The men and women we lean upon to keep our communities safe are working harder than ever to help us all navigate the current crisis – at the risk and sacrifice of being away from their own families and out on the front lines. I had the honor to observe and share the pace of what that looks like on just a “normal” day.
This episode is the biography of a local Fire Dept as seen through the lens of the recent privilege to ride along and observe their crew for a 24 hour shift. It is a story of leadership, effective teams, camaraderie, and service…of teammates, warriors, humble servants going quietly about their calling with unrivaled calm, care, and compassion.
- Recap on FD Pre-Academy training
- Team building and bonding
- What I knew, didn’t really know, and definitely didn’t know
- Day in the life. For 24 hours. Again. And again.
- 3 minutes from dead sleep to on scene
- Korkoro spirit
CHULA VISTA FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Chula Vista Fire Department holds a rich tradition of service since its establishment on May 21, 1921. From its beginning as a group of 17 volunteers with a hand-drawn soda and acid cart pulled to a fire by anyone available, the Chula Vista Fire Department has grown into a highly professional, trained force of over 140 men and women. Currently, the Chula Vista Fire Department’s nine stations respond to nearly 19,000 calls for service annually, while serving a population of 256,000, covering an area over 52 square miles. These stations are staffed 24 hours per day with 36 personnel plus two battalion chiefs for each 24-hour shift.
Protection of life is critical and response must be fast and accurate. Chula Vista Fire Department is dispatched for all 9-1-1 calls for service using state of the art technology, allowing for residents to receive the highest service within the most rapid time.
In addition to providing emergency medical response and firefighting services to the citizens of the community, the Fire Department also operates training and fire prevention divisions. The Fire Prevention Division provides comprehensive fire safety engineering plan review and inspection services so that new development and existing businesses are in compliance with the latest fire regulations ensuring the safety of the community. Fire Prevention also provides 24-hour coverage for origin and cause fire investigation services. In addition, the Chula Vista Fire Department provides fire and life safety education and outreach to City residents, including annual community Fire Prevention Week activities, fire and life safety educational programs for all ages, school programs, and fire station visits at no cost.
A spirit of hard work, dedication, and care resounds through the actions of the members of the Chula Vista Fire Department.
As mentioned in the episode, here’s an extract from the article linked below on a doctor’s recommendations to do and not do.
What To Do
Mask: Wearing a mask will not help protect you from becoming ill. If you are infected, it will protect others.
Washing hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.
If you are at high risk consider the following:
Melatonin: 10 to 20 mg time-release for adults. Kids make their own. If your child gets ill with a documented case of coronavirus, ask your doctor about adding in 1 mg of melatonin to their mix.
Anti-viral nutrients: Get your blood flowing with healthy levels of natural anti-viral nutrients. No one really knows the extent of this virus, but better safe than sorry and why not use natural answers. The focus here is on vitamins A, C, and D.
Many people have insufficient blood levels of vitamin A and C. These nutrients have antiviral abilities and are able to support the immune system when it is under viral attack.
Vitamin C: If you are not ill with the virus but want protection, take 3-5,000 mg/day of vitamin C. At the first sign of an illness, take 1,000 mg/hour until diarrhea develops, then back off for a time period. If and when you get the virus, IV vitamin C has three studies approved for treating COVID-19 mentioned below in the tools for when infected section. Functional doctors have been using high dose vitamin C IV, along with supportive nutrients, successfully for many years.
Vitamin A: 5,000 Units/day if you are not sick and 100,000 Units/day for four days at the first sign of an illness.
*Pregnant women cannot take these doses.
*Take vitamin A, not beta carotene. If you are a smoker, stay away from high dose beta-carotene, which is linked to increasing the incidence of lung cancer in smokers.
Vitamin D is also very important for fighting infections. At the onset of an illness, take 50,000 IU of vitamin D3/day for four days. Then go back down to your normal much lower levels. Do not stay on high levels of any of the vitamins. It’s best to work with a physician that knows how to monitor high-dose nutrient anti-viral intake.
Iodine: is essential to fight off infections and for proper immune system functioning. There is no bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus that is known to be resistant to iodine. Dr. David Brownstein is a colleague and dear friend. Dr. Brownstein has written in his amazing book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, that most of our population is low in iodine.
When I test patient’s serum iodine (which we do on every single new patient), 90% are at the low end if not below it. Iodine levels have fallen nearly 60% over the last 40 years. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is inadequate to supply enough iodine for all the bodily tissues.
For protection: taking half of a 12.5 mg iodine caplet twice a week makes sense. At the first sign of illness, increase to 25 mg of iodine for 4 days and then reduce the dose to ½ of 12.5 mg caplet three times a week.
Please keep in mind that iodine can cause adverse effects; it is best used under the guidance of an iodine-knowledgeable doctor.
Nitrous Oxide: Neo-40 was co-formulated by Dr. Nathan Bryan and Dr. Janet Zand, who are old friends and colleagues of mine. Dr. Bryan and I did an NO/dialysis study together and published it in peer review. Neo-40 contains beet powder and a Chinese herb, which both boost the production of NO. One lozenge twice a day seems prudent for protection.
Zinc: Zinc is powerful anti-viral mineral . Zinc is part of the zinc finger proteins that help the body stop growth (replication) of invading viruses. Zinc has been tested and shown to have anti-viral activity against a number of viruses, even Ebola, though it’s not specifically been tested on COVID-19. Sufficient zinc stores inside cells are needed to help successfully fight viruses.
Zinc has been shown to help shorten the duration of the common cold if taken early in the course of the illness. The common cold virus is a member of the corona family. It’s a good idea to test your stores of zinc once a year. This is done by running a red blood cell level of zinc. It should be in the upper quartile of the reference range of the lab. Taking about 25 mg/d of zinc for most people, with a small amount of copper like 2 to 3 mg in a backup multi-mineral, is immune supportive.
Zinc’s highest amount in the body is in the brain where zinc “allows” many hormone signals and neuronal actions to protect the brain. Zinc during a viral outbreak helps protect brain tissue from some of the collateral damage.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain, in their cell walls, natural polysaccharides called beta-glucans. These substances increase host immune defense by several mechanisms, such as activating a part of the immune system called the complement system, enhancing macrophages (a protective traveling white blood cell that does cellular surveillance), and boosting natural killer cell function. Ill patients, more at risk of the virus, along with the elderly, often have “lower killer cell activity” and thus more viral vulnerability. Getting mushroom supplements is smart. Add them to your diet, too.
Avoid NSAIDS if Possible
Especially if you have underlying chronic health conditions.
Nonsteroidal inflammatory meds have been shown to be “immunosuppressive” and this is a time when you want your immune system as strong as possible.
Pain? Lean on acetaminophen for now. Or hugging a safe close partner as oxytocin is a pain reliever, too.
Stress, like sugar, depresses the immune system. Make as many decisions as possible by looking at all your options and taking the path of least stress. Mindfulness practices also help you move through stress. Stress, after all, is the perception of lack of control. Mindfulness puts us into a “present” that seems more controllable, no matter the circumstance. That builds resilience even to viruses.
If all the above seem too much or you feel you don’t need to cover all your bases, choose what makes most sense for your body. Perhaps do one or two protective measures. I would say put melatonin high on the list. I took 15 mg time-released last evening and had a terrific sleep! Feel like a million bucks this AM to finish this article for you.
