#74, Does Anyone Really Care?

Diversity in our firefighting workforce sounds like just another politically motivated issue. And there are some who may try to pick up the torch and run with it just to help “their side.” But the issue isn’t about politics. It’s about service to the public. How do we as fire service professionals provide the very best cost effective and efficient service to the public? I’m not going to discuss all the details of why it’s important for a fire department to reflect the community they protect including women and minorities of all types. That discussion would be long and could get heated with some old school folks. But take a few minutes to watch an interview that has been on the Seattle PBS station. I think you’ll find it interesting.

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcrosscut.com%2Fvideo%2Fdeeply-rooted%2Fcommunities-under-fire&data=04%7C01%7C%7Cfcd7126d50d64a735f4c08d95e802c65%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637644726860965641%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=HyrhNy5oOeq5JEHE2GIScg1MNl6ysvEd8QW1kvN5sbU%3D&reserved=0

#45 – The Hardest Part of Fighting Fire Is…

Firefighters battling a wildfire

In my experience, the public and even firefighters themselves have a miopic view of the challenges facing firefighters on the fireground. They see the obvious dangers from fire. They don’t realize that sometimes there are other equally dangerous pitfalls awaiting us. There are critical challenges we have to deal with on fires that go beyond what you might think of. In today’s story I relate an incident where a newer female Division Supervisor had to figure out how to communicate with an older experienced tough and grizzled supervisor. The story also involves me as a supervisor of both of them and how I had to ensure they were working well together and communicating appropriately. Of course there will be the requisite laughs because in this business, you have to laugh at the messes we find ourselves in. Hope you enjoy the story and please leave comments where you found the story link? Thanks everyone.

Episode 45, The Hardest Part of Fighting Fire…., June 21, 2020 – BobbieOnFire.com

#41- The Perfect Job for People Who Love Chaos (or who have ADD)

Bringing Calm to Chaos

Have you ever wondered why firefighters love their jobs so much? Why do people voluntarily take jobs that put their personal safety at risk? Everyone wants a job that suits them. We want a career that we find enjoyable, gives us job satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment from our labors. With that in mind, I would have been ill suited to be an accountant or a grammar school teacher for example. We don’t always find our perfect career fit but here’s some perspective about firefighters and how our personalities mesh with our work environment. Remember these are generalities but represent what I’ve seen and experienced. I hope you enjoy the insight into the mind of many firefighters and why we enjoy our jobs so much.

Episode 41, The Perfect Job for People Who Love Chaos – BobbieOnFire.com

#37-I’m a Hilarious Firefighter, Right?

I’m Freakin Hilarious

This weeks story is about how we might use humor on the job. Often times we have a distorted perception of our own sense of humor. I know for me personally if I was half as funny as I think I am I’d be on late night TV getting the laughs and making big money. When I go back and re-listen to some of the stories here at BobbieOnFire.com I still laugh at the funny ones. Heck, the incident might have happened 30 years ago, I’ve told the story dozens of times but I still laugh at it. At least I enjoy them.

The problem is when you’re working, what kind of humor is appropriate and what is not? In this story I give some insights and perspectives based on my experiences. I hope you get a laugh from hearing some of my examples of what NOT to do. Unfortunately in my life and career, I might have more examples of what not to do as I have what to do.

As always I appreciate any comments and suggestions. Please share BobbeOnFire.com with your friends. Also, please follow all the health recommendations coming out of your state and local agencies. Let’s do all we can to keep our active first responders and medical personnel safe. Thanks.


Episode 37, I’m a Hilarious Firefighter, Right? – BobbieOnFire.com

#16 – Flying Bodies

When we see a multiple fire engines, police cars and ambulances at the scene of a minor accident, it’s easy to criticize. Since we don’t know what’s going on, we assume all those resources are unnecessary. The problem is we really don’t know and they don’t either until their arrive on scene to see what they have to deal with. This story is about my witnessing a terrible auto accident miles from the nearest emergency services and only having myself to manage 4 patients until help arrived nearly an hour later. I hope after listening to this story you’ll consider taking a CPR or first aid class. We all need to be prepared in case you also witness “flying bodies”. And the next time you see multiple fire engines, police cars and ambulances in front of someone’s home, assume good intent on behalf of those first responders. Hope you enjoy the story.

Flying bodies, Episode 16, BobbieOnFire.com

#12 – Always Being Tested

The old parade truck that the Chief challenged me on.

This story dates back to when I first was promoted to Captain at a smaller fire department. I suppose I had been a bit of a “fire brand” in my career leading up to this story. You’ll get more of the details when you listen. But what struck me as I was thinking about this story yesterday, was how many times we get tested in our lives. We get tested by our parents while growing up. Our children test us as they’re growing up. Once we’re working at a job, every time we start a new job or get a new boss or get a new employee who’s working for us, we get tested. Yesterday I realized I was being tested right up until the day I retired. Some of those “tests” can be small and less obvious. Some can be more dramatic (and stupid) as this story illustrates. But through it all we should smile, laugh at ourselves and enjoy the ride. This is one of those stories that makes me smile and shake my head. Hope you enjoy it too.

Episode 12, Driving the Seagraves. BobbieOnFire.com

#11 – The Federalies are Coming! (A Little Humility is Always a Good Thing)

Hi everyone. The picture here is a good depiction of the fire that this story describes. Although the story isn’t about fighting the fire, it’s about the interactions between the firefighters who are fighting the fire. As I look back on things, fighting the fire was routine. The interactions with my co-workers and others involved was the challenge and what I remember most of all. The point of this story is how important it is to walk humbly. The fire where this story takes place wasn’t particularly difficult or challenging but it definitely wasn’t going to go out by itself either. What I had to pay the most attention to was the human element. And as you can imagine, dealing with human emotions is probably more dangerous and risky than fighting fire. So… I hope this one makes you giggle a little. As you will hear… it still makes me giggle.

Episode 11, The Federalies are Coming! BobbieOnFire.com