IMT 2023 Conference

An annual incident management team (IMT) conference is coordinated by the Colorado DHSEM staff for the Colorado teams and members. 

2023 Conference Information 

  • Dates: September 19 - 20, 2023
    • September 19 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • September 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Location: Double Tree Hotel, Grand Junction, Colo.
  • Theme: Strengthening Foundations, Expanding Capabilities
  • Conference Flyer
  • Conference Agenda

Keynote Speakers

The conference committee has confirmed keynote speakers for each day of the conference.  Click the blue boxes below for information on the sessions.

September 19 Keynote Speaker Scott Cowan

Scott Cowan from Calgary, Alberta and with the Canada Fire Department presents a session called Just Trust Me! Creating IMT Effectiveness Through Building Trust.

The goal of this session is to build awareness and confidence in building highly effective teams when the stakes are high and time is of the essence. When rolling into an incident as an IMT, we often find ourselves working with people from various organizations. Whether these are people from our own IMT, other responders, or people from the local jurisdiction, we often have not worked on an incident together before. Effective incident management requires strong teamwork, but the challenge is often; How can we build an effective team while managing a fast-moving incident? The answer is ‘trust’.

In this session, you will experience how to quickly build trust among your team so that you can quickly move into effectively managing the incident. Just Trust Me! It’s easier than you think. 

Scott Cowan has been in the world of emergency management for over 25 years, as a firefighter, advanced care paramedic, emergency management officer, and Task Force Leader for one of Canada’s National Urban Search and Rescue Teams. He is a member of Canada Task Force 2, an Inter-Provincial Incident Management Team and has deployed in various Section Chief roles to numerous large-scale incidents, including
as Planning Section Chief to Canada’s second costliest disaster. Scott has a Master’s Degree in Leadership and has experience fostering high performing teams. From leading the Technical Rescue Team with the Calgary Fire Department, to leading IMT Teams deployed throughout Canada, Scott has learned the elements required to quickly build effective teams. As an IMT Section Chief, he has experience bringing people together and rapidly building trust in order to create high performing teams. When not deployed with his IMT he is a Battalion Chief with the Calgary Fire Department, where he leads over 325 Firefighters and Officers on a
daily basis. He lives in Calgary, Canada with his wife and two kids.

September 20 Keynote Speaker Nick Mrzlak

Nick Mrzlak is with Team Rubicon and presents a session called Culture in Crisis.

We will explore the critical role culture plays in Team Rubicon's rapid growth and success in managing large deployments of volunteers that help communities prepare, respond, and recover from disasters. Why a strong culture compels thousands of volunteers to deploy to the most austere environments every year and how this serves as the bedrock for sustainable growth and volunteer satisfaction. Participants can take away strategies for fostering a foundation of innovation, productivity, and team building for a diverse and dynamic future in emergency response.

Nick Mrzlak is the Field Leadership, Training, and Exercise Director for Team Rubicon. He has over 20 years of experience in various emergency response roles for fire, EMS, and adult education. Nick's team trains, prepares and executes hundreds of disaster response events annually by combining the skills of volunteers with the opportunity to serve the most vulnerable populations. Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises.


The agenda will be posted when it is finalized.  Read the conference agenda for information on topics and presentations to be covered. 

  • September 19, 2023
    • 7:30 a.m. Registration opens in the front ballroom. Breakfast served.
    • 8 - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Conference Opening Statements
      • Mesa County Sheriff's Office Colorado Guard and Pledge of Allegiance
      • DHSEM Division Director Kevin Klein
      • DHSEM Office of Emergency Management Director Mike Willis
      • DHSEM Field Operations Manager Trevor Denney
    • 9;15 - 10:15 a.m. Keynote Address: Just Trust Me! Creating IMT Effectiveness Through Building Trust
      • Scott Cowan, Calgary Fire Department, Canada Task Force 2 IMT, Calgary, Alberta
    • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break
    • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Recruit, Mobilize, Retain: volunteers in Emergency Management and presentation slides
      • Hannah Wilks, Director of Service Learning and Basic needs, University of Colorado Boulder
    • 11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Integrated Preparedness Plan Results
      • Karen Dickson, DHSEM Incident Management Unit Specialist
    • 12 - 1 p.m. Lunch
    • 1 - 2 p.m. Instruction Block
      • Field Incident Coordinating Officer (FICO) with DHSEM Field Operations Manager Trevor Denney
      • State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Updates
      • Strategic Risk Management Process with David Vitwar, DFPC, and Travis Bailey, NIMO
    • 2 - 3 p.m. ICS4ICS: An Opportunity for Incident Management Teams
      • Mark Boddy, Eastern Colorado IMT
    • 3 - 3:15 p.m.: Break
    • 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Colorado National Guard (CONG)Resources
      • Major Richard Piltinsrug, CONG
    • 4:15 - 4:30 p.m. Recap for the Day with Drew Petersen, DHSEM Incident Management Unit Supervisor


  • September 20, 2023
    • 7:30 - 8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
    • 8 - 8:15 a.m. Recap from Tuesday
    • 8:15 - 9:15 a.m. Keynote Address: Culture Crisis
      • Nick Mrzlak, Team Rubicon
    • 9:15 - 10:15 a.m. IMTs and Workforce Resiliency
      • Chris Saunders, Boulder County Public Health
    • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break
    • 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Facilitated Discussion Block
      • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Marketing and Recruitment with Facilitator Mark Boddy
      • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Engagement and Retention with Facilitator Chuck Balke
    • 12:30 - 1 p.m. Lunch
    • 1 - 2 p.m. Facilitated Discussion Report Out and Comments
    • 2 - 3 p.m. Hurricane Ian Deployment
      • Jim Spratlen, Southwest IMT
    • 3 p.m. End of Conference 

DHSEM strives to ensure an inclusive, accessible conference that enables all individuals to engage fully. To request accommodations or for inquiries about accessibility, please email karen.dickson@state.co.us or call 720-766-9984 no less than two weeks prior to the conference in order to have enough time to fill the request.