Instructors

Co-Owner/Instructor

Jerry “Whaler” Whaley

Jerry Whaley

Jerry has been involved in organized SAR work since 2005 and is a Co-Owner/Operator of Buckeye Emergency Response Training School. He is certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) as a SARTECH I / Crew Leader, Hug-a-Tree, ISAR, FUNSAR, ADSAR, SARIA and MLPI  Instructor, SARTECH I, II & III Lead Evaluator. He is a level 9 ASHI Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor. He is a certified Instructor for FEMA’s IRTB (Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings) and PRSBI (Prevention of and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents) as administered by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Jerry is a Nationally Registered EMT, Wilderness EMT, and Firefighter 1 certified. Additional formal trainings include the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center’s Inland SAR Course; SAR Incident Command;  NASAR’s Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advanced Search and Rescue, Search & Rescue Initial Actions, and Managing the Lost Person Incident;  Rope Rescue Operations;  Swift Water Rescue Operations;  Wide Area Search; Lost Person Behavior;  Advanced Man Tracking; Haz-Mat Operations;  Confined Space; Community Emergency Response Team Train the Trainer; HAM Radio Technician; PADI SCUBA Diver;  more than 45 FEMA IS & residential courses;  Unusual and Advanced Unusual Investigation training; Sex Crime Investigations; crime scene investigations and preservation; and extensive child abuse and neglect trainings. He has worked and/or trained with US Military Special Forces personnel, U.S. Deputy Marshals, the FBI, FEMA, CSI’s, Departments of Natural Resources, multiple state and local EMA’s, police and sheriff’s departments. For Search & Rescue training, he has trained and/or certified persons from 38 states and all branches of the military.  He has been awarded the Presidential “Call to Service Award” in recognition for his volunteer work.

Jerry is a Licensed Social Worker with a B.A. in Social Work from Olivet Nazarene University.  Jerry served in the Ohio Military Reserve, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. He held the position of Platoon Sergeant and served as a Military Policeman and a Senior Military Emergency Management Specialist.  While active, he earned the Ohio Military Reserve’s Non-commissioned Officer of the Year award.  He served 8 years with the Ohio Special Response Team, as the Assistant Commander of Unit 2, which was an associate member team of the Mountain Rescue Association.  He still serves as an Associate Member of the Ohio Special Response Team, a member of the Fortune Bay Expedition Team and theTyler County OEM Search & Rescue Team.

With more than 23 years of combined practice in the fields of Developmental Disabilities and Child Protective Services, he is currently a Caseworker with a child protective services agency. He is a contributing author for collegiate studies on the topics of the professional or volunteer rescuer finding a missing, abused, and/or neglected child.  He is a part time EMT with Hanco EMS and a part time Fire Fighter/EMT with Pleasant Township Fire Department. 

Jerry is an avid backpacker with more than 1,450 trail miles, leading multiple expeditions, and introducing new hikers to the trail each year. He retired from competitive bicycling, is a triathlete, and a 4x IRONMAN competitor. He has been married to a very supportive and encouraging wife for 24 years and they have 2 boys, 16 & 19. They share in the music ministry in their church, Beth an accomplished pianist and Jerry & the boys Audio Technicians. Jerry wears many hats and has multiple titles. His favorite is “Dad”.

