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:

Gilden Head Shot

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 Paid Call 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 County of San Diego Animal Services, San Diego Humane Society, and has partnered up with ASAR to teach Wildland Fire Animal Evacuation Classes.

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 & 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.



Battalion Chief Rob Nelson: Board Member & Instructor

Rob Nelson has been in the fire service for 31 years and currently serves as a Fire Battalion Chief for the City of Chula Vista Fire Department. He has been a member of FEMA USAR CA-TF8 for 24 years and currently operates 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 contributes 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 writes safety standards for rescue incidents. He is also a Safety Officer for the San Diego Urban Area Incident Management Team.

Rob has been married for 26 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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