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Southwest Fire Academy


SFA Program -Jesse Bond

Jesse Bond

President / Instructor

Jesse became a Firefighter in 2008, and is a career Acting Captain with a suburban fire department in the GTA. He is also a Captain with two rural volunteer departments, which have granted him copious opportunities to learn and utilize diverse rescue skills. He has served as a training officer in the Middle East, teaching rope rescue and fire suppression on oil rigs. Jesse was awarded the Medal of Valour and subsequently the Medal for Firefighter Bravery for risking his life to rescue a mother and child from a house fire in 2018. Jesse is very passionate about aggressive firefighting – an attitude that is illuminated throughout the courses he teaches at SFA. Though an owner for many years, Jesse became the President of SFA in 2022, and is enthusiastic about what the future holds for the academy. 

SFA Program -Brad Neely

Brad Neely

Vice President / Instructor

Brad has been a Firefighter since 2000. He began his career in the fire service as a Fire Prevention Officer in Base Borden, and has served as a volunteer for the Essa Fire Department. He is currently a Captain with Barrie Fire and Emergency Service. Brad is a decisive, effective firefighter, who is known for getting in and getting it done. His assertive, efficient mentality is communicated through his multi-faceted endeavours, as both an experienced instructor and the Vice President at SFA.  

SFA Program -Gord Roesch

Gord Roesch

Program Developer / Instructor / Retired President

Gord served in the fire service for 23 years before retiring as the Deputy Fire Chief of Midland Fire Department. Over the course of his career, he was responsible for fireground operations, training firefighters, and the development and implementation of the Technical Rescue disciplines in several departments. Gord is a former member of the OFMEM Technical Rescue Committee and holds certifications in various emergency service disciplines, including Hazardous Materials Technician, SERTC Rail Tank Car Specialist, SERTC Crude by Rail, and Rope Rescue Level II. Gord has performed as a rescuer and an incident commander during multi-agency technical rescues, fires, and natural disasters. These experiences allow him to translate the textbook and standards into real-life applications.

In 2010 while an instructor at the Ontario Fire College, Gord was directly involved with Ministry of Labour investigations into training accidents and training records. Subsequently, he testified for the Crown as an expert witness in technical rescue operations as they relate to Section 21 Guidance Notes and relevant NFPA Standards in Ontario. Gord has delivered several keynote speeches for Mutual Aid and Fire Officer Associations relating to NFPA standards and Health and Safety during training.

SFA Program -Andrew Brassard (“Brass”)

Andrew Brassard (“Brass”)


Andrew Brassard began working for the Milton Fire Department in 2000. He has sat at the kitchen tables, instructed, and ridden on the rigs with some of the best departments in North America. He has taught for Take the Door Training, the Fire Department Training Network, Spartan Rescue, FDIC, and countless other conferences. Because of his vast experience, passion for the job, and continued pursuit of education, Brass offers a very insightful broad and detailed perspective of the job and the service. He was awarded the Medal for Firefighter Bravery for risking his life in a dangerous house fire to rescue a 21-year-old from certain death in 2006. He was also nominated for the Medal of Merit for pulling a civilian out of an apartment fire when he was off-duty and not equipped with any PPE. Brass began instructing at SFA in 2020, and is the lead instructor and mastermind behind the Machinery Rescue and many of the Beyond the Academy courses.

SFA Program -Scott Hewlett

Scott Hewlett


Scott is a twenty-five-year, second-generation Firefighter working for a larger urban fire department in Southern Ontario. He spent ten years at the beginning of his career working out of a Technical Rescue station, six years working as a Primary-Care Medic, sixteen years as a Shift Instructor, three years as a Fire Training Officer, and ten years as a Peer Support Team Member and Co-Lead. In 2005 he had the unique experience of participating in a one-year Firefighter exchange with The New Zealand Fire Service, stationed in Wellington. Currently, he works out of a two-truck hall with a pumper and aerial and has a strong passion for the fundamentals, patient care, mental health, and personal growth. He has been producing and hosting the Multiple Calls Podcast since February 2018 and started instructing with Southwest Fire Academy in January 2022. 

