About Us

Marine Fire Training, LLC (MFT) is a Washington State, USA based company specializing in the development and presentation of customized training programs for the marine industry. MFT was formed in 2010 by three experienced marine emergency instructors, adding a fourth veteran instructor as a partner in 2012. Captain Chris Volkle is the company’s senior manager. He is a seasoned mariner having served many years at sea, and many more as a teacher and designer of marine training programs and facilities. Chris has worked throughout the marine industry as a sailor and administrator, as well as in numerous governmental capacities, and he is MFT’s current President. (Please see Chris’s biography on our bio page for more information.)

Chris’s partners in MFT are all professional fire fighters by trade. Recently retired from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), Deputy Chief Earl Sodeman joined the company in 2012. With roots deep in SFD’s Marine Emergency Response Team (MERT), Earl served with this specialized group in capacities from firefighter to company officer and station captain, to Battalion Chief and eventually, Shift Commander. He brings a wealth of experience in mitigating marine emergencies as well as teaching the discipline to firefighters from many Puget Sound area fire departments. Earl is currently MFT’s General Manager. (Please see Earl’s biography on our bio page for more information.)

Lt. Warren D. “Bill” Hall is a member of the Seattle Fire Department. He was among the founding members, and is a current fire-boat Company Officer in SFD’s groundbreaking Marine Emergency Response Team. This special operations group, including both land and water based components, is dedicated to providing technical advice to incident commanders, as well as hands-on assistance during shipboard fires and damage control emergencies. Bill has served as a marine instructor for the State of Washington, and the SFD’s Training Division for many years. He is MFT’s current Operations Manager. (Please see Bill’s biography on our bio page for more information.)

The fourth member of MFT’s leadership team is Richard A. “Rick” Colombi, Jr. He retired from the Seattle Fire Department in 2010. A founding member of MFT, Rick was also a founding member of the SFD’s Marine Emergency Response Team. He is a former US Coast Guard Damage Controlman and vessel boarding officer. Rick has served as a marine instructor for the State of Washington, and SFD Training Division. He has produced and presented technical marine and confined space rescue training for government and industry. Rick has also written on the subject of marine fire fighting by land-based firefighters for professional publications. He is MFT’s current Project Manager. (Please see Rick’s biography on our bio page for more information.)

In addition to the company’s management team, MFT has a corps of highly skilled instructors.  They are all dedicated professionals with extensive specialized marine emergency training and real world experience. (Visitors to our website are encouraged to see biographies for all of MFT’s instructors on our bio page.)

As an organization, MFT is committed to producing results in the field. Our mission is to provide the best real world training experience for vessel crews and emergency personnel in the environment where they will work. This is the place they will be called upon when disaster strikes. It is the place they must defend. In this setting, they will succeed or fail during an emergency. Our instructors will give attendees the “tricks of the trade”, as well as the confidence to do the right thing safely, the first time. Our instructor/evaluators will also give your organization the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have gone the extra mile to make sure your people are ready and working when they are truly needed.

To discuss our services, or to inquire about specific programs, please contact us at mft@shipfire.com, or call us at (206) 972-3838. An MFT representative will be happy to assist you, and/or answer your questions.