Meet The Team

Rick Segrest

Co-owner/Co-founder
35 Years in Fire Service
Rick is co-owner of Firesled Functional Fitness and Training and co-inventor of the Firesled and the Punisher. He worked for the Orange County Fire Rescue Department for 35 years. During his service he held several ranks as well as managed a diverse amount of responsibilities. His career started in 1981 as a firefighter, five years later he was promoted to Engineer (driver.) He then rose through the ranks of Lieutenant, Safety Captain, Operations Battalion Chief, and finished his career as the Safety and Wellness Chief. He was considered an innovator at the station and on emergency scenes. 

At one time OCFRD was losing large diameter hose out of the bed while units were traveling down the highways. It was considered a trend and a safety hazard, not to mention the cost of replacing hose. Rick and his Lt. were asked to come up with a solution. A Velcro strap system was drawn up, sewn up, and incorporated. The strap worked well and they have not lost any hose when the strap is used. Rick has a knack for problem solving and it served him well in the Fire Service. 

He has three passions, firefighters, fitness and family. He enjoyed and learned from every position and role he held with OCFRD, however being selected as the Health and Safety Department’s first Wellness Coordinator was by far his most rewarding and satisfying role. He was tasked with developing a wellness program from the ground up. With the support of Fire Chief Carl Plaugher and a trusting team, he developed one of the best wellness programs in the nation. The program saved the organization millions of dollars and won a host of awards, but most importantly to Rick, it saved firefighters lives and careers.

Rick’s Fire Service responsibilities and Accomplishments

Wellness Coordinator Responsibilities

Educating and Motivating Firefighters on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle
Select safe and effective fitness equipment for 41 fire stations and 2 satellite fitness facilities
Select potential peer fitness trainers and organize certifications through the IAFF/IAFC Wellness Fitness Initiative
Supervise 40 PAT’s
CPAT including test administration and mandatory remediation
IPAT including test administration and mandatory remediation
Oversee EMS Bike Patrol

Safety and Wellness Chief Responsibilities

Wellness Program and Wellness Curriculum
Safety Program
Supervise and mentor 20 Safety Captains
Accident and Injury Investigating
Safety Classes and Curriculum
Medical Physicals
Risk Management
CISM Team
Safety and Wellness Budget

Highlights

Selected as the first Wellness Coordinator for Orange County Fire Rescue
Created a comprehensive Wellness Program for the Department that saved the organization over $3,000,000 in out of work time
2007 International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Award of Excellence for a unique Wellness Program recipient
Designed an award winning mobile Fitness Evaluation Unit
Initiated and supervised the Candidate Physical Ability Test
Designed and developed a fitness training facility for firefighters and law enforcement officers
Patented and crafted a Firefighter Functional Fitness Training System
Planned and implemented Firefighter Functional Fitness Boot Camp classes
Created a fund raising event called the 343 Hero Challenge, a cross-fit firefighting hybrid competition held on or around 9/11 in memory of the 343 firefighters that lost their lives. All proceeds donated to Firefighter charities
Co-founder of Florida Firefighter Fitness Collaborative

Speaking Engagements

IAFF Redmond Symposium
Fire Department Safety Officer Association
Florida Firefighter Fitness Collaborative Wellness Conferences
Orange County Government Leadership Series
Orange County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Rodeo executive command staff.

Dave Eaves

Co-owner/Co-founder
33 Years in Fitness Equipment
Dave Eaves and his wife Teresa live in Mt. Dora, FL. Dave is a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan and a big college football fan- GO KNIGHTS.
 
He started in the fitness equipment industry in 1987 as an assistant manager in a specialty fitness store while going to college. Upon graduating with a degree in computer science in 1989, he realized his passion was not in coding, but rather the fitness industry and decided to stay. Dave has always been interested in the new fitness products and companies that were emerging in the fitness industry.
He learned the value of relationships with customers and with vendors. Doing right by the customer with product selection and service is not just the right thing to do, but produces increased sales over the long term.

