA from 2019, Katherine proudly joined the Board of Directors in 2021 where she is thrilled to support the advancement of interagency cooperation and learning. She is a two-time winner of the Chief’s Lifesaving Award, and recipient of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police Outstanding Achievement Award.
IPSA Board Member
Brad Havrilla is a 30 year veteran for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. He is currently assigned in the Training and Safety Division where he is responsible for the Training of Palm Beach County’s Special Operations Team and Airport Fire Rescue Members. Brad is the past Chairman of the Rescue Task Force Committee and still is an active member on the committee.
Brad’s work related passion was Technical Rescue instruction and Vehicle Extrication Competition. Havrilla served as Vice Chairman of the TERC Committee and the World Rescue Organization and Judged Competitions nationally and internationally. He also serves in several roles with the Florida Highway Patrol; and is currently coordinating Fire Rescue’s Active Shooter Response program. This coordinated response between Law Enforcement and Fire Rescue has tightened the gap between these two agencies and is strengthening the bond of Public Safety in South Florida.
Officer: IPSA Treasurer
Karen Ziegler has more than three decades of experience in criminal justice program administration; budget and finance; and full life cycle grant management. She retired in 2016 as the Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, the State Administering Agency (SAA) for U.S. Department of Justice and state criminal justice grants. She was responsible for the acquisition; sub award; management; and reporting of over $50 million in federal, state, and non-profit grants including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant. In addition to financial management, Ms. Ziegler managed the Arizona Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program – a federal gun and gang violence prevention program, where she was responsible for the state’s strategic approach to reducing gun and gang violence in Arizona. Ms. Ziegler most recently contracted with the Office of Grants and Federal Resources within the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) to serve as the Public Safety Program Manager and was responsible for the State 9-1-1 Program, the Arizona Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet) Program and State Rural Broadband Initiative. Ms. Ziegler has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University and is also a Certified Grant Writer.
Currently, Ms. Ziegler is providing financial and grant writing consulting services to public safety agencies across the country and is working with local rural communities on broadband planning and implementation efforts to bring affordable and reliable broadband to rural Arizona.
IPSA Board Vice-Chair
George Steiner is a U.S. Navy veteran and after receiving an honorable discharge he started his career in the fire service.
In addition to his fire service experience, Steiner is a certified police officer with over 10 years experience and continues to work part-time at two police departments.
Steiner helped develop Elgin's Rescue Task Force and ative shooter program. He has also consulted and helped other communities with their RTF programs. In addition to RTF, Steiner also teaches Tactical Emergency Casualty Care and Bleeding Control to other first responders and civilians.
Steiner has been a member of the IPSA’s RTF Committee since its inception and is the current IPSA RTF Committee Chair.
Officer: IPSA Executive Director & CEO
Heather R. Cotter is the Executive Director & CEO of the IPSA. In this capacity, Cotter is responsible for managing all business operations and implementing the association’s strategic vision. Cotter works closely with the IPSA’s Board of Directors to ensure that every initiative the IPSA pursues and every action taken is in alignment with its mission, vision and values.
In 2014, Cotter formed the IPSA as a 501(c)3, non-profit public safety membership association because she recognized the need to establish a professional public safety organization that offers networking, policy development and training opportunities between EMS, fire, law enforcement, 911 telecommunicators and allied emergency responders. It is the IPSA’s vision for a stronger, more integrated public safety community capable of an effective joint response to all public safety incidents. Given this, Cotter formed the IPSA so that every public safety official and every public safety advocate is eligible to become a member and help advance the IPSA mission.
As Executive Director, Cotter has a role in every aspect of the association from committee work and membership to the IPSA’s events and programs/services.
Cotter also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the IPSA Journal. This executive-level publication includes manuscripts that are public safety relevant, thoroughly researched and peer-reviewed. Integrated and effective public safety policy needs to be driven by research. Cotter created the IPSA Journal because she recognizes the critical need to bridge the gaps between public safety theory, research and practice.
Cotter’s vision is to bring the public safety community together beyond any call for service. Creating an integrated public safety culture takes time, but the outcomes are indisputably worthwhile: first responder safety, community safety, unified training, improved response, research-driven policy.
