2024 Arizona
Fire School


September 4-8, 2024



Mesa Convention Center  /  263 N Center Street, Mesa AZ  85201      Convention Center Property Map

Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa / 200 North Centennial Way, Mesa AZ  85201

Meet our 2024 Keynote Speaker

Medically retired Fire Chief since December 31, 2014. On July 2, 2014, I suffered an on-the-job, near-fatal, traumatic head injury and nearly became a LODD. I am lucky to have survived.

The incident left me with severe PTSD and two serious Traumatic Brain Injuries. In the nearly 10 years since this incident, I have greatly struggled with Suicidal Ideation, PTSD, self-loathing, poor life-choices, etc. It is time to share my journey of recovery and survival. I have learned to #strugglewell.

As our brothers and sisters continue to die from suicide at levels that are beyond acceptable, and nearly twice the national average for non-suppression personnel. 30% of us will develop some type of mental health issue. An average of ~100 firefighters per year will die by suicide, more than job-related injury and trauma. I had a 30-year Fire Service Career, 10 as Fire Chief, spanning two states and four departments. (Northwest Fire District - Tucson AZ, Sedona Fire District - AZ, Hemet CA, Murrieta CA)

"Suicide is a permanent solution - for a temporary problem!" - Remember that.

My Education:  AA, BS, MA, EFO, CFOD x 6, Ironman Triathlete & Certified Ironman Coach.

While everyone suspected, assumed and congratulated me for doing so well, and doing fine; I was contemplating a big jump - off the Coronado Bridge in San Diego, CA. Nine years later, I have success stories to share, and sadly - stories of failure relating to anger, depression, substance abuse, poor choices, etc.

Mental Health & Wellness is a lifelong, ongoing journey and struggle. I have learned to 'Struggle Well', - and it is time for me to share my learned and successful strategies. Vulnerability is strength! At some point, we may all need some type of help!

Best Selling Author: "A Little Help Here! ...Alone and Dying in the California High-Desert, and a lifelong journey of PTSD and Trauma Recovery." - Amazon, by Matt Shobert, w/Paul Dail

"Ask your homies if they are okay!" - ms



Matt Shobert, Fire Chief 

Traumatically Retired

Northwest Fire District-AZ, Sedona Fire District-AZ,    Hemet-CA, Murrieta-CA