The Future Firefighter Podcast

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Fire Captain Chris Ruano

Fire Captain Chris Ruano
Join host Chris Baker and guest Fire Captain Chris Ruano as they discuss how the pre-service firefighter candidate prepares for the fire academy mentally, physically and emotionally. This episode discusses physical conditioning and training before the entry-level fire academy, injury prevention during the academy, and transition from the fire acade...
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The Future Firefighter Podcast: Now Hiring

The Future Firefighter Podcast: Now Hiring
The Future Firefighter Podcast discusses the importance of implementing a plan and the process of becoming a firefighter through mentorship by engaging the future members of the fire service in a positive way. This podcast discusses the importance of planning for success mentally, emotionally, and physically. Hiring as of September 18, 2021: H...
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Battalion Chief Chad Costa

Battalion Chief Chad Costa
Join host Chris Baker and guest Battalion Chief Chad Costa as they discuss the keys to getting hired in today's fire service. During this episode, they discuss how to be prepared as a candidate, including education, experience, attitude, work ethic, and customer service. Keys to Getting Hired in Today's Fire Service Battalion Chief Chad Costa Biogr...
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Deputy Chief Ian Emmons

Deputy Chief Ian Emmons
Join host Chris Baker and guest Deputy Chief Ian Emmons of the Washington Township (OH) Fire Department as they discuss the value of mentorship. During this episode, they also discuss maintaining accountability, celebrating success and how mentorship can bring positive continuous improvement to the fire service.  Listen to this Episode https:/...
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Fire Captain Larry Conley

Fire Captain Larry Conley
Joining host Chris Baker is Larry Conley of Leadership Development Concepts, LLC. They discuss GLUE (Growing Leaders Using Empowerment) and why this personal leadership development program is essential for the future firefighter. Listen to this Episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/fireengineeringpodcast/2020/09/01/the-future-firefighter ‎Listen on...
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Fire Chief Bill Killen

Fire Chief Bill Killen
Join host Chris Baker as he discusses the history of the fire service with Fire Chief Bill Killen (ret.) President/CEO of the National Fire Heritage Center and why it's important to learn about the history of the fire service. This episode is dedicated to the men and women that built the American Fire Service. President Bill Killen is a Fire & ...
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Lead Where You Are

Lead Where You Are
Host Chris Baker talks to guests Phoenix (AZ) Battalion Chief Rayne Gray, Fairfax County (VA) Fire Captain Marc Davidson, and Prince William County (VA) Fire Lieutenant Nick Baskerville about leadership and why it's important to lead where you are.  Prince William County (VA) Fire Lieutenant Nick Baskerville, Chris Baker, Fairfax County (VA) F...
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Fire Chief Dennis Rubin

Fire Chief Dennis Rubin
Host Chris Baker discusses Rube's Rules for the Future Firefighter with his guest and mentor Fire Chief Dennis Rubin.  Listen to this Episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/fireengineeringpodcast/2019/09/24/the-future-firefighter Podcast: The Future Firefighter | Fire Engineering https://www.fireengineering.com/leadership/podcast-the-future-fir...
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Dr. Richard Gasaway

Dr. Richard Gasaway
Host Chris Baker talks with guest Dr. Richard Gasaway about situational awareness for the future firefighter. Listen to this Episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/fireengineeringpodcast/2019/08/13/the-future-firefighter   Resources: Dr. Richard B. Gasaway - Building tomorrow's leaders... Today! https://www.richgasaway.com Situational Awareness...
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Fire Chief Reggie Freeman

Fire Chief Reggie Freeman
Host Chris Baker discusses the topic of community service with Fire Chief Reggie Freeman. "Values and beliefs make up organizational culture. Exercising authentic leadership within that same organization makes a difference."  – Fire Chief Reggie Freeman Listen to this Episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/fireengineeringpodcast/2018/...
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Deputy Chief Steve Prziborowski

Deputy Chief Steve Prziborowski
Host Chris Baker discusses the entry-level firefighter interview process with guest and mentor Deputy Chief (Retired) Steve Prziborowski. Steve Prziborowski is a 29-year fire service veteran currently recently serving as a Deputy Chief for the Santa Clara County (CA) Fire Department. He received the 2020 Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Lega...
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Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac

Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac

“All that I am I owe, I live eternally in the red.”– Dr. Carl Holmes

THE FUTURE FEMALE FIREFIGHTER

“I can’t help but tell you that it’s all about the mentorship.  Without the direction and guidance of those who have come before us, there is no way that either one of us would be here.  The main message I want to relay to everyone is this, we can’t do this job alone.  Whether you are a woman or a man, you are going to need the advice and the guidance that we all need in every profession to succeed and thrive.” – Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac

“The thing about mentors is they believe in you more than you believe in yourself.”  - NPJ

MENTORS:

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The Future Firefighter Podcast: Building the Unbreakable Future Firefighter

The Future Firefighter Podcast: Building the Unbreakable Future Firefighter

 

“If you quit you will regret it for the rest of your life. Quitting never makes things easier.” – Admiral William H. McRaven

 

ENTRY LEVEL FIREFIGHTER HIRING PROCESS

 

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Maintaining the Work and Life Balance

Maintaining-the-Work-and-Life-Balance Cover Photo Courtesy: California Fire Foundation

In my fire service career, I have worked many different shift schedules. When I first started as a volunteer, I signed up for 24-hour shifts on a Kelly Schedule as a paid reserve. About a year later, I received the opportunity to be a wildland firefighter and transitioned to the 72-hour shift schedule. As a wildland firefighter, I soon discovered what strike team deployments were, which involved chasing campaign fires all over the State of California. The next shift assignment I worked was a little different, and it was a rotating 12-hour schedule between day-night shifts. My body never knew what time it was, and I learned that I could sleep just about anytime during the day.

 

My last shift assignment was more common, called the 48/96 schedule, working two straight days in a row. This assignment is known as the “commuter schedule,” and I was indeed a commuter for three years. My residence was three hours one way from my duty station, and this commute made it extremely difficult working in a very busy system. On this schedule, I drove my personal vehicle three hours to work, and I was driving the fire engine for a total of 24-48 hours at work. There were some nights where you were known as the “Sleepless Knights,” and you didn’t get any rest while on duty. I would drive home after my shift and sleep a full day once I got back home.


I am sharing all of these different shift assignments to paint a picture of all the various work schedules one could have in their Fire Service career. In my earlier years as a seasonal wildland firefighter, I would work a whole 28 days in a pay period. This was known as “Blocking out,” a pay period. If you were fortunate, one could block out two pay periods in a row if you were on a lightning siege or a significant campaign fire in Southern California. I met my soon-to-be bride during this schedule and discovered more to life than just being a firefighter.


Over the last seven years I have been married to my bride, I have struggled with maintaining the work-life balance for various reasons. The demands of a public servant are extreme with overtime, shift trades, mandatory training, off-duty community events, union meetings, and of course, vacation - sick coverage. It is extremely easy to pour yourself into the demanding role of a public servant in the fire service. It is also very easy to let the fire life consume you!

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