Co-Owner/Instructor

Craig “Doc” Spieker

Craig Spieker

Craig has been involved in organized SAR work since 2005 and is a Co-Owner/Operator of Buckeye Emergency Response Training School.  He is a Nationally Registered and Ohio certified Paramedic, Ohio EMS Instructor, Type III Incident Commander and is certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) as a SARTECH I/Crew Leader, Hug-a-Tree, ISAR, FunSAR, ADSAR, SARIA and MLPI Instructor, SARTECH I, II & III Lead Evaluator, and an ASHI CPR/AED, ACLS, PALS, First-aid, Emergency Oxygen Administration and Advanced Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor.  He is a certified Instructor for FEMA’s IRTB (Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings) and PRSBI (Prevention of and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents) as administered by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.  He is a 2010 graduate of the National Search and Rescue School.  Additionally, he has been trained in NASAR’s Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advanced Search and Rescue, Haz-mat Technician, Rope Rescue Operations, Swift Water Rescue Operations, Wide Area Search, Search Management Theory, CERT, multiple FEMA courses, NAEMT Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Advanced Provider Instructor, APCO Emergency Medical Dispatcher Instructor, CEVO Driving Instructor, Ohio Peace Officer Certification, Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) Driving Instructor,  OPOTA Pursuit Termination Techniques Instructor, Police Radar Instructor, Stop Sticks Instructor, Nationally Registered Paramedic, Firefighter I certified, Wilderness EMT, AHA BLS Instructor, ACLS, PALS, NRP and PHTLS, TOX-MEDIC, Master Rescue/Recovery Diver, Underwater Investigations, Confined Space Rescue, Machinery Rescue, Structural Collapse Rescue, Ice Rescue, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train the Trainer, as well as many various other courses.

He has worked and/or trained with U.S. Military and Foreign Special Forces personnel, U.S. Deputy Marshals, FBI Agents, CIA Agents, U.S. Postal Investigations as well as multiple police and sheriff’s departments, local, state and abroad.  For advanced police training and search and rescue, he has trained and/or certified persons from 38 different states and 6 other countries.  In 2012, he was awarded the Presidential “Call to Service Award” in recognition for his volunteer work.

He has 5 years active Army experience as a Combat Airborne Military Policeman, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1990-1995.  While stationed in NC, his tours of duty include serving in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; Panama; Newfoundland; Homestead, Florida for Hurricane Andrew relief efforts and have conducted various other missions around the world.  In 2006, he was selected as Ohio’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.  In 2012, he retired as B Company, 1st Civil Support Battalion’s First Sergeant in the Ohio Military Reserve, where he was a Military Security Specialist, Senior Military Emergency Management Specialist, trainer and leader.

Craig is a retired Police Officer with over 26 years of Law Enforcement experience and an AAS Degree in Criminal Justice Technologies.  He served in the Patrol Division as a Traffic Accident Reconstructionist, Emergency Medical Dispatch Instructor, Emergency and Pursuit Driving Instructor, Crisis Intervention Officer and a Master Underwater Crime Scene Rescue/Recovery Diver.  He still serves as a guest driving instructor at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and a Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy & Public Safety Diver.

He is now a Captain/Paramedic with Hanco EMS.  He is also a Captain/Medic and Haz-Mat Technician with the Liberty Township Fire Department, where he was selected as “2012 Firefighter of the Year”.  He is also Haz-Mat Technician with the Findlay/Hancock County Haz-Mat Team.  He served 8 years with the Ohio Special Response Team, as the Commander of Unit 2, which was an associate member team of the Mountain Rescue Association and he was the Lead EMT for the organization.   He now serves as an Associate Member of the Ohio Special Response Team.  He is also a member of the Fortune Bay Expedition Team and theTyler County OEM Search & Rescue Team.

Craig is a 1st Degree Black Belt in American Karate through Champion Karate Centers and 1st Degree Black Belt with the World Martial Arts Federation.  He is working on his third Black Belt in Chuck Norris System (Chun Kuk Do) through the United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF).  Craig is an avid shooter, bow hunter, fisherman, and he loves to camp.  He loves the outdoors and enjoys all that it offers.  He is an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, earning this honor in 1990 and still serves as a Merit Badge Counselor and the Post Advisor for the Hancock County Fire & EMS Explorers.  He has been married to Jill for over 25 years, who is very supportive and encouraging and they have two children; one young lady and one young man, ages 23 & 18 respectively. He and his wife enjoy attending and serving at church on the safety and security, medical, greeting and ushering teams.

Instructor

Troy “Vanilla” Whaley

Troy Whaley

Troy has been a safety director, and safety team leader in his professional career since 2003.  In 2009 he made the transition into the Search and Rescue world.  His formal education includes the National Association for Search And Rescue’s (NASAR) Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advanced Search and Rescue, and Managing a Lost Person Incident.  He is a NASAR SARTECH I / Crew Leader, Lead Evaluator for SARTECH II, Evaluator for SARTECH I examinations, and a Level 9 ASHI Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor . He is a national trainer for DOT drug and alcohol abuse recognition for safety sensitive positions, and Fork Truck instructor. Additional training include certifications in High Angle Rope Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Amature (HAM) Radio Technician, Damage Assessment, and Wide Area Search.  Troy is medically trained to the level of a Wilderness First Responder.   Through training from the US Air Force and various Law Enforcement agencies, he has been trained in crime scene investigation and preservation, clandestine drug lab recognition and avoidance.  Troy attended and was certified as an instructor for Incident Response to a Terrorist Bombing and the Prevention and Recognition of a Suicide Bombing Incident, through FEMA and New Mexico Tech, with support coursework through the Energetic Materials Research and Technology Center in Socorro,NM.

Troy has served with multiple SAR teams in Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.  He has been serving with the Ohio Special Response Team since 2009, currently holding the position of Assistant Commander for Unit 6, which is an associate member team of the Mountain Rescue Association.
Receiving his BA in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University, Troy has used his education in various capacities as a Human Resources Generalist, HR consultant, department developer and MIOSHA compliance officer. He has developed and taught international companies safety and training programs. His first degree is in Criminal Justice, which he attained in 1995. His second was completed on 2003 and he is working on his Master’s degree in psychology.

Troy has three energetic children, Tristan, Aisling, and Gabriela.  The day his son and was born, he knew his purpose in life.  He was recently married to Elizabeth, who is a very understanding and supportive fellow SARTECH and OSRT member.  He is currently a chauffeur, driving Town cars, Limousines, and Tour busses based in the Columbus.

Instructor

James “Viper” Wimberly

James Wimbley

James has been involved with the search and rescue community since 2008 and is currently employed as the Emergency Response Manager for Environmental Restoration LLC. In addition to his search and rescue experience he also has 15 years of security/law enforcement experience. His certifications include, NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advance Search and Rescue, NASAR SAR Tech I and SARTEC II Evaluator, a Level 9 ASHI Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor, Wilderness First Aid, AHA First Aid and CPR, Rope Rescue Operations, Swift Water Rescue Operations, Lost Person Behavior, Intermediate and Advance National Incident Command, MLPI, SARIA, HAZMAT Technician, Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Training, Basic Inland Search and Rescue conducted by Air Force Coordination Center, and Risk Assessment.  He is also a 2016 graduate of the National SAR School.  He also has extensive education training as an Emergency Medical Technician

He is a member of Unit 7  for the Ohio Special Response Team, a state of Ohio approved search and rescue organization which is an associate member team of the Mountain Rescue Association and provides a broad-based response unit equipped to respond to a variety of emergencies, natural or man-made disasters in support of civil authorities. James also is active part of the Mental Health Community promoting the mental health of public service workers. He was nominated and awarded by NAMI of Greater Cleveland Officer of the year.

He is an outdoor enthusiast in which contributes to his wilderness experience. He is an Alumni Member of the Boy Scouts of America and is currently involved in the organization as a parent.

Instructor

Jonah Salyers

Jonah Salyers

Jonah has been involved in organized SAR since 2011.  He is a K-9 handler and ground support for Buckeye Search and Rescue Dogs, a volunteer professional organization that assists with missing persons searches through the use of their trained and certified K-9 partners.  Jonah’s K-9 partner is a Belgian Malinois named Kyra.  Kyra is certified through the International Police Work Dog Association in the disciplines of Human Remains Detection and Article Search.  Kyra’s sire also plays “Bear” on the CBS show Person of Interest.

Jonah is a Registered Nurse in an Emergency Department.  He graduated nursing school with honors, as president of the Beta Kappa chapter of Alpha Deltu Nu Nursing Honor Society and received the Alumni Association Award for Exemplary Service.  He is also a registered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.  He volunteers at the Salem/Morrow Fire Department as an EMT.  Jonah is a NASAR SARTECH I/Crewleader and SARTECH II Evaluator.  Additional training includes Advanced Search and Rescue, AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers, AHA BLS Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), NIH Stroke Scale, multiple FEMA courses, ASHI Level 9 Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor, Ohio Peace Officer certification, dual certified dog obedience instructor, Police K-9 Patrol Deployments and certified K-9 bite-work decoy.

Jonah is an Honorably Discharged Infantry Marine.  He served for six years in Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines where he was an infantry squad leader.  Jonah left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant with deployment to Afghanistan and brief tours of duty to Georgia and Senegal.  His training in the Marine Corps includes Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, Infantry Squad Leaders Course, Tactical Site Exploitation, and Combat Hunter (a program which includes man-tracking, combat profiling and observation theory).  Jonah also served for six years as a police officer before entering into the medical field.

Instructor

Elizabeth “Liz” Salyers

Liz Salyers

Liz has been involved in search and rescue since 2009.  She is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department, NASAR SARTECH I/Crew Leader, NASAR SARTECH II Evaluator, Wilderness First Responder, level 9 ASHI Wilderness Emergency Medical Instructor and an IPWDA certified K-9 Handler for Trailing and Human Remains Detection.  She has additional training in the Fundamentals of Search and Rescue (FUNSAR), HAZMAT awareness, ICS 100, ICS 200, NIMS 700, NIMS 800, personal protection against bloodborne pathogens, crime scene preservation, BLS for the healthcare provider, ACLS, PALS, NIH Stroke Scale Certification and Canine First Aid.

Liz is a K-9 Handler for Buckeye Search and Rescue Dogs, an all volunteer professional organization that assists in missing persons searches with the use of their trained and certified K-9 partners.  She currently has two K-9 partners, K-9 Payton and K-9 Dalton, who are both certified through the International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA).  Additionally Liz has her BSN and been a Nurse since 2010 working on a cardiac floor and now in the Emergency Department.  She also works Event Medicine as an RN for professional and collegiate sporting events as well as large entertainment venues.

Instructor

Dr. Rob Davis

Dr. Rob Davis

Rob has been involved in organized SAR work since 2012. He is a Registered Nurse (RN) with almost 20 years of experience in several areas of nursing including medical intensive care and most recently as faculty in the Master of Science of Nursing program at the Chamberlain College of Nursing where he teaches in the Nurse Executive track. Rob earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to his career in nursing Rob was a Sheriff’s Deputy for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in SC where he was a K-9 officer and also worked in traffic enforcement, narcotics/vice, and D.A.R.E. As a K-9 officer Rob and his K-9 Sabel worked with the U.S. Marshall’s fugitive task force, and they were the primary narcotics detection team for the SC Department of Corrections and the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office.

In the SAR world, Rob holds certifications with NASAR as an Instructor, SARTECH I/Crew Leader, SARTECH II Lead Evaluator, SARTECH I Evaluator, and Canine SARTECH III. He is a Lost Person Behavior Instructor and is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder and holds ASHI Level 9 instructor status. Rob is a graduate of the National Search and Rescue School where he completed the Inland SAR Planning Course taught by the U.S. Air Force. Other SAR courses include: Wide Area Search, K-9 critical Care, K-9 Disaster for First Responders, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advanced Search and Rescue, ICS 300, ICS 400, and Rope Rescue I.

Rob is a SAR resource for two Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) and the Ohio Region II USAR team. He handles his NASAR certified wilderness area search, Probie. Rob and Probie have participated in numerous actual SAR missions including several high-profile cases. He is also training K-9 Arie in human remains detection.

Instructor

Beth Davis

Beth Davis

Beth has been involved in organized SAR work since 2012. She is K-12 and college level music educator in Northeast Ohio. In the SAR world, Beth holds certifications with the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) as a SARTECH I/Crew Leader, SARTECH I Evaluator, SARTECH II Lead Evaluator, and Canine HRD Evaluator. She is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder. She is a NASAR certified K9 handler for Human Remains Detection and Area Search. She has additional training in: Lost Person Behavior, SARIA, MLPI, K-9 Critical Care, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Advanced Search and Rescue, ICS 100, ICS 200, NIMS 700, NIMS 800.

Beth is the primary K-9 and SAR resource for two Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) and the Ohio Region II USAR team. Her K-9 partner, Shadow, is a German Shepherd from Westwood Kennels in Hilliard, Ohio. Shadow is currently certified through NASAR in Human Remains Detection- Land.  Beth is also NASAR certified with K-9 Probie, her husband’s K-9 partner, in Wilderness Area Search.

Beth is also a certified instructor for ASHI Wilderness Medicine, NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, and Robert Koester’s Lost Person Behavior course.

Instructor

Nicolas “Raptor” Spieker

When  Nicolas was only a Senior in High School he had already began a stellar career in Search and Rescue.  He was the youngest in World to earn his NASAR SARTECH I certification and was the youngest NASAR SARTECH II Evaluator ever known to NASAR, obtaining this certification at the age of 15!  At 18, he went though the Instructor and Lead Evaluator workshops and we were very pleased to move him from “Support Staff” to a full-fledged “Instructor”.

Nick began his SAR career in 2013, taking NASAR’s Fundamentals of Search and Rescue course and obtaining his SARTECH II certification.  He also graduated NASAR’s ADSAR course and obtained his SARTECH I/CrewLeader III certification in early 2015.  He enjoyed SAR work so much that he decided to assist BERTS with SARTECH evaluations and assist with BERTS classes, since he was too young to serve on a team at the time.

Nick is a college student at the University of Dayton working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  He is in the Army ROTC Program with the “Flyer Squadron” and will be entering the U.S. Army as a Commissioned Officer after graduation.

Nick is an Eagle Scout, earning this prestigious rank in 2014 and earned 51 merit badges.  He is a Wilderness First-Responder and BLS certified.  He is a certified Scuba-diver, a United States Power Boat Squadron boating course graduate and has his Ohio Boater’s license. Nick was also a member of the Hancock County Fire/EMS Explorers.

Nick is very active both in school and out of school.  He was a member of the High School’s Marching Band, Pep-Band, Jazz Band and PIT, where he played the trumpet.  He has been selected on numerous occasions to play Taps for the Memorial Day activities for the City of Findlay.  He attended the local “Warrior Academy” where he is learning valuable leadership, outdoor and life skills.  He loves the outdoors.  He is an avid deer and turkey hunter, loves to fish, camp, hike, rappelling and playing baseball and wrestling, where he was a High School Varsity Letterman.  He is also a Black Belt in American Karate through the Champion Karate Center.  Nick also is a member of the audio-visual, sound and camera crew and enjoys ushering and greeting at his church.

Instructor

Rich Meyers

Rich Meyers

Rich started his professional career receiving his associate degree in applied science and began working as a massage therapist and a chiropractic assistant. He later changed career paths and has been involved in the fire service for the last 13 years where he is currently a full time Fire Fighter with the Marion Township Fire Department.  Rich also serves his immediate neighbors and friends as a part-time Fire Fighter/Paramedic with the Pleasant Township Fire Department in the township where he lives.

Rich has additional training as a high angle rope rescue technician, confined space technician, HAZ-Mat technician, and in ice water operations rescue. He has been an ACE certified peer-fitness instructor for 5 years.  Rich received an accommodation for a “life saver” for joint efforts with his partner which resulted in the survivor of their combined interventions being part of the ceremony.  Rich has also been trained and worked multiple years on a Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU).  He is an ASHI Wilderness Medicine Instructor able to teach ACLS, PALS, CPR Pro, and advanced wilderness medicine courses.

Rich was involved in the Boy Scouts receiving the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout. He now is a scouting parent, giving back to his boys and others in his community.  He has a love and passion for the outdoors as a hunter, backpacker, and family camping man.  He and his loving wife of 15 years attend and participate in ministries in their local church.  He has 4 children with whom he loves to spend his time.

 

Support Staff

 

Jill and Beth

Jill and Beth are the back-bone of the BERTS.  Not only do they support Craig and Jerry physically, psychologically and emotionally, they have taken on the added responsibility of ensuring BERTS’s operations run smoothly.  Thank you, ladies!