Mike Berna

Mike has 24 years in tenure in the Baltimore County Fire System. He is a member of the Baltimore County Advanced Technical Rescue Team and the Team Administrator for the Kingsville Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Team. He has also served as the Chief Officer for the Kingsville Fire Department for 6 years. He has been instrumental in the development of the Baltimore County Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Task Force and has served on the Governors Swiftwater/Flood Advisory Group for the state of Maryland. He has also been instrumental in training hundreds of Maryland rescuers in swiftwater/flood rescue and developed a state-wide response and training program. He serves as a technical specialist and consultant for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and has served as an operational officer for Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel. He is also an instructor for the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

He is a featured lecturer at national conferences and regional seminars and conducts classroom and field training programs throughout the country in swiftwater/flood rescue, swiftwater boat operations, and rope rescue in the aquatic environment. He has delivered programs to thousands of students including local, state, and federal personnel as well as consultation to many fire, police, and local and state emergency operations centers as well as classified government agencies. He has also provided research and development for several manufacturers of personal protective equipment for the aquatic environment. He also serves as a rescue specialist with FEMA (Urban Search and Rescue) Pennsylvania Task Force 1. He has received numerous awards for his work in the swiftwater/flood community and is the two-time recipient of the International Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards for outstanding service in the swiftwater/flood community.