Fire Chief Matthew Knott
Matthew Knott is proud to be serving as the Fire Chief of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. Previously, Chief Knott served as the Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention for the Rockford Fire Department in Rockford, Illinois, where he served for over 25 years. There, he was responsible for planning, budgeting, and administrative functions. He was also responsible for fire investigation, code enforcement, public information, and all community risk reduction activities.
Chief Knott has a Bachelor's degree in Geology and a Master's degree in Industrial Technology with a focus on Safety from Northern Illinois University. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers and an Illinois Professional Emergency Manager (IPEM). He also hold designations as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Chief Emergency Medical Services Officer (CEMSO), Public Information Officer (PIO), and Fire Marshal (FM) from the center for Public Safety Excellence. He is also a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE) and has completed the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program through the National Fire Academy. He is a paramedic and holds numerous technical rescue, fire service, and law enforcement related certifications in special operations and incident management.
He also serves on numerous local, state, and national level committees related to emergency response.
Matthew and his wife Jennifer, have two children. Together, they enjoy the many outdoor recreational opportunities that the Green Bay area has to offer.
Assistant Chief Robert Goplin
Assistant Chief Rob Goplin entered the fire service in 1993 and was hired by the Green Bay Fire Department in 1997. Having served GBMFD as a Firefighter, Division Chief of Fire Training, Assistant Chief of Operations, Battalion Chief, and Fire Chief, Rob again assumed the role of Assistant Chief of Operations in June of 2016. Rob holds a Master's degree in Homeland Security, a B.S. in fire and emergency response management, and an A.A.S. in fire protection. Rob is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program.
Rob is also the President of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) in Wisconsin and MABAS Division 112 (Brown County), chair of the Brown County Fire Investigation Task Force, and serves on the Advisory Board for the BFERM Bachelor's program at UW-Oshkosh. Away from work, Rob enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.
Assistant Chief Ryan Gibbons
Assistant Chief Ryan Gibbons started his career in the fire service in 1989 as a cadet with the Rib Lake Volunteer Fire Department. He became an EMT in 1993. Ryan graduated from FVTC with an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection in 1996. He worked at Grand Chute Fire Department as a part-time driver and paid on call until being hired by the Green Bay Fire Department in 1997. Ryan attended NWTC to achieve his paramedic certification in 2002. He holds numerous other certifications from the National Fire Academy and ProBoard.
His current promotion to Assistant Chief has him overseeing the Emergency Medical Services Division, Training Division and Support Services. Keeping the department up to date with ever changing world of technology, software programs, medical response, organizing paramedic teams and response parameters for all special events and the home Packer games are some of his primary responsibilities.
The division consists of two training Captains, and 4 Fire Marshals. The training Captains keep the department up to date on their E.M.S. licensures, training certifications, new equipment and the newest and best practices that are available. They administer the annual recruit academy for new hires, assist in maintaining our ISO Class 1 rating along with many other duties that make the Green Bay Metro Fire Department a top rated, well trained, efficient department.
Ryan is married to his wife Jennifer, they have 3 children. He enjoys attending his children’s sporting events, and participating in competitive shooting events.
Battalion Chief David Kolz
Battalion Chief Kolz is a 20 year veteran of the fire service spending 4 years as a FF/EMT with the City of South Milwaukee Fire Department and 16 years as a FF/Nationally Registered-Paramedic with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. Battalion Chief Kolz has a Bachelor’s degree (B.B.A.) in Business from UW-Whitewater and Masters Degree Level Certification in Emergency Management, Planning and Administration from UW-Green Bay. Dave was promoted to Battalion Chief in June 2016 after spending the majority of his GBMFD career working out of station 2. Battalion Chief Kolz is responsible for the Green Bay Metro Fire Departments Marine Division, SCBA equipment, and awards committee. BC Kolz is currently the east side Battalion on A shift. Email Battalion Chief Kolz.