Giving the customer the product they thought they needed for the quick sale never earned a repeat customer. Does anyone remember the Nordic Trac, Healthrider, PT4000? Decent products all, but hard to use for many people and usually ended up in the garage or with clothes hanging on them.

Dave learned while working the retail sales floor that one size does not fit all. The goal of being more fit was almost universal, but the path and equipment was different. The best products for the end user came down to what the customer could and would use. The best products do not work at all if they are not used.
He found with manufactures, there was a huge difference in those who just needed to hit sales quotas and those who actually want to build great products. You learn the difference right away when there is a product problem. He’ll always remember manufacturer’s reps saying how great their products were and the next trade show they were working with another manufacture saying the same thing. Still goes on today, but at a faster pace.

In the early to mid-90’s, Dave started to focus on commercial accounts. It was fun to take a blueprint of building and turn a part into the fitness center. Planning the proper electrical power and placement, and the right products for the type of project. 

In 1996, it was time to branch out. He became a managing partner for a commercial fitness company. They started on a shoestring and by 1999 had five locations. As the company was growing and they brought on more people, Dave’s job became more administrative than working with the end users. He missed the direct relationship with the customers.

In 2000, it was time to change and He started Mid FL Fitness Distributors. Mid FL Fitness is his family business. It allows for flexibility in his time and lets him get back to the direct customer relationship. Sales, design, installation, and service. He does all of it. No subcontractors, no third party, no excuses. Much more enjoyable. Still the same after 20 years.

The time flexibility allowed Dave to get to know some of the police and fire departments in Central FL. This market has always been under-served and neglected by fitness equipment manufacturers and distributors. It has a long sales cycle, and usually a bid process. This has made fire and police markets unattractive to sales organizations and manufacturers. Dave’s time is his own, not pressured for quick sales. 

 Dave met then Lt. Rick Segrest in 2003 when he was starting his department’s wellness program. Rick mentioned he needed things to duplicate pulling a charged hose line, breaching ceilings, and pulling victims. This was news to Dave as nobody had ever asked for products like that.
Rick wanted things that could duplicate those types of tasks. The fitness industry offered nothing and Dave was not going to insult him by saying they had just the right stuff. No one did because no manufacturer really knew what firefighters actually do. Still don’t. They use standard strength and cardio products and say they will improve job performance.

Will they help? Yes. Do they duplicate job tasks? No way.

The wellness program Rick was developing was interesting and Dave wanted to play a part. It is eye opening as a citizen to watch and understand what the people who would respond to your emergency really do. 

Like many people, they sketched out a simple design. Dave had his strength equipment manufacturer make a prototype and Firesled was started.

The original unit seems odd now. Neither Dave nor Rick had the time to fully develop the Firesled then. The Firesled has come a long way since their first mock up. Many improvements in function and design. The addition of the Punisher and Firesled Edition Laddermill round out the Firesled Functional Training System. There is nothing more satisfying than watching firefighters using our products and then say it feels like a fire scene.

Dave and Rick pride themselves on building quality equipment here in the USA and stake their reputation on their training products.

Jason Wheat

Team Member 
Jason graduated for the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. He also enjoyed 4 years of football as a defensive end and played for the AFL and XFL. Jason also served as an Army Combat Medic and has now spent the past 15 years as a Firefighter/EMT. He's currently the Orange County FL Fire Peer Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist. In 2019 he was awarded Firefighter of the Year. 

Doss Bozeman

Team Member
Doss Bozeman lives by the four F’s! Faith, Family, Friends and Fitness. I guess you could say that the fire service falls into all those categories for Doss. As a Christian, husband and a father he feels truly blessed.

