*The bios are intended to tickle the funny bone and should be read with a sense of humour.

Aaron Fields

Aaron Fields is a firefighter for the City of Seattle and the OG of the Nozzle Forward.  Between his dad, brother, and himself, there is nearly always a Fields member on watch somewhere in the 5th battalion. His aspiration has always been to ride on the back of Engine 28, allowing him to work in the neighborhood he grew up in (98118 shout-out).  After time at 28’s, Aaron moved to his dad’s spot on Engine Company 13, Battalion 5 headquarters. He is known for his dislike of “the MAN”, tendency to question authority, and zealous belief that good basics win.  Aaron developed the skills shared in the Nozzle Forward in an unrelenting pursuit of all things engine.  The skills are adapted from many sources, but reconstructed to be based around simple principles that maximize mechanical advantage.  At the request of folks who wanted to see how he was going about hand-line use the Nozzle Forward was born as a program and has been slap’in lines around since 2008.  When all else fails, give ‘em a West Coast Salute……

Matt Lujan

Lujan works for Seattle Fire Department and spent most of his career on the “Devil Wagon,” Engine 28. He recently went to Engine 6. He is willing to go to Boston to get the exact car of his dreams and drive straight back in order to make work on time.  Two armfuls of ink tend to make people think he has done time in the pen.  In truth, he does jail-house work shadow programs to have access to the greatest tattoo artists.  His commitment to the fire service is matched only by his commitment to his family. Lujan has been involved with the Nozzle Forward since 2009. He has a first edition of every John Grisham novel, and no you can’t borrow any of them.  He is also the son of the most interesting man in the world. Since you last saw him he has two more tattoos.

Brendan Grace

Brendan is a Washington native and works for Snohomish County Fire District 7.  He has 456 face-book friends (follow his recent odd illness in the Facebook album “Epic”). Brendan has been with the Nozzle Forward since 2009 or so. He has been instrumental in bringing the Nozzle Forward skill set to many places, including his own department. Grace’s inspiration is every bad surfing movie, especially the one with Keanu Reeves. He has been surfing Washington since he was a kid and likes to say things like “shreddin’” and “hang-ten” every chance he gets (No he won’t show you the secret spots on the coast, so don’t even ask). Recently promoted to Lieutenant on the fire department and Captain of a sailing ship. He keeps up on nautical law focusing on piracy.

Nate “Love Boat” Jamison

Nate has been described as one of the “other” guys. His quest for continuous improvement (13 year associates degree) and the great, admittedly ridiculous, lengths to which he is willing to go in his pursuit has been “ruining the job” for others since he started in 2000. He spent the majority of his career protecting the Jayhawks but is now an oyster in Denver, CO. Despite his nickname he has no skills as a sailor having  never lived near large bodies of water. Seeing the irony, he has been furiously studying under Brendan to get his first mate license.

Nick “Pockets” Simon

Fighting out of the Red corner is Capt. Nick Simon, straight outta Lawrence, Kansas.  A former wildland firefighter, Nick has been “bumping up” since the beginning of this millennium. Striving to constantly keep his game tight, he incorporates the NZL FWD techniques and verbiage into his day-to-day routine.  For instance, while at a sushi restaurant he commonly orders the “Oh S#!t Roll”, and if one of his kids has an excessively dirty diaper he yells, “Surplus!” and his wife comes to help out.  Nick is a proud member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas.

Mark Mellein

Mark is on Engine 6 in the Central District of Seattle and has been involved in the Nozzle Forward since 2009.  He is a Taurus and has many hobbies. A few of his hobbies include; consuming doppios, being a tall glass of water, traveling, long walks on the beach, and leaping small buildings. In Mark’s spare time he has launched an organic soap making business called, Your Putting What on Your Skin?

Ryan Fields

Ryan is a firefighter for the City of Seattle on Engine 6.  Between Ryan, his brother, and his dad there is nearly always a Fields family member on duty in the 5th battalion. Besides being a firefighter, Ryan has highly developed thespian skills. His current acting gig is the lead in a Hallmark Lifetime movie “The Life of Joe Dempsey”. Supporting actors in the film are Sir Ben Kingsley, Justin Timberlake, Jason Alexander, Sinbad, and Nathan Lane. Ryan has a tendency to take part in odd firehouse bets, which might explain his use of a Sherlock Homes pipe and the phrase, “hmmm deduction is science!” He has dabbled in a fire department boy band known as “Two Bro’s”. Working at 6’s with Mark Mellein has been a great partnership in many ways. Ryan is the face for Mark’s company called, Your Putting What on Your Skin?

