Beware of misleading or false claims made by others

The Wake of Shame is a registry of known fraudulent or counterfeit sources within the international water safety and rescue society.

Fraud and counterfeit are a global pandemic of deceit that is a significant problem relative to safety and preservation of life. Unscrupulous individuals have no shame in lying to you about their instructor, business or program status.

Instructors and program managers can also falsify training records and certifications.

Many blatantly rip off training programs from predecessors, steal intellectual property posing as a student, and advertise fake claims of partnership or association. 

Unless the service provider is authorized as an IRIA badge holder, you are solely responsible for being a victim or not, so pay close attention. Inspect all prospective courses and service providers to protect your reputation. You need to know with verified proof that the funding you apply to training meets the expected and desired international water safety and rescue standards and ethics. 

IRIA provides this list to the viewer as a warning and a service to identity any known offenders who have made fake, false claims, counterfeit or identity theft. 

If you would like to refer a Wake of Shame nominee please contact IRIA to start the process.





Source Companies:


A.   Shenzhen Zhiyuan Emergency Technology Service Co., Ltd.

Room 511, Building A. Taiming Industrial Zone, No. 75, Youlian Road, Longhua District, Shenzhen

This company has committed the following illegal actions.

Nature of Offence:

  • Business Fraud
  • Counterfeit
  • Plagiary
  • Identity Theft
  • Copyright infringement
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Contract Fraud
  • International Trade Violations

B.  Chongquing Ark Search and Rescue Technology Consulting Co., Ltd.

Gaotang Street Court Road, Wushan County, Chongqing

Evidence of: Counterfeit courses, identity theft and business fraud



1. IRIA-Asia

2. IRIA-Adviser

3. IRIA-Malaysia

4. IRIA-Hong Kong

5. IRIA-Thailand

6. IRIA-Taiwan

Nature of Offence:

  • Business Fraud
  • Counterfeit
  • Plagiary
  • Identity Theft
  • Copyright infringement
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Contract Fraud
  • International Trade Violations


National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation sends a reminder to individuals and companies to be extra vigilant following an increase in the number of scams seeking to exploit a global crisis.

If you are receiving unwanted calls or suspect fraud:

  1. Demand the solicitor to give you the number they are calling from, their full name, the charity name, the website address where their IRS Form 990 can be found, and their physical address. Note the date and time of the call.
  2. Never share any personal and financial information (e.g., date of birth, Social Security number, or bank account number) and tell the solicitors that you will NEVER donate or pledge over the phone.
  3. Report suspected fraud to the Federal Trade Commission and to the government agency that regulates charities in your state.

While many legitimate charitable organizations may solicit donations from via telephone and mail, please be vigilant in your preliminary research to ensure your donation makes it to your intended receiver. It is advised that you require donation information to be sent to you via U.S. Mail before committing a contribution. Here are some tips for avoiding charity scams.


FEMA revoked accreditation for NM-TF1 on 16 September 2015 due to a persistent inability to maintain a fully operational urban search and rescue team

New Mexico, USA – Federal agents have seized two laptop computers from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and intend to search them for evidence showing that the former chief of what was once an elite state urban search-and-rescue team, along with another worker, completed an online training program for several response team members so they could achieve federal certification, a U.S. District Court affidavit says.

The move marks a new development in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation launched in September 2015 into allegations that the team, known as New Mexico Task Force 1, had falsified training certificates to meet requirements under the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At the same time, FEMA told state officials it was removing the team from its national disaster response system and pulling the team’s funding.

Dante Halleck, a former training manager with New Mexico Task Force 1, told a U.S. Homeland Security agent in a sworn statement in February that former Chief Gregory Lee and an administrative assistant, Darlene Torres, had used their work laptops to take the online federal training courses for various members, according to the search warrant application filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

No charges have been filed in the case, but the affidavit says Special Agent Robert Vargas is investigating allegations of wire fraud and false statements.

The new search comes as the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, plagued by problems since it became a department in 2007, continues to struggle with financial management, delays in allocating emergency assistance and other issues. State Auditor Tim Keller announced in November that he had recommended to Gov. Susana Martinez that she put a separate agency in charge of overseeing the department’s “critical financial functions.”

An unnamed source told an investigator that Halleck had printed out “numerous fraudulent training certificates” for ethics courses, fitness tests, hazardous materials tests and respiratory training, according to a statement of probable cause filed in the federal court more than a year ago.

New Mexico Task Force 1, assembled in 1991, had been one of 28 highly skilled teams across the nation designed to respond within hours, at FEMA’s call, to any type of disaster in the country.

It was placed under the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management when lawmakers started the agency in 2007 by consolidating two existing departments.

In a September 2015 letter to the state, FEMA said the elite team hadn’t been fully operational since 2007. Other teams had tried on numerous occasions over the years to help New Mexico Task Force 1 resolve its problems, the letter said, but the task force continually failed to meet operational standards and struggled with financial management and proper reporting of expenses.



Updated: 8.25.2020