Food, Water, and Lifestyle
You want a humming immune system. Avoid things that ding it. Eat lots of colorful veggies and fruits and, during this time, avoid refined sugar completely. For a few hours after consuming refined sugar, white blood cells don’t perform optimally. This is proven, replicated science.
Dehydration worsens any infectious process. Remember to drink water. I am going to take a short break and go get a glass right now.
Work out regularly, sleep well, and take prescribed meds regularly as directed.
The countries that have kept this coronavirus under control acted fast and aggressively toward containment. The U.S. has gotten off to a slow start.
Data from abroad suggest that 10% to 20% of those that get ill, can end up in a more serious condition. This could translate into potentially hundreds of thousands who may need hospital care. To avoid this we need to take individual and social action. In Italy the number of cases skyrocketed from a handful a few weeks ago to more than 27,000 new cases and many deaths.
We can’t be cavalier Americans thinking we can do whatever we want. South Korea and Taiwan keep people 3.5 feet apart. Folks flying into many countries now must be in a holding area until they have a medical evaluation. America is not doing this. Folks land and blend and stand in long lines with each other and even share pens to fill out forms.
It is good that schools are closed. Don’t go to church; pray at home.
Volunteers in other countries go around with thermometers checking for fevers.
Some countries have closed their air and seaports to foreigners. This makes sense. Act aggressively now and stop this, so we can soon go on with our lives.
If you are young, realize you can still get ill or be a vector of infection. Keeping away from others if you have been exposed for at least 14 days can help “flatten” this potential catapulting curve. Don’t go to large gatherings and only go out when you must.
We need collective civic responsibility.
Be smart. This has not peaked yet, but you can help it slow down.
Instead of restaurants cook at home or order in and let them leave the food at the doorstep.
Don’t forget to spend some healthy time outside because sunlight and fresh air are part of staying well.
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All right. Welcome what's up guys? This is episode 46 of the man of Mastery podcast where we are putting purpose and passion into action where we Embrace getting out of our comfort zone to grow and where we stand ready to lead ready to learn and in service to others. It means more to me than you can
know. I really really
appreciate your time and your
trust to dedicate a bit of your week here to
see what you can learn take away and apply to improve yourself and those around
man talk about comfort zone here. We are in the midst of the code 19 pandemic and many of us are either on self-imposed quarantine or just staying home could be local enforcement could be travel-related mandate and I got an episode out a few days ago to
bounce questions around about the virus with a coaching colleague who's also a top doc on the front lines of this thing. Dr. John Nichols
and he shared a really good
article that lists. Supplements to take and even
over-the-counter medicines to to avoid related to this virus.
So I will get those lists of those out in the
show notes for this one here. And so just to let you know in advance the show notes for this one can be found at man of
Mastery.com / 0 46.
So two things before we jump into episode 46, which I'm calling silent professionals. One is the power of a tribe. That's all of you together. We've already blown through 10,000 downloads a while ago and on iTunes we're sitting at today. I think it's 87
truly awesome and I just want to keep you posted on the incredible impact that
you're having and you're a
part of this those ratings and reviews really make a
difference. They push the podcast up the charts and help spread. The word
iTunes is it's really just a search engine so Like to extend a challenge for all of
us as a group as a team to get us up over at least a hundred
ratings. So if you're in a place where it's safe right now just pause the show and if you would please take a moment to jump into Apple podcast and give us hopefully a five star rating and even take a moment. If you could
and write a few words in review
if you aren't quite sure how to do that or can't do that right now from your iPad your iPhone or even a computer version of iTunes. I have instructions.
Posted to take you through it. You can
hit man of Mastery.com
/ review to learn how to do that in more detail. So
Gauntlet thrown let's make this happen. Let's get the the team let's get there together to a hundred iTunes ratings.
Alright second is also about tribe if you're a guy looking to
kick-start or kick it to the next level. I'd strongly encourage you to come join us on Facebook
at the man of Mastery is the is the ID and apply to join
the private group there where I share additional
information Beyond what's released publicly. I provide additional thoughts tips hints and ideas and the idea is to get a community get a tribe going. And just myself to support and serve and drive each other. This
is even more critically important now than ever to
stay healthy connected strong positive and Lead our own tribes through this this crisis.
One of the things I started doing there in the private Facebook group is monthly and spot challenges they vary and they're not all physical. But if you want to give something a
try I want to give you a small taste of what I'm talking about in case this resonates for you.
All right. So here's here's what I'd call a spot drill find a
song that you like. That's maybe three three and a half minutes
long or you know, if you really prefer you could just set a timer get into a high plank right like the top part of a push up and just hold it there. All right
hold that position for the duration of the whole three three-and-a-half minute
song or the timer that you set. No, you know how long you're going to
be there. All you got to do is breathe and just go with it,
but Observe not just your physiology but your thoughts.
Like what do you think about do you think about how much time there is left? Do you start to think about whether you can do it or not? Whether it's possible or
not. Do you have some frame of reference from past experience that you go back to or can you simply try to clear your mind? Think about breath. Think about your
next breath think about being
present and think about holding the
best plank that you can the best prank you ever have.
Think about tucking your belly button in towards your spine about
intentionally keeping a flat back keep your thighs pressed together. Keep your glutes engaged and just think can you make this the best high plank you've ever made and hold it for three or four minutes. All right, try that and then afterwards if so, like was it the
best plank ever? How is it did you make it three or four
minutes and how or water why not what happened? If so, how did that happen? If
not, why not? How'd that break down? What lessons can you take away and you know, you could play with as you could do a day over day. You could try two different times a day. You could scale it up or down in in
time and duration or position. Maybe try a side. Like or you could add a weight vest so a lot of ways to play around with this and make it not just about the
physical but think about what your mind is doing through physical
activities. Okay, and in getting onto today's episode Another really fitting one I think given the world that we're in right now with interviews in the guest tells her own story. My
job's easy on those. It's an autobiography if you will and this week's another solo episode, but
it's almost more of a biography. So I've had the privilege and I alluded to a while ago. I had the privilege to ride along
observe the local fire department with a couple of their Crews and on a 24-hour Shift and I've been I've been taking time with this
one to really try to figure out how to share it and how to tell the story. It's one of those experiences that you probably I probably can't even do it justice. You almost have to experience it yourself, but I'm going to give it a
try. It's probably also the kind of thing where each person takes
away their own message or their own
meeting. And so again, I'll share it the best I can to me. This is a
of leadership of effective. Teams of camaraderie and ultimately
of service it was a
whirlwind 24 hours and I've just all I could do is kind of make a bit of
an outline here for myself. But otherwise, I'm just going to go from that and go stream of Consciousness on this one. So
we'll see how short or long we go and how it turns out.
But again, I just hope to do these guys and their story and the opportunity that gave me justice. So with that being said, let's just jump right in and after it
silent professionals What do you think of when you hear that term? Some people probably think special operators door kickers pipe hitters. In other words a term usually describing Elite Special Operations direct action military forces men and women who just get the job done what needs to be done and I'm sure a lot of times it's not the most desirable or glamorous work, but it's done with the mission first every
Well, maybe I'm mixing metaphors here and The elephant military and First Responders both but the thing is a couple months ago. I had this opportunity and it's something I've been previewing for a while. Now as I mentioned it was the chance to go on a 24-hour ride along with a local fire department and in truth and full disclosure and in
hindsight, I really had no idea. What I was in for. I just said yes, and I just leaned into the unknown
and from a you know, a podcast journalism story perspective. I went into this thinking
That I don't know. Maybe we have a Roundtable interview, or maybe we do a series of
behind the scenes or day in the life. And while I knew there would be something in there.
