About Us

Animal Fire Rescue Training was started by Ken Gilden to provide an agency neutral training platform for Animal Rescue Groups as well as Fire agencies that want to use Fire Rescue Standards in Animal Rescue situations.

The benefit to using Animal Fire Rescue is our interactive training style.  The use of learning techniques that keep the students engaged and force them to think throughout the training is the key to making the training challenging and fun.

Board Members and Instructors:

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Ken Gilden: Pres. & Lead Instructor

Ken Gilden started learning Rescue Training at a very young age. When Ken was 10 years old, he was a Jr. Lifeguard and later became a Lifeguard. Ken also grew up in the Idyllwild Fire House where his dad worked as the Fire Chief.

Immediately following High School Ken took Fire Science Classes and went to Crafton Hills Fire Academy.  Ken worked as a Fire Fighter for several years at Idyllwild Fire until he became a Chiropractor and moved to San Diego.

Currently Ken is a Lead Instructor for Animal Fire Rescue and provides training for animal services organizations like, San Diego Humane Society, and has partnered up with ASAR to teach Wildland Fire Animal Evacuation Classes.  Ken is also an Instructional Lab Tech for Miramar Fire Academy.

Ken Gilden is Team Leader and responds with two Rescue Teams:  The County of San Diego Animal Services Disaster Response Team and San Diego Human Society Technical Rescue, Wildland Fire & Water Rescue Units.  Ken also rides dirt bikes for Off-Road EMS and provides Emergency Trauma Care to injured riders.

The Animal Fire Rescue Training Facility is located on a 5-acre property in Alpine, San Diego County where Ken also sits on the Board of the Alpine Fire Safe Council.

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Retired Battalion Chief Rob Nelson: Board Member & Technical Advisor

Rob Nelson has been in the fire service for 31 years and retired as a Fire Battalion Chief for the City of Chula Vista Fire Department. He was a member of FEMA USAR CA-TF8 for 24 years and operated as a Rescue Squad Officer.

During this time, he has been on several USAR deployments including Hurricane Ernesto and Katrina as a Squad Officer. Rob has contributed to the rescue community as a committee member of NFPA 2500 Standards for Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services where he has written safety standards for rescue incidents. He is also been a Safety Officer for the San Diego Urban Area Incident Management Team.

Rob has been married for over 30 years and has two college aged sons. He has lived in San Diego’s east county for his entire life and spends his free time hiking and off-roading.

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Honey Jaehn: Board Member

Honey Jaehn is the business owner of Nails by Honey.


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Retired Fire Capt. Jon J Winslow: Board Member & Instructor

After spending over twenty great years in the Fire Service with San Miguel Fire and Cal Fire (the last ten years were the rank of Captain), Jon was forced to retire due to a shoulder replacement.

Currently Jon Winslow is an Adjunct Instructor in the Fire Technology program at Miramar Community College. Jon also is a Certified Fire Instructor with the State of California ( SFT).

“I have always loved animals, especially the dogs I have had over the years. Currently , the household is run by an English Cream golden retriever named Jackson.” ~ Jon Winslow

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