SFA Program -Darren van Zandbergen

Darren van Zandbergen


Darren began his career in the fire service in 1999 in Cold Lake, Alberta with the Canadian Armed Forces. He served with the military fire service until 2009, when he joined the Oakville Fire Department. He has vast experience with extracurricular projects doing confined space rescue, rope rescue, and fitness instruction. Darren currently rides on a rescue truck with the Oakville Fire Department, and his true passion lies within rescue operations. He humbly considers himself a lifelong learner, and is enthusiastic about maintaining current and progressive knowledge within the service, while always pursuing ongoing training.

SFA Program -John Cadiz

John Cadiz


John has been a career Firefighter for a mid-sized urban department since 2003. He currently serves as a Firefighter on a combined rescue and engine company and was previously on a ladder and engine company. John has been blessed to learn from some of the most seasoned Firemen in North America and has had the privilege of sharing those lessons with others. John humbly claims to hold a Bachelor of the basics and is a frequent user of the fundamentals. John is one of the best and SFA is thrilled to have him on our roster.

SFA Program -Jorden Roesch

Jorden Roesch


Jorden began his career in the fire service as a volunteer with Halton Hills Fire Department in 2016. He became a full-time Firefighter with the Hamilton Fire Department in 2020. Jorden is passonate about Hazardous Materials incidents and has vast experience in the field, ranging from chemical spills to major derailments. With his expert knowledge and invaluable background, Jorden delivers top-notch instruction in this discipline at SFA. 

SFA Program -Brian Millar

Brian Millar


Brian Millar began his fire service career in 2005. He is a paid on-call Captain with a department on the southern shores of Georgian Bay and a career Fireman in the GTA, currently assigned to a squad company. He has served as a county instructor delivering recruit Firefighter training, pumper operations, RIT company operations, forcible entry, vehicle extrication, and live fire training. He previous worked in law enforcement before “seeing the light” and changing career tracks. Brian is a F.O.O.L.S. member and a firm believer in being a lifelong student of the fire service.

SFA Program -Jeff Clayton

Jeff Clayton


Jeff has been a student of the fire service since 1993 when he started as a cadet firefighter in Hantsport, Nova Scotia. He has been employed in the fire service since 2001 and currently serves as a Captain on a Rescue Company in the GTA. Jeff has had the privilege of instructing in the fire service since 2009 and enjoys teaching the basics of the job to engaged firefighters. He holds numerous NFPA certifications and is the Deputy Fire Chief of his hometown fire department. SFA is privileged to have Jeff as a highly knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate instructor on our roster.

SFA Program -Brian Scriver

Brian Scriver


Brian began as a Scarborough Firefighter in 1986 and served 30 years with the City of Toronto. He retired as a Captain in the west end of the city at fire station 421. Brian began instructing at Southwest Fire Academy in 2022. Known as the “Wizard of Wind,” Brian specializes in ventilation, and uses his expertise to commonly teach this discipline during the SFA bootcamps. He is also passionate about high-rise training, ladder operations, and inspiring prospective firefighters in the beginning stages of their career with his “Jurassic Moment” real-life firefighting tips and techniques.

SFA Program -Paul Czovek

Paul Czovek


Paul began his career in the fire service as a volunteer Firefighter with Tay Township in 2012. He expanded and also became a volunteer Firefighter and subsequently a Captain in Georgian Bay Township. Paul achieved full-time status in Kirkland Lake in 2020, where he currently works as a career Firefighter while operating as the volunteer Deputy Chief of Kenogami & District Fire Department. His experience in both mechanical engineering and automotive services translate to invaluable, expert instruction of the SFA Pump Operations and Vehicle Rescue courses. Paul is passionate about sharing his knowledge and skills, in an effort to continuously improve the fire service.

SFA Program -Riley McGilloway

Riley McGilloway


Riley is a Third Generation career Fireman from Halton Hills, Ontario. A highly involved instructor at SFA, Riley is passionate about building confident firefighters who are enthusiastic, determined, and hardworking. 