Battalion Chief Ray Fuiten
Battalion Chief Fuiten began his career in 2004 with the Germantown Fire Department as a FF/EMT. He was hired in April 2006 by the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. Ray graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with an Associate Degree in Business Marketing and continued his education at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College with an Associate Degree in Fire Science. He furthered his education at Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Department Management. Ray holds numerous certifications from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Ray is happily married to his wife Kristy and has four children Amanda, Carly, Katie, and Layla. He recently became a proud Grandpa to his grandson Sam. Ray enjoys traveling and spending time at his cabin in Eagle River, WI. He is currently west side Battalion on A-Shift.
Battalion Chief Mike Vanden Avond
Battalion Chief Mike (Myk) Vanden Avond was born and raised in Green Bay. He is an East High School Red Devil graduate. He received his fire protection degree from FVTC and paramedic from NWTC. Mike’s first career firefighting job was with the city of Oshkosh where he worked for 2 years. He also worked for the Bellevue and Allouez fire departments as a paid on call firefighter. Mike was the first 3rd generation firefighter for the Bellevue FD. He was a paramedic for Orange Cross and County Rescue Services. Mike had previous Haz-Mat experience working for Onyx/Veolia Emergency Services.
Mike was hired by the GBMFD in 2006. He spent the majority of his career at station 2. He is a boat pilot and was on the Honor Guard. Mike was promoted to Battalion Chief on 12/31/2014. Mike is the Special Operations Chief who oversees Haz-Mat, TEMS, USAR and Honor Guard. He is also a fire instructor for Fire LLC and NWTC.
Mike is married to Stephanie and they have 2 daughters, Madalyn and Emmersyn. He enjoys camping, motorcycling and boating in his off time.
BC Vanden Avond is currently the east side Battalion on B shift.
Battalion Chief Chad Bronkhorst
Chad Bronkhorst is a 31-year veteran of the fire service who currently holds the rank of Battalion Chief with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. Chad got his start in his home town of Waupun WI as a paid on call firefighter. In 1993, he became a Emergency Medical Technician with Brooks Ambulance in the town where he grew up. In 1997 Chad started his career with the Green Bay Fire Department serving as a Firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain before being promoted to the position of Battalion Chief in 2022. He has spent time on the HAZMAT, and USAR teams, as well as being a boat pilot for the departments marine unit.
For nine-years Chad served as the President of the Green Bay Professional Fire Fighters (L141). During his time as president, he was a vital participant between the merger with Allouez Fire Department and Green Bay, which created Green Bay Metro Fire Department in December 2012. He also worked with the other labor groups in Brown County to form one unit and added the Fire Fighters of the Austin Straubel International Airport and the Bellevue Fire Department into the Labor Team. Chad also served for three years as an International Association of Fire Fighters Field Service Representative where his work helped settle labor agreements and labor laws throughout northeast Wisconsin.
Outside of the fire department Chad is an independent contractor who assists industry in meeting multiple OSHA and State safety standards. He trains internal industrial HAZMAT response teams, Confined Space Rescue teams, conducts safety audits, reviews SOG’s, and many other functions vital to the safety of all workers in the industrial environment. He has attended training at the National Fire Academy, New Mexico Tech, Nevada Test Site, Security and Emergency Response Training Center, as well as instructed at the Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College for twelve years. Chad holds an AS in Fire Science from Fox Valley Technical College, a BS in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern, and is currently working toward his Masters.
Chief Bronkhorst currently is a Battalion Chief on the west side on B shift. Email Battalion Chief Bronkhorst
Battalion Chief Tony Piontek
Anthony Piontek is a 32 year veteran of the fire service, currently holding the rank of Battalion Chief for the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. He started his career in his home town of De Pere, WI at the young age of 18 while attending Fox Valley Technical College, where he received his A.A.S. in Fire Protection Technology. From there Anthony served the Pueblo, CO Fire Department before returning to Green Bay in 1995. Through his tenure in Green Bay, Anthony held the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, Training Captain, Lieutenant, and was promoted to Battalion Chief in October of 2018. Always a strong advocate of training, he served as an adjunct instructor for multiple VTAE districts throughout the state, and held positions as Training Captain for Green Bay and Howard Fire Departments. Anthony was co-owner, COO and Instructor Coordinator for Fire and Industrial Response Enterprises, a company he and others began in 2003, centering on Industrial safety training and consulting and Fire Department specific training, specifically offering live fire training in acquired structures and LPG at low or no cost to departments across the Midwest. He has been published in numerous trade magazines, including Fire Engineering, Fire Chief, and Fire Nuggets, was a contributing editor and technical expert for Jones and Bartlett Publishing, PennWell Publishing, and served as HOT Instructor, Presenter, and HOT Lead Instructor for FDIC for more than 10 years. He has been fortunate to be able to consult and perform research and development for the USAF, First Due Fire Training, Fire Training Resources, Bullex, and Elkhart Brass, and looks forward to his new role and future opportunities to advance the Fire Service to a safer, smarter and more effective generation.
