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Buddy Martinette

Cecil V. “Buddy” Martinette Jr. is owner of PB/T Consulting, and former Chief Executive Officer, and founding member, of Spec Rescue International, a specialized rescue training and consultation company headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Prior to this position, Buddy served in the public sector as Chief of the Wilmington Fire Department in Wilmington, North Carolina (retired); Assistant County Administrator in Hanover County, Virginia; and Chief of the Lynchburg Fire and EMS Department in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Buddy started his career at age 15 as a volunteer at the Thalia Volunteer Fire Department in Virginia Beach and 4 years later joined Virginia Beach Fire Department, where he spent 25 years as a firefighter, battalion chief, and chief fire marshal. Buddy is a former instructor with the State of Virginia Department of Fire Programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Rescue Specialist instructor, and Incident Support Team operations officer and task force leader for Virginia Task Force II of the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Program. His Urban Search & Rescue experience includes the Colonial Heights Walmart Collapse; deployments for Hurricanes Floyd, Fran, Frances, and Ivan; the Murrah Federal Building Bombing; and the Pentagon terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Buddy was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory in 2016 to serve as a commissioner on the North Carolina State Emergency Response Commission and by the North Carolina General Assembly to serve on the State of North Carolina 911 Board. He is also a past first vice president of the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs and past first vice president of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs. Buddy is also the past president of the Wilmington Central Rotary Club.

Buddy has written numerous articles for the fire service and frequently lectures on organizational leadership and specialized rescue operations to public safety, military, industrial, and law enforcement organizations. Buddy is the author of the first, second, and third editions of the Jones & Bartlett book Trench Rescue: Principles and Practice to NFPA 1006 and 1670. He was also awarded a design patent for his nut, bolt, and drill bit sizing tool called “Sizing Buddy.”

Buddy has a Bachelor of Science in fire administration from Hampton University and a master’s in public administration from Troy State University. In addition, he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, where he received the Outstanding Research Award in leadership. He has also received the designation of Chief Fire Officer by the Commission on Chief Fire Officer

Buddy's Bio


Creating and Leading

High-Performance Organizations

Creating and Leading High-Performance Organizations

"Creating and Leading High-Performance Organizations" by Buddy Martinette is a leadership book that guides readers in creating and leading successful organizations.  Throughout the book, readers discover the building blocks necessary to cultivate a high-performance leadership culture within their organizations. The book emphasizes the crucial interplay between personal and organizational aspects of leadership, illustrating how they work together to create an environment conducive to high performance. The concepts presented in the book form the springboard for the processes used by PB/T consulting associates to help build organizations whose culture of high performance will extend through many generations of leadership.

Learn more and Order


Considering a keynote for your organization's conference, promotional process, graduation, or another event?  With over 45 years of fire & rescue experience, and many thoughtful, compelling, and sincere stories, Buddy will leave your attendees with an experience they will remember long after your event is over.


A life-long learner, her primary life career was as a library administrator for the city of Virginia Beach for 38 years where she managed Human Resources, fiscal and strategic planning. This allowed her the opportunity to hone her leadership, facilitation, mentoring and coaching skills.  She participated on many of the leading-edge initiatives of the City, including facilitating the city’s first strategic business; Safe Community. Additionally, she facilitated the strategic planning, cultural change, and/or process improvement efforts of many city departments: Libraries, Planning, Public Utilities, Landscape Services, Convention and Visitor Bureau, Special Events and Film Office, Fire, Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, Professional Support and Development Team as well as many others. 


After retirement, she consulted on strategic planning with both the Virginia and North Carolina State Fire Chief Associations, the Lynchburg, VA, Hanover County, VA, Loudoun County, VA, and the Wilmington, NC Fire and EMS departments. She also returned to the city of Virginia Beach as an Organization Development Coordinator and then managed the city’s history museums.  


As a third act, she is working with Buddy to utilize the tools and strategies outlined in his book to assist others in their journey of life-long learning and to grow the next generation of leaders.  

