We are passionate about Public Safety
Essential Personnel brings together a team of industry specialists who understand the
unique needs and challenges facing your organization.
CEO & Co-founder
Scott is a lifelong public servant. He is a former professional firefighter and currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserve. Also an experienced Business Development and Government Relations executive, he previously helped launch a technology start-up in the Transportation & Mobility industry. He founded Essential Personnel in 2020. He holds a B.S. in Fire Administration and M.A. in Public Agency Leadership.
CFO & Co-founder
Preston is currently a Master Firefighter with the Wilmington, NC Fire Department. He is a serial entrepreneur, real estate investor and owner of several independent businesses. He holds a Finance degree from UNCW’s Cameron School of Business and is a certified Financial planner.
Dr. Joshua Smith
VP, Strategic Partnerships
Dr. Joshua Smith has twenty years of public safety experience concentrated in emergency services and community college adult education. He currently serves as a Battalion Chief with the Statesville NC Fire Department and is also owner of Spark Communications. Spark is a company dedicated to public safety research, analysis, human resource consulting, and legislative solutions. Dr. Smith holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a Doctorate of Curriculum Design from Appalachian State University. He currently serves on the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission, North Carolina Fire and Rescue Certification Board, and Teachers and State Employee’s Retirement System Board.
Chief of Staff, New Orleans, LA Police Dept.
Dante Bidwell has worked for the City of New Orleans over the last five years, most recently as the Chief of Staff in the New Orleans Police Department. He has a background in performance metrics, policy reforms and intergovernmental relations. Dante earned a Master’s Degree in Applied Sociology from Southeastern Louisiana University, and was a 2020 Fellow in the Loyola University of New Orleans Institute of Politics.
Lieutenant, Montgomery Cty., MD Fire & Rescue
Shawn is a 20 year veteran of the fire service, and has served since 2007 in the DC Metropolitan area with Montgomery County. He is currently a Lieutenant, a certified instructor at the training academy, and served 11 years as a paramedic. Shawn earned B.S. in Fire Protection Administration and an M.A. in Leadership Studies. He is devoted to lifelong learning and improving the fire service.
Public Safety Software Expert,
Scott has spent the past 20 years bringing innovative technology to Public Safety agencies. A former firefighter and United States Air Force veteran, Scott has led teams dedicated to developing solutions for 9-1-1 dispatch centers and the first responder community. As head of Product and Strategy for companies like TriTech Software, Motorola Solutions and VisionAIR, Scott has a passion for serving those who serve the public. Most recently, Scott co-founded CueHit; a community engagement platform that allows Law Enforcement, Fire Rescue and EMS departments to connect with their citizens in new ways and measure their effectiveness.
United States Marine Corps
Drew is a United States Marine Corps Officer serving in the National Capital Region. Both an aviator and technology enthusiast, Drew holds an MBA from Rutgers Business School in Supply Chain Management and is an Airline Transport Pilot.
Dr. Susruta Sudula
Los Angeles Police Department
Dr. Sudula is an experienced researcher with quantitative and qualitative research skills, and has worked with various criminal justice agencies, including the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). She has also worked as a Senior Performance Analyst with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and as an Investigator with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). She currently serves as a Special Investigator within the Office of the Inspector General, Los Angeles Police Department.
Senior Software Engineer,
Robert McCartney leads application software development teams at Google and beyond. He started the first company focused on defensive cyber security in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve. His focus areas are in data analytics, infrastructure and scale, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technical domains.
Chris has 20+ years experience as a software engineer with General Electric’s Nuclear fuels division. In perfect harmony with EP, he also has over a decade of experience in public safety as a Paramedic.
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