Chief Piontek currently is a Battalion Chief on the east side on C shift. Email Battalion Chief Piontek.
Battalion Chief Eric Jeltema
Battalion Chief Eric Jeltema began his career with Green Bay Metro Fire Department in June 2005. He is a graduate of FVTC with an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection Technician. He then obtained his EMT-Paramedic certification from NWTC prior to his hire. While employed at GBMFD, he obtained his Bachelors of Applied Studies in Fire & Emergency Response Management from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief in August 2020. He holds many state and National Fire Academy Certifications.
He is happily married to his wife, Erin, since 2008. He has three children ages 13, 11, and 9. He enjoys camping, attending his kids sporting events, and many other social and sporting activities.
BC Jeltema is currently the west side Battalion on B shift. He has created and is currently overseeing GBMFD's Drone Team, incident action planning, and radios.
Fire Marshal's Office
Captain Joe Gabe
Captain Joe Gabe entered the fire service in 1998 as a public safety officer in Escanaba, MI. Joe joined the Green Bay Fire Department in April 2001, as a fire fighter. Mr. Gabe was promoted to Lieutenant in the Fire Marshals Office in 2006. Captain Gabe’s responsibilities include fire Inspections, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, and fire prevention/life safety issues. Joe obtained a Bachelors Degree in Science (Secondary Education) from Northern Michigan University in 1992. Captain Gabe is also a Certified Fire Investigator and former president of the Brown County Fire Investigation Task Force. Email Captain Gabe.
Lieutenant Chad Pfeffer
Lt. Chad Pfeffer is a graduate of Roncalli High School in Manitowoc and received an Associates Degree as a Fire Protection Technician from Fox Valley Technical College and a Critical Care Paramedic License from Lakeshore Technical College. He started his fire service as a volunteer firefighter with Branch Fire Rescue and was later hired full time with the City of Manitowoc Fire Department. In 2011, Chad accepted a position with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department and was promoted to the Fire Marshal's office in 2022. Some of this current responsibilities include fire inspections, code enforcement, and fire investigations.
Outside of work, Chad enjoys spending time with family, hunting, fishing, and traveling.
Lieutenant Todd Coolman
Following in his fathers and older brothers footsteps, Todd entered the fire service in 1997 as a volunteer with the Marquette Township Fire Dept. Graduated with an Associate degree in Criminal Justice from Northern Michigan University in 1999, and later Graduated from Lake Superior State University with a Bachelors of Fire Science in 2001. Hired by the Green Bay Fire Department in September of 2002, and promoted to Lieutenant in the Fire Marshal’s office in June 2017. Duties include fire inspections, code enforcement and fire investigations. Email Lieutenant Coolman.
Lieutenant Ben Zemple
Ben entered the fire service in 2007 as a volunteer with the Center Fire Department and was later hired as a public safety officer at the Appleton International Airport. He received an Associates Degree as a Fire Protection Technician from Fox Valley College. Ben was hired by the Green Bay Metro Fire Department in 2015 and was promoted to Lieutenant in the Fire Marshal's office in 2022. Duties include fire inspections, code enforcement, and fire investigation.