SFA Program -Andrew Heindl

Andrew Heindl


Andrew became a firefighter in 2015. He is a full-time career Firefighter with the City of Toronto and continues to serve the City of Orillia as a volunteer Firefighter, which has given him the opportunity to become proficient and knowledgeable in both rural and urban firefighting tactics. Andrew is a certified Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector, and Fire and Life Safety Educator by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and has completed extensive training in multiple specialty rescue operations as well as Fire Behaviour, Hazardous Materials, and Emergency Response. Andrew is a dynamic and engaging instructor who believes in challenging his recruits with hands-on learning and active participation. He creates a supportive and encouraging learning environment at SFA and fosters collaboration and teamwork. His teaching style is tailored to the needs and experience levels of his recruits and is designed to provide practical, real-world skills that can be immediately applied in the field. 

SFA Program -Kyle French

Kyle French


Kyle began his career in the fire service in 2011 with Muskoka Lakes Fire Department. He was born into the fire service and falls more in love with it every day. Kyle carries on his family legacy as a third generation Firefighter, as both his grandfathers served over 40 years in the fire service and his father is a career Firefighter and a Chief. Kyle is passionate about molding new recruits and helping people grow as Firefighters, and exercises this interest as both a Captain and a Training Officer with Muskoka Lakes. Kyle also enjoys teaching rural firefighting, where the conditions allow for limited or different water supply sources, with limited manpower available. SFA is privileged to present such a knowledgeable instructor as Kyle, whose dedication and passion is destined to have a lasting impact on the fire service.

SFA Program -Mackenzie Harris

Mackenzie Harris


Mack was first introduced to the fire service with a co-op position in fire prevention. He took the Firefighter Pre-Service program at SFA and graduated in 2019. Shortly thereafter, Mack began employment with SFA, working in facility and equipment maintenance. He has a background as a foreman in heavy equipment operations for hardscaping. Mack became a career firefighter in 2022 in York Region. He loves the job and is excited about continuous learning and growth in the service.

SFA Program -Jake Watson

Jake Watson


Jake is a third generation Firefighter in his family, who grew up terrorizing the on-duty crews in the firehouse. He is currently a paid on-call Captain in Southern Georgian Bay and a career Fireman in the GTA, presently assigned to a tech rescue company. Jake brings a blue collar firemanship attitude to work everyday, as he comes from a blue collar background, having worked as a welder in high voltage electrical transmission stations. Jake is a humble, hard-working, and highly effective firefighter, who brings tremendous value “to the table” at SFA.

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What People are Saying

My time at SFA was second to none. From the instructors to the fire grounds/content, it was a fantastic experience. Not only did they provide me with the skills necessary to make the jump into this competitive career, but the confidence as well. A well oiled machine that no doubt has gotten smoother in the last couple of years. I’ve recommended SFA to many past colleagues and will continue to do so. Much respect.

C. Jackson

What People are Saying

I first walked into SFA with nothing but a goal in mind, and a drive to achieve that goal. The team at SFA welcomed me and provided the tools for accomplishing my goal. Completing my FF 1001 and 1072 through their blended boot camp program was like living with a fire family in a firehouse.  I then went back to complete more NFPA Seals and volunteered on the fire ground, which helped me grow as a person, firefighter, and candidate.

B. Ehrlich

What People are Saying

Incredible program that challenges your skills as a firefighter and a person, with knowledgeable instructors who have a clear passion for firefighting and keeping the “grit” of firefighters alive. I highly recommend this program! I had previously attended a public college pre-service firefighting program in 2012. It was informative and had good gear and good instructors.

M. Michaud

What People are Saying

As a proud graduate from Bootcamp 48, I can say that Southwest Fire Academy is an excellent program for those interested in pursuing a career in firefighting. The academy offers comprehensive training in firefighting techniques, emergency medical services, and hazardous materials response, among other areas. The instructors at Southwest Fire Academy are highly trained professionals with extensive experience in the field.

O. Zonnenberg

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Make the change you always knew you needed!

By submitting this form, I agree that Southwest Fire Academy may call, text and/or email me about their educational services*