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2018 Conference Faculty

Brian Bardsley

Brian Bardsley has a multifaceted background including experience in EMS, law enforcement and military. He began his career in the United States Marine Corps from 1988-1994 including deployments in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope. In 2006-2007, Brian completed a year tour in Iraq with the Illinois Army National Guard where he served as a medic with a rifle company in Baghdad and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge. He served as a Medical Specialist in the United States Reserves from 1996 to 1999 and has been a Paramedic since January 1999. He has worked as a single role Paramedic, Firefighter/Paramedic, HazMat Tech, Arson Investigator and Lt. with several municipal departments. He served for a year as a single role paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. Brian has been with the Chicago Police Department since 2004. He is currently attached to the SWAT team as the team leader of the Medical Section and the EMS Coordinator.


 Steve Berry

Steve has been an active Paramedic for the past 25 years in Colorado and is also the author of the cartoon book series:  "I'm Not an Ambulance Driver."


Dr. Faran Bokhari

Dr. Bokhari is currently the Director of Burn and Trauma Surgery at Chicago's Stroger Medical Center which is considered the busiest trauma center in the country.


Teri Campbell

Teri Campbell has been a Nurse for over 30 years. She has an extensive clinical background including high-risk OB, pediatrics, emergency trauma. critical care and flight/transport. She has been a flight nurse for 18 years and currently flies for the University of Chicago, UCAN program. She is also the Director of a statewide cardiac arrest improvement project called Illinois Heart Rescue. In 4 years, ILHR has quadrupled out of hospital cardiac arrest survival and has tripled bystander CPR response for the state. In addition, she has been blessed to have lectured at numerous regional, national and international conferences 


Brendan Hartford

Brendan is a 24-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department where he is currently assigned to their SWAT team. He is an EMT-Paramedic and is part of the SWAT Team's operational medical program. He attended the National Tactical Officers Association Tactical Emergency Medical Support course for SWAT Team medics and has completed the North American Rescue Casualty Response Training Course Instructor Development course along with Advanced HAZMAT Life Support training. In 2015 he completed the RUSH University Medical Center's Advance Trauma Training Course. He has worked in various assignments: patrol, gangs, narcotics-including a detail to the Cook County State's Attorney Office's narcotics task force. He is a certified firearms instructor and was selected to be a member of the SWAT Team in 2006. He co-authored the first tactical operator's manual for the SWAT team and is currently involved in the development of the language and SOPs incorporating the Tactical Emergency Medical Support program into the SWAT Team. In early 2012 he helped plan and organize the SWAT Team response to the NATO Summit protests. Brendan also sits on the executive Board of the Committee for tactical Emergency Casualty Care. He is an active member of the NTOA, ILEETA, NAEMT, SOMA, and NRA.


Dr. Christina Bardsley

Dr. Hantsch is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University.  She completed an emergency medicine residency, including a year as Chief Resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin and then continued her training in a medical toxicology fellowship at Vanderbilt University.  After her fellowship, she returned to the Chicago area and is currently Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Division of Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.  Dr. Hantsch served as Medical Director of the Illinois Poison Center for more than 8 years.  She is a regular organizer and contributor to local, regional and national/international continuing education programs.  As an active member of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the American Academy of Medical Toxicology, she works to advance this relatively new medical specialty.


Tim Hillier, EMT-P

Tim Hillier began his career in 1984 as a volunteer “Ambulance Driver” (his words) in his hometown of Rivers Manitoba, population 800.  His love of the profession moved him to Saskatoon Saskatchewan where he continued his training and moved up the ranks going from EMT to Paramedic, Shift Supervisor to the Deputy Chief, Professional Standards. He has a passion for teaching others with a Masters in Learning and Technology through Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC and currently holds instructor certifications in ACLS, BCLS, ITLS, CAMATA (Aeromedicine) and PEPP.  He currently lives just outside of Saskatoon on 10 acres with his wife Eileen and their two horses, and his perfect dog named Lily.  Tim is one of only four Geneva Convention "life time achievement winners" and considers Pete to be his best friend.


Peter Lazzara, BS, EMT-P

Pete is a 35-year veteran in EMS and is currently a Paramedic Field Chief with the Chicago Fire Department. As a former teacher at a large all boys Catholic High School, Pete brings years of classroom experience to his presentations. He currently is an adjunct instructor with Chicago City-Wide Colleges, Northeastern Illinois Public Training Academy, and Loyola University Medical Center. Pete served for six years as EMS coordinator at Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago where he gained outstanding experience in the field of pediatrics. He also has several years of critical care transport experiences as a flight medic with Loyola University Medical Center’s LifeStar Aeromedical Program. He is the founder and President of EMSed, an educational company specializing in EMS educational concepts. He has received several awards for his work in the area of EMS including the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Ron W. Lee, MD Memorial Award for “Excellence in Pediatric Care” as well as the Illinois Department of Child and Family Service’s “Program Excellence Award” and in 2010 was the Chicago Fire Department's Educator of the Year.  He is a nationally recognized speaker and annually presents at EMS conferences nationwide.  He considers Tim Hillier to be the smartest guy he knows.
Frank W. Nagorka
Mr. Nagorka is both a licensed, practicing attorney and a paramedic. he graduated from Northwestern University and the Ohio State University for his law degree. He has been a licensed attorney for 40 years and a licensed paramedic for 35 years. His specialty is prehospital care defense and has defended and consulted on cases throughout the United States. He writes for the literature and has lectures around the world.

Ray Piagentini 

Ray has more than 40 years as an educator and is currently a professional school counselor at Barrington High School in Barrington, IL. He received his B.S from Loyola University of Chicago, received his M.A. in Guidance & Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University and his M.S. in Education/Administration from Chicago State University. Ray's areas of expertise include: Survivor counseling, Grief and Bereavement counseling, Crisis Intervention, At-Risk counseling and Suicide Prevention. Some of the honors that have been bestowed on Mr. Piagentini include:  Illinois Education Association's Human and Civil Rights Award, Illinois School Counselor Associations' High School Counselor of the Year Award, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital's Unsung Hero Award and he was one of six National Semi-Finalists for the American School Counselor Association's National School Counselor of the Year.
Stathis Poulakidas

Dr. Poulakidas is currently an Attending Physician in the Trauma/Burn Department of Cook County's Stroger Medical Center. He is board certified in general and critical surgery. He obtained his M.D from Chicago Medical School, completed his residency at Loyola University Medical Center and his Fellowship at University of California at Davis. Dr. Poulakidas is a frequent speaking at EMS conferences and is considered the "Go-Too" in pre-hospital burn management. 

Joseph Weber, MD 



Dr. Joseph Weber is an EMS Medical Director in the Chicago Region 11 EMS System. He attended Northwestern University Medical School and completed his Emergency Medicine training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.  He has spoken nationally at the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine scientific conferences as well as at the Gathering of Eagles: EMS State of the Science Conference.  He is also Medical Director for the Chicago Fire Department as well as the Malcolm-X College Paramedic Program.  His areas of interest include cardiac arrest, airway management, and EMS education