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  Southern Technical Aquatic Resource & Rescue

John Cress 

Board Chairman

Serves as the Board Chairman, Mr. Cress served 20 years in the United States Military. Prior to that Mr. Cress spent more than 10 years serving the Public in Law Enforcement, Fire Service, and EMS. During his time in the military, Mr. Cress obtained a Masters Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In addition, he has obtained multiple high level certifications from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Certified Fire Service Instructor, obtained a AB Unlimited, and Master 200 Ton License. Mr. Cress experience, education, and knowledge has been instrumental in the design, developing, and implementing of STARR's Emergency Rescue Boat Operations course as well as bring the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course in house. Over the years Mr. Cress has served on several boards and committees and brings a large amount of experience, management, leadership and course development to STARR.

John McColloster

Board Member

Mr. McColloster has served on the Advisory Board since 2011 and has been a motivator in moving STARR forward in both training and response. Impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Mr. McColloster sought to learn more about water rescue in order to help others during times of water type incidents. Mr. McColloster worked as a commercial diver, water rescue technician, boat operator, and many other areas in public servant roles. He continues to remain a positive factor in educating and training, providing information to the public, and research to ensure STARR remains in the forefront. The commitment, dedication, and devotion shown by Mr. McColloster in STARR makes him an ideal individual to ensure our continued forward progress.

Mark Smith

Board Member

Mr. Smith is retired from the United States Navy,  owns Underwater Adventure located in Baton Rouge, LA, and has been actively involved with STARR and Water Rescue Training since 2016. A LSU alumni in which he studied Physiology. Mr. Smith has worked in the underwater world most his life, but has been able to continue to give to his community as a reserve deputy in Baton Rouge. Of course, his love is being underwater and teaches SCUBA classes as a PADI and NAUI Instructor while traveling all over the world talking about water. Mr. Smith is passionate about teaching others about the potentially dangers of water related events and keeping STARR on track to provide that valuable training to others. Mark has been a great asset to STARR since joining out team in 2016.

Andy Jarrell

Board Member

Mr. Jarrell has served the public for most of his adult life which started as a teenager working with the local volunteer fire department. A volunteer firefighter, 911 Dispatcher for local law enforcement, and Emergency Medical Technician working for rural EMS before Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Jarrell after Hurricane Katrina show a need to help others and started working at Touro Infirmary ER and New Orleans EMS. He has been involved in STARR since its conception in 2010 and active member promoting water rescue training and education. His passion and dedication has helped move STARR forward keeping with our desire to help others.

David Hertz

Board Member

Mr. Hertz has been with STARR when it was just a twinkle in our eye (lol). Mr. Hertz has experience as a certified firefighter, water rescue technician, both a commercial and recreational diver, and martial arts instructor. He has been deeply involved with providing services to the public in their time in need for more than 20 years. Mr. Hertz dedication to STARR is so overwhelming as he provides first aid to several community events that are geared towards our children completely as a volunteer. STARR believes in giving back to those who have helped up become the premier training site for the Gulf Coast.