David “Snowflake” Furey

David is proudly representing the Salinas City Fire Department (CA) where he is a Captain. Being a boss (controlling clipboards and flashlights) has allowed him to grow his mustache longer than physicist thought possible. It has been rumored that the company, Your Putting What on Your Skin? is developing Furey’s all organic mustachio wax. Like Cain from Kung Fu he wandered the earth looking for others like him until he found the Nozzle Forward program which he considers to be the Chuck Norris of the American Fire Service. He now finds solace in trying to perfect the craft of an engine tailboard firefighter and considers himself one of Andy’s ambassadors. He is a founding member and current vice president of the Left Coast FOOLS. Davids wife and 3 kids are the only ones that think he’s cool and thats good enough for him. Besides trying to achieve 10th level fire nerdom, David’s interests include home-brewing beer, a soulful Motown groove and hauling ass on a mountain bike.  Davids dislikes are phrases like “the fire went out and nobody got hurt”, “close enough for government work” and 80’s hair band Def Leopard. Goddamnit he hates Def Leopard.

Dusty “Standby” Miller

Dusty began his fire career in 2006 with Black Lake Fire Department and continued until the merger with Mclane. He then left the northwest for the expansive beauty that is Odessa, Texas. His honeymoon with Odessa Fire ended just one year later when he moved on to an undisclosed location in Central Texas. Despite some unfortunate short stints dragging his knuckles on a Truck, “D” has returned to his original house and place of Zen riding backwards on Engine 4. He now speaks in full sentences and is allowed to interact with the public. Dusty is also writing his autobiography using only the bio changes seen here.

Troy Donlin

At the core of Troy will always be that kid, fascinated by the fire and the fight to put it out. Troy has been forced to grow up in so many ways, as an officer, a father, and an adult in general (he is still struggling there). Troy appreciates the Nozzle Forward movement and its overwhelming effect on the Fire Service. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you’re an officer, a nozzle head, perhaps a truckie, or a kid – this stuff matters so own it and expect the same from everyone else. Troy works for Bellevue Fire and when not riding a rig, bossing everybody around,  sometimes speaks really nice and looks purtty on the TV.

Tory “T.T.” Tolefree

Tory was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota (Go Vikings). He signed with the U of M for football then joined the US Army, became Airborne and deployed. He then tried AFL and CFL. Finally, Tory began his career in the fire service in 2007. After serving in a couple different departments, he found his spot and is currently riding backwards on Engine 11 in Tacoma, WA. Tory believes in remembering where he came from, hard work, competence and having fun.  In fact, arriving on scene he might blurt out terms like Blue42, Red7, or Hot Route. You might even get hit by a hose stream which is just friendly fire to him or him politely asking you to kindly move out of the way.

Eddie “Jitters” Lange

Eddie works as a tailboarder in South Kitsap, WA and is, like so many of the guys, one of the “other guys”. Eddie’s construction abilities are rivaled only by his rap skills. Heavily influenced by Bob Vila and Eazy-E in his formative years, he is as comfortable laying down tile as he is laying down fresh beats. Eddie has been known to push his body to its caffeine threshold. He tests the amount of coffee he can consume which won’t cause his heart to explode. This practice lead to close call, driving him to a near death state in which he swore to never drink coffee again. Yet, the constant ridicule and being labeled a “quitter” by his Nozzle Forward cohort, Eddie negotiates with fate on a daily basis.

Karl “Mr. June” Waite

Karl is an all American firefighter from Northern California. After years with CALFire, he is now a firefighter for Alameda. Legend has it Karl was chiseled from a single chunk of granite and can sustain a 3 day firefight on a single almond. Karl took to the Nozzle Forward like a truckie to a recliner. When Karl is not setting the bar for badassery, he can be found rearranging the contents of his 32 turnout pockets or modeling with his beautiful wife and chocolate labs for photos of companies selling the American dream.

Jim “Butterfly” Squittieri

Despite having his hands in, “a little a ‘dis a little of dat,” This greasy fist pumping New Yorker will more than likely be found (or heard) in the firehouse bay mastering the craft of the “‘da hose”. He is currently working on Engine 18 on the Westside of Charlotte, NC. Squid’s love for the fire service is matched only by his love for his family. Squid was never allowed to join a fraternity but acts out that fantasy almost daily, and does stunt double work for the Cheshire cat, older model Mercurys, or adult only film.  There is more photographic evidence on him than any other member of the cadre, which ensures us all that “a little a dis, a little of dat,” is all above board and legal.  Though he does like gold chains and bedazzled jeans.

Jordan “Match” Legan

Jordan is originally from Pueblo, CO so his sense of direction is either toward or away from the mountains. He pursed his childhood dream of becoming a firefighter and is currently serving in Seattle, WA after a previous stop in Fairfax County, VA. Little is known about Jordan prior to his joining the fire department, leading us to believe that his previous life experience was as a contract killer.  It is rumored, that during a particularly long stake-out, “The Jordan” invented the snuggie, opening him up to the softer side. Often he is found at home curled up next to the fireplace with his hot cocoa enthralled in the latest Danielle Steel book on a cold day. Except on Sundays. Sundays are reserved for baking scones for the guys at the firehouse. Jordan is a living reference due to his love for making lists and writing in his “notebooks” aka. diary (on a side note, it is a really bad idea to find your own name on one of the “lists”).