Prior to joining the fire service Doss served as a Calvary Scout in
the United States Army for six and one-half years of active duty. In 2002 his mission changed and he became a member for the Orange County Fire Rescue. 15 of his 18-year career has been spent in the Special Operations group of Orange County Fire Rescue, being assigned to one of their Squads for the past 13 plus years. Doss is also a member of multiple teams within the OCFRD organization including The Critical Incident Stress Management Team where he serves as a Peer support member helping Firefighters process the emotional/ psychological side of running calls. Over the past 10 years Doss has taken pride in being a Peer Fitness trainer. As a trainer he helps Firefighters by coaching, mentoring, and training them with healthy life style choices, whether it be with physical fitness, nutrition, rehabilitation from an injury or proper form of job related tasks. Doss challenges himself as a CrossFit coach and a member of the Orange County Combat Challenge Team.

For the past six years he has helped program and co-organize the 343 Hero Challenge that honors the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. This is a charity event made up of some CrossFit style movements along with Firefighter functional training and helps to raise thousands of dollars for Firefighter charities.
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Chris Hoffmann

Team Member
Chris is a Husband, a Father, and a Child of God. His Faith and his Family are the most important parts of his life. 

Chris’ Health/Wellness and his career allow him to enjoy his Beautiful Family that God has Blessed him with. 

Chris is an Engineer/Paramedic with Orange County Fire Rescue
Department. He has been with Orange County since 2016. He is on the Dive Team and qualified to work on the Ladder Trucks in the county. (Both of which fall under the “Special Operations”). He is part of the Peer Fitness Team which includes coaching/mentoring Firefighters on Healthy Lifestyle choices. Whether it be with Physical Fitness, Healthy Foods, or Proper Form while performing the task of the job. 

Prior to OCFRD, Chris was with Clay County Fire Rescue in Northeast Florida since 2010. While with Clay County, He was able to achieve multiple Certifications. He has reached the Technician Level in Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, VMR, Structural Collapse, and HazMat. He has his Fire Officer 1 and Fire Officer 2 certifications. Chris continues to educate and train everyday to be a student of the craft. 

Firesled Fitness allows him to combine many of his passions. Training with equipment that He Truly believes in, and sharing his love for the job, is a dream come true.
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John Sabat

Team Member
John was a member of Orange County Fire Rescue for 35 years and spent the early part of his esteemed career on one of the busiest truck companies in the county. During that time, he attended a personal Escape Rope Rescue class where he learned from the lead instructor that his rope bag supplier was not keeping up with the demand for bags. John bought a sewing machine and his wife reluctantly taught him how to sew. Before 
long  John was making escape rope bags, mask bags, and other accessory bags.

John enjoyed taking on more responsibilities throughout his tenure in the Fire Service. He not only promoted up the ranks to engineer and lieutenant, and served on committees that would bring positive change to OCRFD. One in particular was a bunker gear committee to research and make suggestions on the type of gear to purchase. While talking to one of the representatives from the company that received the contract to supply new gear, John mentioned that he could sew. The representative then hired him to sew custom features on bunker gear, and was so impressed by his work and dedication that they sent him to a certification class for the repair and maintenance of bunker gear. Rick had been working on a project to keep the five-inch hose from accidently deploying from OCFRD engines while traveling down the road and needed someone to make the straps to keep the hose in place. Rick was made aware of John’s ability to sew while getting fitted for bunker gear and solicited his help which resulted in a system that solved the issue and saved OCFRD thousands of dollars in damaged hose and damage to citizens property.

John was also in the first group of Orange County Fire Rescue’s certified Peer Fitness Trainers and helped numerous Firefighters on their path to a healthier lifestyle. Firesled had just built their first prototype and once again, Rick reached out to John to design and sew the victim removal straps that would be attached to the rear of the sled. John was a natural selection with his passion for fitness and his knowledge of the straps that deployed from bunker gear. The straps are commonly referred to as “Sabat Straps” and work perfectly to simulate removing a downed Firefighter.

John spent the last few years of his career as the third OCFRD Wellness Coordinator where he used the Firesled to train recruits and incumbents to survive the very strenuous tasks of Firefighting. He is now a valued member of The Firesled Fitness and Training Team where he manufacturers Sabat Straps and sews the hose that is used on The Firesled.
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