Deborah's Bios


Meredith Mulford has 19 years of experience in project management with 14 years of organizational development, strategic development, process improvement, change management, workflow analysis and data analysis experience. She began her consulting career with McKinsey and Company in 2007 and was most recently the Administrative Service Manager with the Wilmington Fire Department. Meredith provides project management combined with strategic direction. Her results-driven process improvement and analytics expertise contribute to sustainable outcomes. Meredith has a BA from Agnes Scott College, is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s MBA program and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.


  • Administrative Services Manager, Wilmington Fire Department, North Carolina

  • Senior Staff Analyst, City of Houston, Texas

  • Roundtable Manager and Senior Analyst, McKinsey & Company, Atlanta, Georgia


Associated Professional Accomplishments

  • Developed, maintained, and created an annual strategic review process for fire department business strategy and work plan

  • Led a team to develop a new community risk reduction strategy through 3 years of data analysis, GIS map building, narrowing of scope and creation of goals and measurements.

  • Created a twice-yearly methodology for analyzing and reducing non-essential call volume to reduce firefighter risk and increase availability for essential calls.

  • Cross-referenced multiple State and City databases to bring businesses into compliance with the city permitting ordinances, resulting in over $1.5 million of recurring revenue.

  • Designed and implemented customer satisfaction survey and employee feedback survey for the City Permitting Center.

  • Created, implemented, and taught customer service training for 600 employees at the City Permitting Center, resulting in reduced customer complaints across the center.

  • Instituted a new invoice and mail system for the fire department permitting division, thereby reducing time to sort and assign mail by 75 percent and invoicing by 85 percent.

  • Developed and published 10 different Residential Plan Review “How-To” Guides to better inform the public on requirements for residential permitting.

  • Developed a new process for architectural walk-through reviews inclusive of revising check-in procedures and adding visual cues, resulting in a 39 percent reduction in the amount of time necessary to approve plans.

Meredith's Bio
Steve's Bio


Steve Cover served the citizens of Virginia Beach for over forty years as a life-long public servant. He is the former Deputy City Manager of Public Safety, where he provided executive oversight for the Police, Fire, EMS, 911 and Emergency Management Departments. Prior to that he was the Fire Chief for Virginia Beach. He continues to be an advocate for public safety.


Steve began his public service at age 16, as a Junior Volunteer Firefighter. He was hired as a Career Firefighter in 1980 right out of High School and progressed through the ranks. He was the first Virginia Beach Fire Chief to hold every rank in the Department; the last 9 as Fire Chief. He was appointed the Deputy City Manager of Public Safety in 2016 and served 4 years overseeing all five Public Safety Departments. Steve has extensive large-scale disaster management experience from both the operational and leadership/management perspective with the Federal Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Program. He has served as a Rescue Squad Leader, Rescue Team Manager, Task Force Leader and Sponsoring Agency Chief; as well as the East Coast Task Force Leader’s Representative and the Task Force Sponsoring Agency Chief’s Representative for the 9 East Coast Teams. He has responded on numerous hurricane deployments, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Pentagon on 9/11 and the  Oklahoma City Bombing. Steve served as the incident commander during a navy jet crash in 2012 impacting an entire apartment complex as the Fire Chief. As the Deputy City Manager, he oversaw the City’s response to several locally declared emergencies such as the mass shooting in 2019, civil unrest incidents in 2020, and the pandemic and numerous storms impacting the city.


Steve has served at the local, state and federal levels of government as Chair of the Hampton Roads Fire Chief’s Association, President of the Virginia State Fire Chief’s Association and a member of the Strategic Group for the Federal US&R Program. He is a Life Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a Senior Member of the Metropolitan Fire Chief’s Association and the Virginia Fire Chief’s Association.

As a life-long learner, Steve has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Administration and a Master of Public Administration, with a Minor in Human Resources. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and he received the Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation. He is also a graduate of the
Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and he attended the Executive Leaders Program at the U.S. Center for Homeland Defense& Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. 

Steve looks forward to giving back to the profession and the organizations that gave so much to him throughout his career. He is especially excited to work with Buddy’s team and share his life experiences in order to prepare the next generation of leaders.

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