That would be a really interesting story for a podcast episode or episodes. It
turned out completely different than what I had imagined and I learned
in ways I hadn't even thought of or matching that all it was it
was surprising and it was humbling and ways I definitely didn't expect and really even now couple months later in a number of ways. I'm
still just Adjusting some of it. So to go back
to the title of this one silent professionals if that's a label used with a steam and accuracy for anyone in my opinion. It certainly fits the the men of the
truck and the engine crew that I had the honor to watch an action recently in the Chula Vista Fire
Department. One more thing before jumping fully in at the beginning of each episode. I usually try to include a summary a few Lessons Learned or a few action items instead today. I gave you that sample spot drill here a couple minutes ago at the beginning and at the end of this one. I want to look at Lessons Learned From The Ride Along and I'll
include some ideas for Action items for you.
All right background. Let's do some background kind of things of that nature. One thing. I mentioned back probably in late last year late 2019. I had a chance to train
one day at the at the
same Chula Vista Fire Department at their pre Academy. So the academy
is where guys and gals go into the I think first I have to get accepted and
then they're into a training program that last weeks or months. That's the academy but now
and these guys are kind of innovative here
in Local system. They've got a pre
Academy to try to get people ready at least physically. If not with some of the grit and endurance and mental aspects of these things and it's actually it turned out to be one that by
scheduling I ended up doing it on my my 48th
birthday. So for any of the guys that sort of joke around I think about pre
Academy as the fat farm
that was definitely me. So there's probably some ways I kept up, but otherwise I Was definitely falling behind or just just surviving if you will is kind of funny one of the one of the guys in charge. Well, you know, yeah, they said you could come kind of audit and you can definitely
participate but just don't get injured and I'm going like dude I get injured every day
with with the crazy stuff I try to do at this age. So it's just normal course of business, you know, don't don't worry about it.
One of the cool things they do and one of the reasons I wanted to share sort of what
they do at this pre Academy is a really big on brute force and bags amongst other things. So if you haven't done any kind of sand bag workout, that's one brand. It's just a high-quality domestic made sandbag made in Colorado, but just the whole sand bag workout concept is you
can it's an unstable and it's a shifting weight
and you can do all sorts of complex movements functional fitness with
it. So that's what they're doing.
Early in this in this pre Academy as the heart of their work, at least from what I saw that day.
They're doing a couple times a week leading up to their
academies, which I think maybe happen twice a year here in this District. So like
functional fitness probably means
something a little different to everybody. But for these guys, they're really gearing it to the kind of
movements. They might have to do on a job,
you know, you're dragging fire hoses. You might be dragging a person another firefighter someone you're rescuing. And so the and they're moving heavy equipment on the job. So they've got things like dragging heavy sandbags, tossing them tossing them over their shoulder, you know, hopping up off the ground under weight a lot of dynamic movements and a lot of interval-based sort of hit type of
training with active recovery. So I think in between are our hit intervals
for active recovery, we did things like bear crawl and duck walk. So again, yeah, I think there's a lot of unbalanced weight and unbalanced carry, you know sandbag on one
squats, right? So a lot of stabilizing core muscles with weight on one shoulder as opposed to the other and then and then flip flop
somebody use the term professional athletes and after, you know after kind
of getting a small taste of this pre Academy, which is supposed to be nothing compared to the physicality of the academy and then, you know, seeing what these guys are doing. The job I'll mention this little bit more later, but I think the term professional athletes is completely completely accurate for the fire department. And from what I've seen it's such a physical job. These guys are preparing to do every single day.
So in the in the pre Academy, I guess the way I would look at it in
hindsight. Is there hitting it hard primarily in the physical Arena and so I had to you know, I had a chance to weigh in afterwards. It's awesome. Grateful and gracious that I even got a chance to throw some suggestions in
but, you know gave me an opportunity for my coaching and for my own
activities maybe to throw some other ideas at what they're already doing in the physical and a bit of the mental on the flexibility and things like that. So certainly I hope to have the chance to work out with them again in the future. Maybe we help them work some other things into their to their program some things like breathing and some explicit.
It breathing tools and techniques and we talked a little bit afterwards about things like mindset and mental toughness techniques. So those would be super cool to help these guys going into the program. But I mean overall this whole pre Academy concept and the couple guys that have
designed a running this thing. They are
on the Leading Edge from a national perspective of a program like this for their Academy entrance, and it's really all about Really getting them ready to get in there and optimize their performance and help them ensure
success. All right, move it along towards talking about this
mean, let's maybe talk about the the purpose and how it all happened.
So I got invited by a friend. I've got to know who's a truck
Captain there and I've only got to know him over the last year or so, but he's one of those guys you can
tell right away
that he's just kind of cut from a different mold. There's something different and it's not just in terms of of the outdoor and the
active stuff that we had a chance to do up in
the mountains last summer with our boys. I mean, I don't know. I think the term Warrior scholar comes to my mind. So on a daily basis, this is a leader
he and his
team are the first line of defense for our community. They're addressing
life-saving situations and they're
often In Harm's Way
But as much as I've had a chance to Glimpse how they address sort of the what of the And
I've really been impressed by the focus on the how you know, thinking reading learning trying
its philosophy and psychology its leadership
its team building and all those kind of Dynamics. So he's actually been a really great
sounding board and
input on this podcast as a matter of fact and this is this is my buddy that I shared with you a while back. He talked about his secret sauce of teams of just loving every one of the
guys. Sighs I think you
know for their uniqueness their background their talents their assets contributions. It reminds me a lot of of
Nick Hayes the team's guy interviewed about his book Elite and the answer he gave when I asked him about organizations with deadweight least, you know kind of my perception those were my words and
he said that he likes to keep in mind that every single person every room. He's ever been in is better at something than him,
Buddy that he can learn something from so just really cool perspective. And so when my buddy said that people don't really understand what they do in the fire department and then it's hard to explain the bond and
the dynamic and the incredible nature of their team that I should do a
ride-along and check it out and I was all in before we get to what a 24 hour ride
along maybe looks like let's talk about what I
knew or what I thought I knew about the fire service. So what is it, right? There's there's TV. There's
movies. They're seeing these guys drive around the
neighborhood. I have seen the I've seen the
truck at the park the the community center out at the Taco Shop the grocery
store and you know kind of see I don't know. I perceive a happiness a camaraderie. Not much stress. I mean sort of looked
like I'll just say it.
I think most of us probably think I don't know maybe
these are like
super high intense and and dangerous events, but did it happen? You know kind of kind of infrequently on a relatively rare basis and then you know and then go back to I don't know chilling out working out whatever it might be and when it comes to I don't
know fighting fires. I was thinking like Backdraft right fighting these huge raising raging fires kind of risking it all on every firefight and and just, you know, pure chaos and brute force
method. And and then back to like the downtime I'm picturing like a lot of sleeping. I don't know working out keeping a fire clean fire engine. I don't know coffee workout screw around and you know got it got to include the cool
stuff to write like firefighter hard hats and and I'm assuming when the bell rings you get to slow slide down the pole and and and hit the truck running and maybe there's even like a Dalmatian barking and jumping in the truck and Tagging along right? I don't know. I mean I'm being somewhat exaggerated here. But the point is I don't know.
I've got like 1.5 data points and lots of perception stereotypes and
assumptions. And the reason I mention it is, is there a pretty
much all wrong obviously or you wouldn't even be hearing the big big wind
up. So what else I mean, I think First Responders and it evokes memories of
everything on the line Brotherhood and service and and running towards danger. I also think emergency medical right? I'm thinking like these are the
guys that have EMTs in the trucks and who
show up it'll probably I'm thinking in the rare
occasion that by location or by circumstance they can get to you before the ambulance. I see them on the highway for auto accidents and I don't know I mean when I see them on the highway I'm thinking because the car caught on fire is sort of
my assumption and you know as a very very real thing obviously
fires live in an area where
Southern California especially when you get a wet winter and things dry out there's lots of kindling there are there are fires and they've been fires in my
neighborhood in the last year or two there have been two right in the
In the back talking like smoke in the back of our neighborhood with fire either going to rush up and over the hill to another Community or right into our community and burn homes. And and instead what happened
was these guys in
this local fire department and Chula Vista, California just took massive massive quick action and and it prevented a ton more
risk and damage. So, you know, that is the reality and definitely want to leave a big big. Thank you for that.
And then as far as like what I didn't know anything everything pretty much as I said, I've pretty much had it wrong all the way around. So so I guess first of all, let's cover some fundamentals about maybe my ignorance going into this one is the job. I had no idea what a day in the life of a first responder and specifically a firefighter might look like I don't know.
Do you and whatever idea I had was more than certainly based on nothing but a few data points. So II I guess I would say fire truck fire engine. I don't know like big red vehicle that rushes out and handle stuff. Right? Alright, so here's the deal
the truck or the ladder truck. Maybe is a more accurate
description is a longer vehicle with the big
ladders on top,
which I learned can reach up to a hundred feet or more and then the engine. That's the one slightly shorter. It's the one with all the different lengths of hoses and sizes of
hoses that hook up to hydrants. And those are
the the workhorses of pumping water on the problem
put the wet stuff on the red stuff they say
and then they both carry
emergency medical kits and equipment and a bunch of fun looking tools
for breaking stuff open like, you know think
doors windows roofs that kind of stuff
and one of the one of the really cool
medical devices has that I thought was
amazing that they have on board. It replaces a person performing chest
compressions for CPR.
So you get the patient
lying on a
sort of a board
and straps go over their torso and then it's inches down to hold them in place snuggly
and then a strap over their heart performs the think it's over their heart performs the chest
compressions at the prescribed pace and I would also get It's the right pressure as opposed to you know, like broken
ribs, but the other cool thing that this
does beside being even better for the patient is that it frees up EMTs to
work the problem in other ways. So cool stuff Right Alright, and then let's talk some of what I learned about approach
and risk management rules Staffing efficiency workload all that kind of stuff about how at least
this fire department operates. So one of the things about going Into a fire going into a building
that they mention if I get this right is you got to have a belief for guys on site. So if for some reason you buy Staffing and you've got three guys on an
engine or a truck show up to scene they
can't go in and fight the fire. They've got to
wait for a fourth person to show up from somewhere.
So it's just kind of interesting tidbit when it comes to City budget and Staffing and all those kind of things that you know,
Full context of you ever see that on the
news and I don't know just some other random stuff here that I learned and thought was cool one. We were talking about
equipment and procedure and things like that. They
have to punch a hole in
the roof of a burning building. So imagine I think you'd have something like let's say buildings on fire and you've got that that engine that's pulled up and it's helping guys get hoses. Maybe through the
front door of a
building and then you got This ladder
truck and and they can get somebody up on the roof to punch a hole in the roof. Why
because instead of having this fire and all this heat
constrained inside of the
building just sort of you know raging around and burn in all kinds of whatever fuel it
can find. Here's think chimney. Right? Like here's
an outlet for the heat to rise up out of the building and to try to start to minimize the damage that it's doing so cool stuff.
And then risk management. I mean this was this was a cool especially for somebody who thinks risk
management in other ways in their in their jobs or their lives. So if I get this right, I'll give it a try here. They were willing to
when lives are on the line.
Their philosophy is to risk a lot potentially everything and when property is on the line, they're willing to take some great degree of risk to try to save that. Property for you on your behalf,
but then, you know when neither property
nor lives are on the line then no risk to their guys and their assets are
warranted. Alright now let's talk Staffing here in this in this situation and this local environment. There are in this city. Again. This
is this is Chula Vista. It's part of San Diego County. It's the second largest city in San Diego County and it covers about 50 square miles. So for this area, it's a pretty big city.
There are nine stations currently nine stations. So think about that from a from a
size and an area and a workload perspective.
And it's something like total something like Forty Four
Guys and Gals 44.
All right, and and so what that looks like across nine stations not 44 people at one station 44 people at nine stations work in shifts that you know, go 24/7
And across these nine stations, they've each got one of those engines I mentioned there are two of them. The additionally have the ladder truck now the particular station where I had the honor of the ride-along, this is one of those nine and they take about 6,000 of the approximately
20,000 calls per year that come into the fire department here in this city.
So one out of nine stations, let's call it ten percent taking something.
Like 30% of the emergency responses
and and they're located like
one of the reasons for that is they're located in a high-density urban area with a population that skews to older in age and lower
income. Now I mentioned 24/7 so that's let's talk about work schedule. So 24-hour shifts, right?
So this is a it's not a schedule of like work and take a break and rest or sleep, you know where you're doing like six on and to off or something like that the few guys that are on duty for the shift are the full
team and they've they're ready to respond at all times, but I'll get into more what a day
in the life looks like all right,
but just think about 24 hours, when's the last time you stayed awake for 24 hours straight much less working. Right and when you have when you do that, how long does it take you to recover and feel right again afterwards? All right. Well, these guys work not only 24 hours but a string of days they work 24 on 24 off 24 on 24 off.
So after you do that for for work days You get four full days off. And then you do it again. And then after the second
time you go four-on-four off you get six full days off. Six full days off that's pretty cool.
But if it sounds like a lot of time off remember this crosses weekends crosses holidays, and it's 365. So if you average it out, it's actually 56 hours a week or so 56 hours a week. So that's almost a hundred and fifty percent of what we think of as the
normal 40-hour work week
and let's be honest how much
especially if you're like me and you're in a
white-collar environment how much of a work week two, we actually Just screwing around whether it's inconsequential meetings or even just time back and
forth to the to the water cooler or to
a bathroom break. Well, I mean when somebody's calling for help or fire or medical issue guess what there's there's no calling a
meeting to come to consensus about it. It's just it's just time to act right? So
imagine you've got 44 guys
covering 50 square miles of a city across nine stations and then in each station You got to figure out how to
cover when you
worked at your work it out with the calendar looks like for that 24 on 24 off Etc. It's three shifts sort of a shift, you know a b and c the cover this whole
rotation. So it's completely optimized there are no extra bodies on the
bench. So somebody's
sick or guess what I take vacation from time to time when somebody's on vacation then someone else has to rotate in and work. You know, there's no there's no Bear labor and if you think about it from a city city budget perspective, it's cheaper to pay somebody over time than to
carry the fully loaded cost of another full-time employee with benefits and all
that. So from a personal perspective remember your 24 on and 24 off. So if you pick up just one
extra shift, let's say you
pick up a shift for somebody sick or on vacation. Now, you're working 3 24 hour days in a row. For you get a rest. These are some tough individuals. I'm moaning when
I'm up early for for a flight or up super late when it gets me home and and I'm probably just going to get on that flight and go to sleep. Anyway, I got nothing to complain about these guys. You're just out there laying it down day after
day and and speaking of that. Let's get right down to it. Right? What's a what's a typical day in the in
the Life over there.
Now from the little I saw I'm pretty certain I can say that.
There is no typical day.
But you know you even even in volatile environments even in the
uncertainty of what any given day. Looks like you can
find opportunities for the discipline of routine. I mean, that's something that can be controllable
and can provide some consistency to
support the rest of what's uncertain and out of control. So in this case for a shift that runs about 7:00 a.m. To 7:00. Am I wanted to get the full experience and the full experience in the way that my buddy the captain runs his day is it starts a little bit earlier than that starts with a quick morning service at a local church a little after 6:00 a.m.
So we were talking about this is this is very much like a morning ritual a morning routine of finding time in silence and just breathing and introspection. And of course, of course gratitude, And I don't know maybe maybe sometimes we look for when we find what we need in sermons. But today I want this one seemed extremely topical to be it mentioned something
biblical about a table with a
candle lighting the middle of the room and bringing light out to the whole room. And I think the metaphor was, you know, a savior a profit dedicating life-giving
life in order to uplift others.
So, you know life and potentially death in service and service to others focus on others. So yeah, I mean that's something you can certainly use to stoke appreciation gratitude and
definitely a morning meditation an incredible way to start a day.
All right, 7:00 a.m. Shift change. So there's a shift overlap where Personnel are turning over and any I'm sure information is Just that's that's really necessary or critical and of course the hours are not perfectly strict because you can have a crew out on a call overlapping the Finish or the
scheduled finish of their shift. So you get in you, you know, you show up your
Park store your gear in the bunk area, and I probably got a couple of pictures I can post on social
media for this one but to just give you a little bit of a
you've got is a firehouse that's that's roughly 80 years old. You got three garage bay doors for the
engine for the truck.
And for the Chiefs SUV. There's that bunk area. There's a locker shower
bathroom. There's the laundry
room that doubles as a gym or vice versa. There's the
kitchen and then bit of a
TV break room
and that's about it or at least what I was involved in and there were some other
Offices and meeting rooms. I think a number of which are geared to the other staff the staff who are more routinely out doing proactive fire inspections
like for business and
then reactive fire investigations Etc. So not
on Emergency Response every day, although I do know that they show up on scene and remain on call if they're if they're needed.
And then that's kind of it, you know, once you're on it's on and as I mentioned, this is a very
disproportionately busy station the as I said the local area it serves is
is high in population density and excuse to lower income. So with that comes all sorts of needs and challenges and beans means a lot of action and for these guys who really want to be
out there working hard for their Community. This is the place to be
So think High population density
within a relatively small area means you can get on seeing quickly and
potentially then your back and ready for another call bang right away
again pretty quick.
So let me take you through some
examples of the the nature and the Nuance at least of the calls that we're going out on that particular day that I got to see I one of the first was at a
local Courthouse Criminal Court and behind the scenes. They had a lady in a holding cell behind the
courtroom. I think waiting in appearance and she
had reported an apparent seizure or maybe something of that nature her hands her arms her wrists or shoulders or neck. We're all sort of super tensed up her face and neck. We're a bit contorted and she was just incessantly just spewing nonsense.
It's a quick taking a
quick glance at her.
She there's pretty clear pattern there. This was definitely a repeat customer to the court system, you know meth meth meth meth.
In fact having to look in the other holding rooms through the glass windows. I mean, we have a real problem on our hands and you it's just you cannot
appreciate it from watching the evening news. And those were some scary scary ladies now the lady Be in need of medical care. They got our calm down and
you know one thought was maybe stress or hyperventilation were causing these muscle spasms or you know, potentially there was a
reaction to some sort of a medicine they'd been administering there in the in the in the jail.
And I think you know, you probably just try to do your best to treat the
symptoms and the and the
purported truth, but I think
maybe everybody probably had the same question as I did as to whether this was real or
Act of course, you know as a medical professional I'm
assuming you probably just have to look at every one of these things is a real medical need but by the time she was getting wheeled out of there to the
ambulance. I noticed one
of her hands and wrist was completely relaxed. Right? So ya later I heard that at the hospital she had slipped her handcuffs, and she was trying to escape so and there are some crafty crafty people out there.
But I really I think it for me it emphasizes the the
service nature of this fire service Emergency Medical
Response and and that component. I mean there was never any judgment from the
crew at all and I really had to kind of check my mindset to get on that program and just stop jumping to conclusions or assumptions. I mean these guys they took
every single case I saw with the utmost enthusiasm professionalism and care and
Russian that you'd want for yourself or for a loved one. I mean
super super impressive stuff. All right, another one I got to roll out on and and for me, you know, this is all this is all new
stuff. I found it hard not to release it with some of the
pain and the human element of a lot of it. So this one there's a quick trip to a lady
who appeared to be maybe
homeless on drugs. She was on the ground on a sidewalk on the side of a freeway on-ramp and she was down with
abdominal pain and as they talk. To her. She was also five months
pregnant and she had been seen for the same thing a month earlier as well when she was four months pregnant.
They got her an ambulance and got her off to the hospital get taken care of but, you know homeless drugs on the street pregnant. I
shake thinking about that baby
and just hoping the
best for his or her future. All right. I'll hit a few other examples that made note of just to give you an idea of some of the nature of what goes on and the variety of what goes
on which turns out was completely different than the day before and
completely different than the day after I was there.
So dad was there we got a call a Hazmat call. It was carbon monoxide exposure at the local 911 dispatch
Center. So the police station so
that was for me super cool to see that operation and behind the scenes. They're in the in the fire and sorry in the police department. But
also just to see the process of these fire department guys just sticking around,
you know, seeing it through to the end like they got all the right experts on scene. Looked around found the issue cleared the problem and then
ultimately hung out for a while to make sure all the staff were good. So there's a lot
of lot of
follow-through and ownership a parent and everything. I saw them doing
and it was also clear that it wasn't something hierarchical right where we're orders had to be
given or someone said, all right. This is when you're good to go and yeah, there's coordination and his delegation, but everybody just sprung into
action. and with the same level of dedication
and just kind of divided and conquered divided and work the problem very efficiently, you know, really
exemplifying the whole concept of knowing knowing when to lead and knowing when to follow All right, here's one on a traffic accident car accident. So we had a couple of call-outs
to freeway auto accidents. But by the time that that our truck or our engine and it goes on the engine got there. We were we ended up getting waved off another crew had already made it on scene. They got it stabilized and got it under control and one of these their sticks out in my mind. It must have been in the evening
because I remember it being dark and I remember
rush hour traffic was jammed up. South so that would have been that have been evening time
and we'd gotten to the scene
it was in the far left lane or that sort of emergency Lane by the median and then we got you know, we got called off right so we got to get back to the station got to get ready for whatever the next emergency is which means getting to the far right lane and getting to the closest exit.
So imagine I don't know what we're talking four or five Lanes of traffic. It's hard
to do just in a in a private. You know car or SUV size vehicle
when you're in bumper-to-bumper
traffic and everybody's in a rush.
I don't know
you'd think a huge emergency response vehicle with flashing lights would
be allowed over but I mention it because yeah, not not so much. I mean it was a struggle to merge, you know, right lane after Lane with cars that just wouldn't let us over some did but then others are just zooming by
or cutting us off. Is it can just kind of shift around you more? Nimbly
and this is even with one of the fire department guys hanging out the window, you know motioning with his hand and his arm and even
making eye contact with a couple of the
drivers. You just pretty much ignored him. Like I get there's going to be some
number of people who are just
completely tuned out spaced out on their phones or just otherwise clue us
and unaware, but I mean, come
on like the guys who looked and made The eye contact and just ignored it. Come on, we can do better than that right and think about it this way. The truck is trying
to get somewhere else to be ready to deal with the next thing and and that nice
thing could be for you or someone, you know, someone
you love right? So
let's take that away. Right? I mean letting a first responder vehicle merge in front of you. It just isn't a big deal, you know, you're going to get there two seconds
and a hundred feet later just you know, make space and make it happen next time guys and
And like for that matter, I mean maybe just do a nice
D next time you're in traffic and let some stranger over when they signal.
Alright seizures. Let's talk. Let's talk seizures. I
mentioned that no single day seems to be the same but it also seemed like
from these guys are saying things go in streaks for some
reason and the day I happened to be there. A lot of seizures are reported seizures. So the lady in the jail another
one that I I remember was a guy on the street and And as a couple interesting things here, so we show up this guy was down on the street perpendicular to the
curb his head in the street. I think maybe even I don't know maybe it is feeders legs up on the curb or near the curb and this is a busy street you talk in two or three lanes in each Direction, maybe a turn lane in the middle. So he's lucky. He wasn't just
flat run over but a few citizens were
kind enough to stop. I think maybe saw him go down and they you know, they helped him. Out they got help there and they helped avoid any further tragedy just via the drivers and the traffic. So the the fire department guys got him stabilized. You got him got him checked out got him into the
ambulance. But one of the most important things about this whole thing
and one of the reasons I mention it
is when the fire
we met have been in the truck at that point. I don't
recall but when we showed up
vehicle will Pulled in to basically oncoming
traffic to block a lane or to to protect this this
gentleman who needed medical assistant that was down in the street. So we're blocking
traffic for him. But I also mentioned it because when I asked about the the risk of life on the job in the fire service one of the highest causes of death. If not, maybe they mentioned the the leading cause of death
these guys is
Is traffic deaths meaning, you know, the truck is out somewhere. The engine is out somewhere and responding to emergency around traffic and some unaware driver some guy on a cell phone some gal just not paying attention as a traffic accident and hits one of these firefighters. So that's another awareness thing
for you guys. Not just you know, hey, let somebody over in traffic,
but when these guys are out doing their
jobs watch for them if you're operating a vehicle, please watch out and realize This is a real thing that firefighters are dying getting hit by
cars. All right, let me talk about a baby
girls almost like an infant a very small girl for a medical call that we got
and I just remember how frightened the parents were
and I thought about myself being a parent to I know a number of the guys that were on call
also also parents, but it's not just that what I want to mention is there calm and
And the care that they just exude so I can't tell you how many times I heard. Hey we're just going to get you taken care of.
We're going to get you feeling better or this case, you know the way that they were able to calm the parents down and and the
parents panic over the state of the girl and just
you know, get her get her taken care of and
get her to the hospital and get her stabilized and get her on track to feeling better and being well.
And the other thing I would say about the the
Poise of these guys is at least for me the newness and the
adrenaline or unknown or I don't know maybe it's just the stairs. We had to climb in a few cases had had my heart rate up a few
times. So I got a chance to do a little little nostril breathing and and reel it in but
these guys on the way out to a job and on the job. They were just so relaxed in the zone doing what they do, you know pretty pretty impressive. So a couple of things I want to mention are about what I
saw in some of these calls and some of the anecdotes I heard along the way about how we're deploying and using these really really important resources in our
community. So I'm going to I'm going to
roll through a few resource related things. So
one is unfortunately, you know, there's a story of a lady
here in this area who she's got the right words.
say dialed in and she we talk about repeat callers. This is somebody who is calling 9-1-1 multiple times a
day multiple times a
day and saying the
right things to get fire or some other emergency response vehicle out there to her place. So if you think
about this and and from the anecdote this this is actually
happened. So you get somebody there who doesn't really need to be there and then another call comes in where they would have been needed.
And so somebody else has to respond. So it
rotates from maybe another another station another city and their district and and then that area gets a call that they would have needed to respond
to and so you have this whole domino
effect of resources shifted ultimately because of resources
wasted and and speaking of abuse and waste of resources. You also have people using using these guys and using ambulances like as
you know, essentially Going for a ride to the hospital or you know, and unfortunately, sometimes people don't know any better. I think we responded to one quite older gentleman who was very hard of hearing and if there might have been a language barrier, I think dementia was stated somewhere as an issue.
And so, you know, this guy is not in his right mind to figure
out how to use emergency
response vehicles, but whoever the caregiver Givers are you
know, let's let's take some responsibility here in
in calling when it's Justified and calling
for help and use in the right way, you know, not
just not just an ambulance as
an Uber. These guys are working guys gals were working hard enough already as it is
or or you know, the clinic that's got more patience than it can handle in the next 20 minutes before it closes. Don't just
call 9-1-1 and ship them all. Off to the hospital take care of because you want to go home on time.
Come on do your job and do it. Right if this isn't what you want to do. I'm talking about the Gratitude with which these guys go about their job. If it's not your calling it's not your passion. It's not your purpose do something else right and use our user Community Resources the right way. And as far as Community Resources,
I got to say now. I mentioned the nature of the part of town and the community that was where I did a ride-along. I ended up in one of the emergency rooms as a case was handed over and we got a got a person wheeled into the emergency room and had to do the handoff or the paperwork there. I
mean, this was
just horrid the conditions the smell everything that was going on in this emergency room. It did not Look healthy. It did not it did not look good by any means, you know, I applaud the people who are working through that and getting the job done for the patients that have to be seen there. But this is kind of one of those things where if you told me like hey you're in trouble and you need to go somewhere for treatment.
And this place is your option. I would have to think real hard about just about just saying no like it was that bad. So that was you know, that was kind of it for what I wanted to share. Are on the nature of the call-outs that day really almost every single one of them. If not, everyone that day happened to be medical and I just mentioned that because of my going in impression that that fire EMTs respond in rare cases.
This was every single call for 24 hours and and fire
is or was at least in this case the primary medical responder and then handed off to the to the
ambulance. All right. Now I've been rolling for a while on this
but a few more things I want to talk about the what the what the environment is like inside the firehouse when you know when you're not out on a call when you when you are there. So talk a little bit about to the extent. There's daily routine. We talked a little bit about that
and then you know, I do want to wrap up with
some of my observations and lessons learned that I'm taking away and that maybe you can take away from this as well. So one of the things about the The station that I saw is is that I mentioned it earlier. I think the kitchen is like the it's the epicenter. It's the heart of this place and its really the the Gathering Place when whenever anybody is there
and not doing something else not showering working out
or maybe catch a nap. I mean this this is the place to be it is the the heart and the epicenter and it's not only an ad hoc Gathering Place it is it is definitely a Gathering Place for
For Meals by design for this team. So talking about team closeness team bonding team, you know, the way teams work together. I think one of the one of the ways that Bond's teams is time together,
but also experience this together and
meals meal prep and and eating meals. I mean time
countless that that is has been a way that people come together come together around meals and it's no different here. So there's a big
Long wooden table
each guy has their
traditional spot at the table and no doubt. I definitely messed up that pecking order a few times
and sat in the in the wrong seats at a seat kind of fur guests. So I had an assigned place and and space it out a few times and certainly by no means out of disrespect your disregard just so much as ignorance if nothing else. So the funny thing is like they should have just called me out on it, but The problem is they were just too too accommodating and to gracious to even say something like that to someone someone there as a guest.
So if we talk about
meals I can't I can't tell you much about lunch. I think we might have gotten a call and we're rolling out of there but dinner was super cool. So dinner, we had the opportunity
on the on the truck to to stop and shop for dinner. So, you know, imagine big old ladder truck take it down to the grocery
store. Door on our way back from a call and one figure out how to park this thing.
Right? But you seen the guys around they take the truck out and look they're not just out showing it off. So this was a few minutes between calls. Let's grab some stuff for dinner. So let's agree on what we're cooking and what we need to get. Let's get in and out of the grocery store get it get it purchased and bang we're out of there. So, you know a few things that I found interesting in watching that or tagging along behind it and being Part of it is as these
guys are going through the grocery store and they're in their you know, their blue uniforms. I mean, they are Uber
aware of their visibility and I would say their responsibility and their role and meaning like their role as as representatives and their role as ambassadors to the community. So
whenever you know, we turn a corner on
aisle or just otherwise saw, you know, some kids in the store all these guys were taking them in and out of their day. You know, they're waving at kids they're taking time to shake hands or say hello to kids
and you know, it's not hey
I'm going to do this because it's part of the job. You could just see, you know, sort of this this passion. Maybe maybe they see themselves as kids if they knew they wanted to be in the fire service when they grew up but whatever it was, you know, it visibly came from from the
heart. And so that particular day we
picked up stuff to do like Philly cheese steaks for dinner and you know,
all the stuff on and I'm kind of thinking
like you know there's there's like a department of budget because they're effectively you know quote unquote eating out you know they're going out and buying stuff that they then bring in prepare at the fire station to feed the crew but but no not like not the case this is not something that's funded this is not in our city budget we don't we don't feed these guys at service so they were all you know coming out of pocket to come together as a team and do do do a meal
so the other thing
that I just think that's you know whatever its insightful if nothing
else the other thing that I thought was cool about
dinner was the prep right so it's not just bang a meal shows up and it's ready the came together as a team everybody is washing something cutting something propping something and then the meal itself we got a chance for all eight guys to sit down and Year, I believe and and maybe I was surprised it wasn't dinner wasn't interrupted.
Maybe maybe the at the right time of day dialed in or maybe we just got lucky that day maybe calls die down at and meal time because everybody else is having a meal
together. I don't know what it is,
but we got to have a meal together got to you know, I got to kind of just kind of kick back and listen to some of their conversations and got dragged into sharing a bit about myself and I I'll talk about that a little bit little bit more here at the end about guys not wanting to talk about themselves. But hey, if it's their tradition, I played along shared a little bit about myself to the extent.
I can come up with something interesting. But you know, that was that and
then and then just again when it comes to like, you
know teamwork and culture another cool thing in their culture and their tradition was a card game to see who's going to do the dishes. So yeah, I guess all eight guys
Plus me and it's a card game. I've seen somewhere before I don't know what it's called. I think they called it
turn and burn but everybody gets dealt one card
and starting to the
left of the dealer. You can either keep your card or pass it one guy to your left. Right? And I think what you wanted was the highest card so naturally a really low card is going to find its way all around all the way around the room to the dealer. And then I think if you're low card twice then bang your on you know, You're on dishes or something along those
lines. So cool way to sort of go about it. And then you know when there was downtime
guys are either, you know, I mentioned earlier professional athletes and most of
them are staying in top condition. It really could be the difference
between saving a
life and that includes
that of yourself or your body.
Like I don't know imagine imagine following
through maybe a fire week in floor.
Roof, and you got all this gear
catching yourself as you fall and then needing to pull yourself up and
out of a hole like that. It gives you a whole new appreciation
for functional fitness and
a whole new meaning to something like training pull-ups or
muscle-ups. So when these guys do have a little bit of
down time they scatter and they're just taking care of business again. It could be their work out hitting the weight room or the exercise room, or it could
just be catching a little nap
because of The crazy demanding schedule that I mentioned
and and I also mentioned that it's not like, you know six on two hours sleep six on this is just you know, you do what you got to do depending on on the call-outs and and what's going on for that 24 hour
shift. So the the day and the night that I was there
from I don't know maybe maybe 1 to 5 a.m. Or so it what we didn't get a call which is unusual / / there. So on what was and so those guys got to get some rest at night,
you know, two three four hours of sleep was a hugely long spell of getting continuous leap compared to normal.
So for me on what was
an unusually quiet night. I just I just sat there and took it all in for a while. I did a little stretching and did some reflection even I kind of thought about
getting a workout in and just trying to push through the the full 24 awake
to get that full experience, but at the same time I didn't want to make any noise that might bother the guys in the bunk room. That was on the other side of the gym So eventually I went and found my rack which was graciously provided in the officers area. So just to give you a visual their single bed in a sort of a room with walls on three sides and just brought out my sleeping bag and and slept the the best That I could knowing that I had to be on alert for for the alarm
and about that alarm and just the way that I threw saw my my mission in all of this which which was to really to observe and to learn so first and foremost, I was there in my
mind. I was there to be a help help to these guys, right if or where I
could but I also just wanted to
be sure to stay out of their way and and
in other words do nothing. To delay them hold them back or impede them, you know at all. So when when we got calls and we got alarms I wanted to make sure
that I was never going to be the last guy on the vehicle and and and granted it's a hell of a lot easier for me to just jump in and throw on a yellow coat right the the real deal guys. They got a whole set of Kit to put on, you know, their boots pants gear. So, of course, I was going to be a little bit faster.
That you know to me that was my that was my thing. I am never going to be a hold up for these guys and
just you know would be as as helpful as they needed
which these guys need no help but in a way just to kind of be invisible right be there to observe and learn without any impact, but I will say
I mentioned earlier kind of joking
around but on that note, I did not get to wear any sort of cool red fire Manhattan. Or was there wasn't even a pole to slide down when the alarm went off. So definitely if I'm going to be honest, I'm a bit bummed about that but given, you know, I don't know given how old the station was. Maybe that's just not not how they built them. Maybe that's only in the movies, you know, I expected kind
of the full class
experience guys. So so so maybe next time right? All right, and then I mentioned sort of the 1 to 5 a.m. Time frame so we did get called out at 5 a.m.
Alarm went off
jumped out of bed got to the truck
and I want to mention that
one in particular because there's another one that just really impressed me. And I don't remember the nature of the lady that we responded to that was in need,
but I looked at my watch I was you know, I wanted to know what
time we got called out. It was right at 5 a.m.
Somewhere right around there and I looked at my watch again from the time all these guys were asleep to the time we were In This Woman's living room three minutes,
right? So in three minutes,
you've woken yourself up. You got your kit on you've
taken a major vehicle, you know opened a garage door navigated roads directions to the address traffic if there is any the parking situation and then getting out getting the EMT kit getting to let's say the apartment and up the stairs three.
I mean incredible and then I think this was
this was a lady in particular that there was a Spanish speaker, you know, not much English and this this whole crew were native English speakers without any
growing up Spanish training to
put it that way. I think I think a lot of them have have learned on the job. So and you know, three
minutes three minutes after you've been asleep you are in someone's living room giving them potentially
life-saving care. R and and doing your best to do it in a foreign language, I mean come on just incredible incredible stuff. So
on that note, let me let me
wrap it up with a few observations and its
really is that note of
It's humility, you know, I started off by calling this silent
professionals. It is just it's it's anonymity for the most part as these guys.
Go about doing such an important job for our cities in our communities. So
we want them running around these guys. I want to ask them about their accomplishments like they're past their achievements and to a man nobody wanted to talk about themselves and at times I'm pretty sure I pride too hard, but you know when I did I push any any
accolades they would give would just be deflected off by way of talking instead about one of their teammates
or or it'd turn it back around and want to know fun
stuff about my son what we were doing or about Spartan Race your about Krav Maga on and all my craziness.
But if I said
deflection deflections not even the right word. It really is just it's just a
humility. You know, it's just it's a
shoulder shrug about what they do or what they've done or anything being anything special. I mean, I think that's the way they see it that there's just that humility that they don't see it as special.
I think even though it is and and it's something
that they all shared and the other thing they all shared seem to be just a real
genuine interest in others.
So a term that comes to mind, you know that I got from Mark Divine as kokoro and Mark says that it's a Japanese word. That means heart mind heart mind in action in service a a warrior Spirit a non quitting spirit. And that concept has been it's been a little hard for me to really figure out how to embody and really understand what it means.
if I wasn't quite sure I understood the concept
as soon as I saw in motion with these guys when I saw in this context now, I understand it. It's spot-on. So I really want to say thank you to these silent professionals these Anonymous humble servants and You know, they may want to remain that way but I'm going to say thank you again to the guys over there who make it happen and work it day in and day out and you know anonymity or not.
I'm going to I'm going to say thank you bye-bye name. So
Austin. Andy Dustin Trevor Ken Matt Roadhouse, Ryan and Darrell
and and hopefully I got everybody but if
you're listening or if you're still listening to things, well, you know
again, thank you. Also if you've listened this
my take on your day, then it's probably put you to sleep for some pretty well-deserved sleep, but Second is that card game? I'll leave you with one thing on that. So I was on the verge of doing some dishes myself and I was dealing
the thing with a
dealer's position is you always get past that low card. And and there's this is just special provision to be able to call Turn and Burn where everybody just turns over. The cards are dealt. There's no there's no passing the low card down. So I don't know if you designed it this way, but to me that was a flaw in the rules because you know at least in my case.
They sit. Let me stay alive and in the game and actually I came out as the the final winner not only escaping the the kitchen clean up, but I got the pot of cash or I won the pot of cash. I guess I should say so, you know for the guys who did remember to
throw their cash in
I left it behind put it put the next meal put it to the next coffee run that is just
know. It was a fun game and I'm glad I
missed most The dishes clean up but I am I'm not not taking money from from a crew who do give so much. So, thank you guys again
and where does that leave us? So what do I know now
coming out of this experience? Well, I know I'm really grateful for what it is that these guys and gals do I know that they really are the fabric of our community and they're more critical than I could have ever known that said I would also say they are overtaxed underappreciated. Dated abuse in a way overworked underpaid however, you want to say it
and just you know full disclosure. That's
the way I see it and that's why I choose to say it. They probably don't see it or wouldn't even say it that way but they're their lives are literally given to this job. I mean, they they suffer drastically and statistically. I mean, they shut forever they suffer shortened
and I think that's for a variety of reasons. So stress certainly being one.
Deprivation, you know
shift work has actually been recently classified as a current carcinogen and then and then surely they get exposure to probably all sorts of chemicals and agents whether it's in the field or even in their own fire station with brake dust and exhaust and all that kind of stuff. So
understanding the sacrifice that these guys make as these Professionals
in the line of duty and service
and understanding that Horton's what you know, what what can you and I do so I'd leave you with a couple thing. So
one is I really thank you for listening and for learning so just sharing knowledge and awareness is something you can do as a great start, you know, take away what you can learn and apply yourself. Take away which you can share with others, you know, that would be a positive and even if that's just a heightened gratitude or a different Spirit toward the the ways you see being a service or being a better?
I mean do do a ride-along,
you know, if that's something you have access to if it's something your community allows if that's something you can get into man do it do it. It's in valuable
and find ways to spread awareness
and gratitude just just in
general but certainly specific to those
in community service. Alright, and
if you if you heard the podcast a few weeks ago
with Olivia Mead
at yoga First
Responders, this is a real issue. You in fire service
and it's more than just
the the lifespan issue
from from shortened lifespan. It is it's suicide with active and retired fire service professionals.
So, I don't know how widely that's known or even talked about but I'll just go ahead and call it an epidemic and and any way that you can support causes that you might find working to combat. It would be would be super super helpful
and then just you know find ways. Ways to support in whatever way you can in your local community could be
fire service. I know here they do like Fourth of July pancake breakfast to raise money. So whether it's equipment
education that you might be able to contribute to you know, whether it's through. I don't know. I don't know if some of them are unionized you can support so look for ways to do that. However, two Plies in your local community
and if you see them out and about Out I don't know maybe you can offer them to
buy them a launch or buy him a dinner or
you know, what just just
smile wave and say thank you because these guys really do what they do out of passion and love for for their role in in serving with each other and serving our community. Alright, so
again ran a little longer than I thought. I hope there's some interesting and insightful stuff there for you. That's all I've
got for this week. It
took a little longer to get out the door to really try to put it
together and do it justice so
I certainly soap certainly hope that I have
and I hope that you took away some of the respect and the
admiration and the Insight that I
got out of this and that I appreciate and that I really To have shared. All right, and and lastly I would say that I'm releasing this one here at the real start of the the covet pandemic and these very guys that I'm talking about are out there putting their own health at risk again continuing to serve in
dangerous sometimes circumstances. So part of what we talk about here regarding
mindset is about how we all handle the unknown a bit more gracefully. So
continuing to live and to thrive even in a in a vuca environment
complex and ambiguous
and this certainly seems to qualify. So everybody hang in there, please look for ways
that this can challenge us and make us better. It can definitely help us innovate work and live better and it's an opportunity to spend more time with the people and the Pursuits that really matter to you and your lives so stay safe. And we'll see you again next week.
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