Ben is married to Alex and has 3 kids Brynnlee, Whitney, and Leo. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, and spending time in Eagle River. Email Lt. Zemple
Lieutenant Shauna Walesh
Shauna was hired by the Green Bay Metro Fire Department in April of 2013. Shauna was promoted to a Lieutenant in the Fire Marshal’s office May 2018. Her role in the Fire Marshal's office is a Life Safety Educator and Public Information Officer. Some of Shauna’s responsibilities include coordinating fire/life safety education programs (which includes community education in schools, nursing/assisted living facilities, fire extinguisher training, home inspections), formulating/releasing information about incidents to media/local government/other agencies, and participates in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. Email Lieutenant Walesh.
Captain Joe Thompson - Training Division
Captain Joe Thompson started his fire service career as a volunteer in his hometown of Whiting, WI in 1994. Soon after, he enrolled at Fox Valley Technical College to pursue a full time firefighter job. After graduation, he enrolled at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for the paramedic program. After graduating, he was hired by the Village of Allouez fire department in 1999. He was a member of the Allouez fire department when it merged with the City of Green Bay fire department in 2012. Since the merger, he has been promoted twice and now serves as a training captain. He is part of the training division that puts together training and educational programs to help advance the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. Email Captain Thompson.
Captain Kyle Lauf
Kyle began working for the department in March 2014. He previously worked for Bellevue Fire Department for several years. His primary duties with GBMFD are to provide continuing education to EMTs and Paramedics, conducting firefighter training, and staying current with firefighting strategies and tactics.
Kyle gradated from Marinette High School and received an Associate's Degree in firefighting. Kyle enjoys time with family/hiking and his saltwater fish aquariums. Email Captain Lauf.
Captain Jordan Waack
I started my fire career as a volunteer firefighter and first responder for Branch Fire and Rescue in Manitowoc County in May of 2007. After going through fire classes I enrolled in the EMT – Basic program and EMT – Paramedic Program at Lakeshore Technical College. I also earned an Associate’s Degree from Fox Valley Technical College as a Fire Protection Technician. I have worked for both the Village of Allouez before the merger and the City of Eau Claire as a Firefighter/Paramedic. In April of 2012 I started with the City of Green Bay as a Firefighter/Paramedic. I have continued my education with completing numerous classes including TEMS and Critical Care. I am also a Rescue Specialist on WI Task Force 1, with training in USAR disciplines. Email Captain Waack.
Administrative Support Staff
Lynn Beno - Financial Services Administrator
Lynn was hired by the Department in August of 2010 and currently serves as the Financial Services Administrator. Lynn’s primary duties are managing the Department’s daily financial operations including budget, bonding, payroll, accounts payable & accounts receivable, FMLA, WC and many other functions which ensure the efficient day to day operations of the Fire Department. Lynn previously worked for the City of Green Bay Law Department and Brown County Corporation Counsel. Lynn was born and raised in Green Bay and enjoys spending time with her children and two granddaughters. Email Lynn.
Carri Prigge - Support Assistant
Carri started working for the Fire Department in June of 2018. She previously worked at the Green Bay Municipal Court for a number of years. Her primary duties with the department include providing administrative support, assisting callers, maintaining fire alarm permit data, transcribing fire reports and coordinating public education & special event visits as well as station tours.
Carri graduated from Green Bay Preble High School and Saint Norbert College. Carri's family life includes her husband Doug and 2 children, Luke 10 and Lauren 12. Carri takes an active role in her children's extracurricular activities by coaching basketball and softball. Her hobbies include watching sporting events, camping, and boating.
Mark Retzlaff - Senior Mechanic
Mark started working for the Fire Department in May of 2013. Mark graduated from Shawano High School and Fox Valley Technical College. He previously worked at Caroline Implement and a John Deere dealership for 5 years. He is also a Lt. with the Shawano Area Fire Department and has been a member since 2008. Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Becca and 2 children, Hailey 7 and Jackson 4. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time in the outdoors.
Mark's duties range from assigning/performing full range of mechanical maintenance and repair of all Fire Department apparatus & equipment, establishes & follows a comprehensive preventative maintenance program, oversees and maintains shop and shop records, assists in drawing up apparatus and vehicle specifications along with many other administrative duties.