Cotter interacts with the entire public safety community daily.
IPSA Board Member
Wren Nealy Jr. is a certified Paramedic and Licensed Peace Officer in the State of Texas. He is the Assistant Executive Director of Cypress Creek EMS managing Field Operations, Clinical Operations, Communications, Special Operations, Logistics, Public Information, and Community Relations. Wren is a Reserve Lieutenant and former Assistant SWAT Commander for the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.
He is the Vice Chair of the Emergency Services Sector – Coordinating Council for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, representing the IPSA. Wren is also the President of the International Police Mountain Bike Association. IPMBA is the standard in public safety cyclist training with 5000 Police, EMS/Fire, and Security members in 17 countries.
He serves as the program director for the CCEMS Tactical Operational Medical Support training program, training tactical medics from across the country and abroad. He has developed several specialized training programs for public safety. He is an accomplished author and public speaker on EMS Special Operations and Emergency Preparedness, presenting at state and national conferences. In 2013 he consulted with Indiana State Representative Wendy McNamara in the revision of HB1111 to allow law enforcement officers trained in tactical combat casualty care to intervene and perform lifesaving medical care during hostile incidents, ultimately testifying before the Indiana House of Representatives on behalf of this bill. In 2015 he was awarded the National Tactical Officers Association TEMS Award for his significant contributions to the Tactical Emergency Medical Support community.
IPSA Board Member
Lieutenant Robert C. Marland is a Detective Lieutenant with the Richmond Police Department, 2nd Precinct. He has been active in law enforcement for over 45 years with the last 44 years with the Richmond Police Department and the past 24 years as a Lieutenant assigned to various capacities to include, Detective Lieutenant, 2nd Precinct, FMT Detective and Tactical, Sector Commander, Warrant & Information Services Central Records/Data Operation, Acting Captain, Watch Commander, Traffic Enforcement Unit, Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team, Motorcycle Unit, Hit & Run Investigations, Canine, Mounted, Aviation, Special Events/NIMS, Support Officers, School Crossing Guards, Crowd Management Team, Mobile Command Center, Planning and Research Division, Special Communications Project/800MHZ Radio System, the Professional Standards Unit/Audits and Inspections Unit and CALEA. He is also a member of the Central Virginia All Hazards Incident Management Team.
Additionally, Lt. Marland is an ABLE (Active Bystandership in Law Enforcement) trainer, Certified Level 2 C.E.R.T (Community Emergency Response Team), Certified Active Shooter trainer. Conducted state-wide Standard Field Sobriety Testing training and Senior Instructor training; aligned to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Instituted ICS and NIMS training for the Richmond Police Department and the City of Richmond. He has been twice recognized by the local MADD Chapter for my work in DUI Enforcement; recognized by Richmond Public Schools for traffic safety work with city schools; recognized by City Council for his Public Safety work both with the department and twice by the Virginia General Assembly. He has represented the Richmond Police Department in the Virginia General Assembly; appeared and presented testimony before both the Virginia General Assembly Sub and Full Committee hearings on proposed gun related city ordinances and state laws and Standard Field Sobriety Instruction throughout Virginia. Worked with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and other driver safety entities on the issue of texting while driving; how to enforce; state-wide training in the new code section. Managed the Richmond Police “Weed and Seed Program”; part of a panel presentations at the National Weed and Seed Convention. Project Coordinator for the RPD Performance Evaluation System, Project Manager for the Richmond Police Department Pay-for-Performance Collaborative director of regional “Know Crime Institute” working with numerous community businesses to provide guidance and present community-wide crime prevention training seminars.
Lt. Marland has a master’s degree of Science, Public Administration/Executive Development – Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., Theological Education/Education of Ministry, University of the South, School of Theology, Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice – University of Dayton, Dayton, Oh.,
Associates of Science, Law Enforcement Technology – J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Richmond, Va., Associates of Science, Administration of Justice – Columbus Technical Institute, Columbus Oh. He has also received the Trilogy Award from the FBI/LEEDA and attended the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, 45th Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS).