Our Faculty

Faculty members in the fire and safety degree programs are nationally and internationally known for their teaching, research and dedication to the fire and safety fields. They are involved in every aspect of the profession. More importantly, they are dedicated to student success.

They are active in a number of professional organizations including:

  • National Association of Fire Investigators
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • International Society of Fire Service Instructors
  • International Association of Arson Investigators

Anthony Cole, P.E, CFPS, CFEI, FSE
Assistant Professor

Image Anthony Cole
 

Education: B.S. Eastern Kentucky University, M.S. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Email: Anthony.Cole@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Serves on the Board of Directors for the NFPA/CFPS certification
  • License Professional Engineer (P.E.)
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS)
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator/Instructor (CFEI/CFII)
  • Member of SFPE, NFPA, NAFI, IAAI, and IFE
  • Former Senior Fire Protection Engineer with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
  • Former Fire Chief/Senior Fire Engineer for the Saudi Iron and Steel Company in Jubail, Saudi Arabia
  • Served as a Fire Protection Engineer with Rolf Jensen and Associates in the Denver office
  • Former Loss Prevention Engineer with FM Global Affiliate
  • Served on three NFPA technical committees (NFPA 12, NFPA 15, NFPA 59A)
  • Served on two SFPE committees

Greg Gorbett, Credential
Associate Professor

Image Greg Gorbett

Email: Greg.Gorbett@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Volunteer firefighter
  • Currently an active honorary member of the Carroll County Arson Task Force
  • Serves on the NFPA 1033 Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator
  • Serves as a Director for the National Association of Fire Investigators
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator – CFEI, CFII, IAAI-CFI, CFPS, CVFI
  • Committee, Member, International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) Validation Committee for IFSTA Fire Investigator Training Manual.
  • Vice Chair, NFPA Fire Science and Technology Educator’s Section – Executive Board, Vice President
  • Former Fire and Explosion Analyst at John A. Kennedy and Associate, Sarasota, FL
  • Former Fire and Explosion Investigator, Donan Engineering, Evansville, IN

Awards/Accolades:

  • 2006 – Received the “John Charles Wilson Scholarship” from the International Association of Arson Investigators 

Paul Grant
Associate Professor

Image Paul Grant

Email:Paul.Grant@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Member of the Colorado State Fire Training Officers’ Association
  • Member National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Former Department Chair at the Red Rocks Community College; Lakewood, Colorado – In the Emergency Services Department
  • Former Chief of Department of the:
    • Red, White and Blue Fire District; Breckenridge, Colorado
    • Mountain View Fire District; Longmont, Colorado
    • Hermosa Cliff Fire Department; Durango, Colorado
    • Former Division Chief/Firefighter, South Metro Fire and Rescue; Englewood, Colorado

Awards/Accolades:

  • 2009: Received the “Golding Apple Teaching Award” 

Corey Hanks
Professor

Image Corey Hanks

Email:Corey.Hanks@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Former firefighter
  • Former training officer
  • Former fire investigator
  • Former fire captain
  • Served on search and rescue team
  • Served  on a state hazardous materials response team in Southern Illinois 

William D. Hicks
Assistant Professor

Image William Hicks

Education: B.S. Eastern Kentucky University, M.S. Eastern Kentucky University

Email: William.Hicks@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Executive Fire Officer Program Graduate
  • Lead Fire Investigator, Madison County Fire Department
  • Instructor for EKU/OTI, Eastern Kentucky University, OSHA Training Institute
  • Instructor, KCTCS/State Fire Rescue Training
  • Search and Rescue Coordinator and Hazardous Materials responder, Madison County
  • Instructor, Kentucky Division of Emergency Management: Currently teaching HAZMAT & WMD to First Responders
  • Assistant Fire Chief & Training Officer, White Hall Volunteer Fire Department
  • Member, Madison County Rescue Squad
  • Member of the Institute of Fire Engineers
  • Member of the International Association of Fire Investigators
  • Member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors
  • Member of the National Fire Protection Association
  • Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers
  • Former Training Officer with rank of Lieutenant, Bluegrass Search & Rescue

Michael Shane LaCount

Image Michael LaCount

Email: Michael.LaCount@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Certified Fire, Arson and Explosive Investigation Instructor.
  • Certified Fire, Arson and Explosive Investigator
  • Member of the National Association of Fire, Arson and Explosive Investigators,
  • Member of the National Volunteer Fire Fighter’s Counsel,
  • Member of the North Carolina Association of Fire Fighters,
  • Member of the North Carolina International Association of Arson Investigators,
  • Member of the North Carolina Rescue Association 
  • Firefighter, City of Richmond Fire Department; Richmond, KY
  • Instructor, OSHA Training Institute, EKU Campus; Richmond, KY
  • Owner/Consultant, S & A Fire and Safety Consultants; Richmond, KY
  • Senior Associate, TRACE Fire Protection and Safety Consultants, LTD.; Richmond, KY
  • Engineer/Firefighter, Cherryville Fire Department; Cherryville, NC
  • Former Fire Inspector, Gaston County Fire Marshal; Gastonia, NC
  • Former Fire Fighter/Emergency Medical Technician, Crowder’s Mountain Fire/Rescue; Gastonia, NC

Awards/Accolades:

  • Received the “Heroism Award” – Gaston County Fire Department & Cherryville Fire Department
  • Received the “Officer of the Year” – Crowder’s Mountain Fire/Rescue
  • Received the “Fire Fighter of the Year” – Crowder’s Mountain Fire/Rescue

Tom May, JD

Image Tom May

Education: B.S. University of Cincinnati, JD Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Email: Tom.May@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Provides consulting services to attorneys in matters related to fire and explosion through Fire Litigation Strategies L.L.C.
  • Former Forensic Fire Investigator in Iraq for Task Force SAFE
  • Former firefighter/EMT for the City of Cleveland’s Division of Fire

Jamie McAllister, Ph.D.

Image Jamie McAllister

Education: B.S. University of Maryland, M.S. University of Maryland, Ph.D. University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Forensic Toxicology

Email:Jamie.McAllister@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Senior Engineer at Combustion Science & Engineering
  • Licensed professional engineer
  • NAFI and IAAI certified fire investigator
  • Firefighter/EMT/Driver Operator in Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Former fire protection design technician responsible for designing retrofit and new sprinkler and fire alarm systems and conducting life safety analyses in residential structures

Bobby Ricks, JD

Image Bobby Ricks

Education: B.S. Eastern Kentucky University, JD University of Memphis

Email: Bobby.Ricks@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Certified Protection Professional (CPP) through ASIS International
  • Member National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Former law enforcement specialist with the United States Air Force Security Forces
  • Former Police Officer, City of Richmond Police Department; Richmond, Kentucky
  • Former Director of Crime Prevention for the City of Richmond Police Department; Richmond, Kentucky
  • Former Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Former Lead Instructor, Senior Instructor, Branch Chief and Division Chief of the Legal Division of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; Glynco, Georgia
  • Former Attorney Supervisor at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training

Military Service: United States Air Force


Scott Rockwell
Assistant Professor

Image Scott Rockwell

Email: Scott.Rockwell@eku.edu

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Member of the International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) educational subcommittee 

Tom Thurman
Professor

Image Tom Thurman

Education: B.A. Eastern Kentucky University, M.S. George Washington University

Email: Tom.Thurman@eku.edu

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Fire and Explosion Investigation and Analysis
  • Bombing Crime Scene Investigation
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Render Safe Procedures – Bomb Squad
  • Large Vehicle Improvised Explosive Devices; Suicide Improvised Explosive Devices
  • Hazardous Materials

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI)
  • Member of the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI)
  • Member of the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE)
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI)
  • Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (CVFI) under the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI)
  • Former Army Bomb Disposal Technician
  • Former Special Agent with the FBI
  • Former Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI Laboratory
  • Chief of the FBI Bomb Data Center
  • Traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world with the FBI to collect evidence and conduct bombing scene investigations, including:
    • The bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon in 1983 and 1984
    • The bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon in 1983
    • The bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
    • The bombing deaths of a Federal Judge in Alabama and an attorney in Georgia in 1989
    • The 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.