Gregory Socks career spans over 45 years of emergency response, planning, and training in the fire and hazardous materials disciplines. His career started as a firefighter in 1977 with the Montgomery County, MD Fire and Rescue Services in the National Capital Region of Suburban Maryland. At the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain Greg’s assignments included Hazardous Materials Training Coordinator, Station Commander, Hazardous Materials Officer, Shift Commander, and Assistant Team Leader for Hazardous Materials Operational Responsibilities. In 1986, Greg was appointed as the first Team Coordinator of the Washington County, MD Hazardous Materials Response Team. He served as Team Coordinator for over 10 years while building a nationally recognized organization. Greg’s certifications include Firefighter III, Fire Instructor III, Hazardous Materials Instructor, Fire Officer Development, and Hazardous Materials Team Specialist. Greg also obtained NPQ certification as an Instructor III, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Operations, Technician, and Marine Firefighter I and II. He holds an associate degree in Fire Science Technology. Greg was a lead hazardous materials instructor at Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute and Montgomery County, MD Fire and Rescue Public Safety Training Academy. Greg has presented Hazardous Materials programs to municipal, industrial and military clients and conferences throughout the country. In 2012, Greg received the prestige International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference (“Level A” Instructor Award) and 2016 Hot Zone Conference (“In the Zone” Instructor Award). In 2019, Greg was honored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) as the recipient of the John M. Eversole Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and contributions to further and enhance the hazardous materials emergency response profession. Greg has also assisted with the development of Hazardous Materials training programs which has been used outside the State of Maryland. Greg has served on numerous State of Maryland committees and focus groups for new technology. Greg has received numerous certificates, unit citations, and recognition letters from MCFRS, ATF, FBI, US Army, and Department of Defense. Greg is one of five Principle Consultants with PENTA Consortium, LLC which is a newly formed global preparedness and crisis management firm that addresses client needs for NIMS ICS, Hazardous Materials, Maritime, Emergency Management Planning, Training and Exercises.
Bill Hand, MBA is a forty three year veteran of the Fire Service and is currently a contract Training Officer with the Harris County Texas Hazardous Materials Response Team in Houston Texas. Prior to his employment with Harris County, he spent 31 years with the Houston Fire Department, retiring in September 2005. He was a charter member of the Houston Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team with over twenty six years of service. During his service with the Houston Fire Department and Harris County HMRT he has responded to over 7500 hazardous materials incidents involving hundreds of different types of chemicals and containers. He has delivered thousands of hours of emergency response training to private, public and government sector emergency responders and executive personnel and is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country. Bill has received numerous awards in his field to include: the “Level A Award” and “John Eversole Lifetime Achievement Award” from the International Association of Fire Chief’s International Hazmat Teams Conference, the “In the Zone Award” from the Hot Zone Conference, the “Red Adair Lifetime Achievement Award” from Industrial Fire World Conference, the “2006 Life Time Service Award” from the International Association of Hazardous Materials Technicians and was honored by a Proclamation from Mayor Bill White of the City of Houston, declaring March 16, 2006 “Bill Hand Day” in the City of Houston for lifetime achievement and service to the city as a founding member of the Houston Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team. Captain Hand has authored several articles and books on Hazmat Containers and Case Studies in fire service journals. As a Master Instructor he has also worked with the International Association of Fire Fighters for over twenty seven years in the development, writing and review of Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction training programs. He has served as a subject matter expert for several Department of Homeland Security training programs. Captain Hand was a principal in his own company for many years. His clients include Shell Oil Company, Phillips Petroleum, TEPPCO Pipeline Company, United Space Alliance, NASA Johnson Space Center, Albemarle Corporation, Kirby Inland Marine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Dow Chemical, Lubrizol Corporation, Clean Channel Association, Emergency Film Group, Lyondell Petrochemical Corporation, Valero Petroleum Company, and Houston Marine Services. Numerous institutions of higher learning such as Lamar University, Texas A&M University, Houston Community College and the University of Houston have also been among his clients. During his spare time, Bill enjoys boating and saltwater fishing. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License for Coastal Offshore Waters.