Josh Schmidt

Josh is a third generation firefighter in Louisville, CO since 1998 where he also serves as the unofficial mayor/minister. He pays the bills by working for South Metro Fire since 2001. He currently works at Firehouse 42 in the city of Parker, CO. After graduation from high school he followed Prince and The Revolution on multiple world tours. Josh’s devotion to the band, starting as a groupie, eventually rising to be the understudy for Doctor Fink himself, is nothing short of meteoric. In some circles it is said when Josh sat in for the “Doctor” the keyboard solos took on a certain long-windedness. After the era of Revolution, Josh found his way back into the fire service.   Josh is willing to travel anywhere for training as long as he has his pillow from home. It is unknown if his pillow has a name. While checking out his fire museum in his garage, he might let you touch his bookshelf “Melissa”.

Jacob “I don’t have any digits to give” Johnsrud

Jacob’s where-a-bouts is from up Nort’ in Manitowoc, WI. Rumor has it he was “born on the boundry waters.” The years of his youth were spent traveling town to town selling Cheese Curds, which he still claims have heath benefits. According to Jacob the benefits of cheese curds include, anti-aging properties, while curing impotence, baldness, stomach ailments, and general unhappiness and nervousness. He can be spotted wearing grandma woven foot wear, tin foil hats, and tending to his mustache while humming Polka. His well developed humor serves him well in life and within the fire service. His humor is tested daily half of the year, because it is really, really cold in Wisconsin and he chases fat tires in the snow with a smile. Recently promoted, he has won many prestigious fire service awards. He is the cadre’s in-house translator for Canadian and he even understands ice soccer.

Maggie Blackwood

Maggie was born and raised in Mulino, Oregon. Maggie works for Portland Fire (the left coast one, city of food trucks) and tries to stay east of the river. Maggie has a wide scope of interests, ranging from Roller Derby, Rugby, (flanker and part time “hooker”, the position who’s name can lead to some uncomfortable confusions…if you don’t know the sport), photography, to watching her couch potato English Bulldog named Tater, be, well a couch potato. Her major impact, other than the fire service, is starting fashion trends. She developed her “signature style” while on tour in Europe playing Roller Derby under the assumed name of “Mullet Bullet”. Her hallmark combination of bright multi-color leggings and the fanny pack (which in Europe is known as the “hip satchel”) is years ahead of the times here in the Colonies. The benefit is the hip satchel doubles not only as a fashion statement, but also a small first aid kit, holding band-aids for hurt skin, and tissues for hurt feelings. Within the fire service Maggie’s work ethic and drive to do what is right, learned from her mother, sets her apart. Her “go, go , go” can be heard on the drill ground and her willingness to “do it again”, keeps her and anyone she is working with moving. Her favorite color is yellow, blue, orange, and green…she hates aqua-marine and taupe.

Josh Turner

Now this is a story all about how Josh’s life got flipped-turned upside down And we’d like to take a minute…Just sit right there…I’ll tell you how he became the unofficial mayor of Old Town in Alexandria….In west Philadelphia he was born and raised…At the zoo is where he spent most of his days…Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool…And staring at the elephants outside of their pool…When a couple of guys who were up to no good…Started making trouble in his neighborhood…He got in one little fight and his momma got scared…She said, “You’re movin’ to VA to be a 3rd generation firefighter.”…He begged and pleaded with her day after day…But she packed up his suitcase and sent him on his way…She gave him a kiss and then she gave him the ticket…He put his Walkman on and said, “I might as well kick it.”…Eating roadside burritos and hot pockets every day…Is this what the people of Alexandria living like?…Hmm, this might be alright…He initially caught a ride with Engine 6 on the tailboard…The license plate said “Southern Towers Express” and it had dice in the mirror…If anything he could say is that this engine was rare…But he thought, “Nah, forget it.”…– “Yo, home to the West side“…He looked at his kingdom…He was finally there…To sit on his throne as a newly promoted boss.


The following individuals made large contributions to the program but are currently unavailable to teach outside of their company. They will always be a part of the Nozzle Forward cadre.

Matt “Trouble” Runte

Runte has served with SFD for 11 years, the last 5+ of which he has been on Engine Company 25 in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood. He used to have lofty goals for promotion, but since finding his seat on 25’s, aspires to ride backwards for the foreseeable future.

Jim Grostick

Jim is a firefighter for the City of Olympia. He has been involved with the Nozzle Forward as a participant for about 6 years and as an instructor for about 4. He has been critical in the adoption of the system within his region. Little is known about Jimmy, most are too scared to ask, as the sounds of rifles, felling trees, and an occasional shrieking scream can be heard coming from his property. Those that do know him have taken a Masonic vow of silence. Besides the Nozzle Forward, Jim helped craft his region’s swift water rescue program.

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