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IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast with Ryan Rodriquez

IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast with Ryan Rodriquez

By Ryan Rodriquez
Action | Ownership | Brotherhood

IGNITEd is a brotherhood of firefighters who challenge the status quo through self-improvement and accountability.

Topics include:
- leadership
- tactics, and strategy
- managing stress
- mental health
- physical fitness
- organizational health

Be the firefighter you'd want on your crew!

Be IGNITEd!

Visit www.IGNITEdFF.com to learn more!

**The thoughts and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of myself and my guests. The IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast is written, produced, and hosted by Ryan Rodriquez.
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Episode 120 - Use Your Sick Time!
Being full-time firefighters and EMS workers, we get different types of paid time off (or PTO as you may call it).  Whether it’s vacation time or sick time, or just a type of general leave, it exists as a way to help us take time away from work that we need to either recharge or heal. The way we do this can look a lot of different ways.  Maybe we need to take sick time to cart kids to doctor's appointments, maybe we need to take sick time because we ate a bad burrito the night before, or maybe we need to take sick time because our mental health isn’t doing so hot.  Whatever the reason, it exists for a reason, for us to use. In today’s episode, I will provide you some perspective on why we should be using our sick time or PTO, I will talk about the stigmas that we place on ourselves and others when we DO use sick time, and  I’m going to encourage you to use (but not abuse) your sick time, -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
21:41
April 16, 2021
Episode 119 - Three Questions...
Trust is at the heart of any cohesive team, and in the FIRE & EMS world we take that trust into life or death situations. Leaders trust their subordinates to do what needs to be done.  Subordinates trust their leader to keep them safe and treat them with dignity and respect.  So how can we make sure that we’re meeting the needs of the people on our team? In today’s show, I will review the three questions that every follower is subconsciously asking about their leader, I will break down what’s behind each question, and I will explain how we can meet the needs of those on our crew by keeping these questions in mind. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
08:44
April 9, 2021
Episode 118 - Safety Third!
It is a privilege to be able to do this job.  Whether you’re in FIRE or EMS or both, serving our communities when things are going south is a big responsibility with big risk involved.  But we love it, don’t we? In prior episodes I talked about mitigating risk and making sure you’re fit for duty and all of that.  But today, I’m going to focus on a concept that I think a lot of people just don’t understand.  It’s the concept of “safety third”. On today’s show, I will focus on what the “safety third” concept is, how changing our perspective on the shouts of “safety first” from our organizations and other private organizations are directly contradictory to why they exist, and how embracing this concept can help us be better prepared to do what we need to do when the time comes. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
14:08
April 3, 2021
Episode 117 - Bandwidth & Boundaries
When we are at work, our minds shouldn’t be on other things that would overtly distract us from performing our duties to the best of our ability.  If our focus is taken away while lives are in the balance, then how can we fool ourselves into thinking that we’re doing our due diligence?  We have enough to think about; our personal wellbeing, our crew’s wellbeing, our patients’ wellbeing.  All of that and then some! With all the mental focus our job demands, along with being in an “at ready” state for whatever may come, we can’t afford to be distracted with menial things going on elsewhere. In today’s episode, I will talk about what I mean by “bandwidth” and how we can set boundaries in order to keep our bandwidth from being stretched too thin. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
19:17
March 26, 2021
Episode 116 - Improvise. Adapt. Overcome!
Being called to dangerous situations, day or night, means that we have to be at the ready for anything.  This means we have to improvise and make last minute adaptations as the situations we’re a part of change.  “Adapt and overcome” is the theme on every fireground I’ve ever been on. With the constant changes, limited resources, and unseen wildcards laying in wait, it’s crucial for us to be able to keep a mentality where we can maneuver through incidents in order to get the job done. In today’s episode, I will talk about what it means to “adapt and overcome”, how this mentality lies at the root of what it is we do in the fire service, and how this mentality can serve us in all aspects of our professional and personal lives. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
14:02
March 19, 2021
Episode 115 - Feel the Flow!
As firefighters, we are no stranger to flow.  We measure the gallons we put on a burning building in gallons per minute and we understand that in order to be most effective with that flow, we need to reduce or eliminate obstructions and kinks in the line. You’ve heard the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun” right?  Well, time is seemingly passing by more quickly because you’re more than likely in what’s called a “flow state”.  Some people refer to it as being “in the zone”. In today’s episode, I will talk about what it means to be in a “flow state”, how to recognize it, and I will provide some strategies to help you facilitate it because we typically perform our best while operating in a flow state. -- 11 Activities and Exercises to Induce a Flow State (+ 6 Examples) IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
23:35
March 12, 2021
Episode 114 - DEFAULT: AGGRESSIVE
I’ve heard people give other firefighters compliments that sound like, “oh they’re an ‘aggressive’ firefighter” or “they are an aggressive paramedic!”  But what exactly does this mean, and is it a good thing? I would say ‘yes’, being aggressive in your mode of execution but not your method is the key.  Jocko Willink says that “being proactive and aggressive are similar, and they are both good.” and the idea for the title of this episode comes from him and his team at Echelon Front. In today’s episode, I will define what it means to be an aggressive firefighter and paramedic and I will break down, with the help of Jocko, what having the attitude of DEFAULT: AGGRESSIVE means and how we can incorporate that way of thinking and operating. -- Echelon Front IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group *The DEFAULT: AGGRESSIVE brand is property of Echelon Front and is not affiliated with IGNITEd, LLC.
17:36
March 5, 2021
Episode 113 - Risk vs Benefit!
In the fire service, it is our job to be the ones to enter dangerous situations in order to decrease damage and improve the odds of life safety.  Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are taking risk into consideration.  We get called to a scene, size-up the situation, and then we determine what resources we will need in order to mitigate the problem. Currently, in America, we are facing one of the largest pandemics in our history.  We should be cautious, but we still need to live our lives.  There is risk in everything!  Living our lives in fear creates a culture of fear, and when people are afraid, they do some pretty stupid stuff. In today’s episode, I will talk about what the risk vs benefit analysis is, how we can take ownership of our own personal risk, what we can to do reduce the risk among our crew mates, and I will provide you with a matrix that you can use to base your future risk management practices on in the field. -- IGNITEd.com IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
14:20
February 26, 2021
Episode 112 - Read A Book!
It’s been said that the person who doesn’t read has NO advantage over the person who cannot read.  This has become more and more prevalent to me as I collect years in the fire service. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, then you know how much I love reading books.  I’m constantly referencing them, I’ve got a list of some of my most influential reads on the IGNITEd website, and I am continually on the prowl for my next read. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about the ways that reading improves us as individuals as well as a profession as a whole. -- IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group POMPEII: A Novel by Robert Harris
21:48
February 19, 2021
Episode 111 - Create Opportunities to Bond!
One of the things that attracted us to the fire service is the sense of brotherhood, or perceived brotherhood.  We like the idea of all gathering around and doing things together, as a crew.  After all, we face life and death situations together, why shouldn’t we do other things together too? However, one of the things I’ve seen deteriorate IS that sense of brotherhood.  This can be for a myriad of reasons; generational mentalities, room separations, just to name a few. In today’s episode, I will talk about why that brotherhood is so important, some reasons that may have deteriorated our built-in brotherhood, and what we can do today to take action and bring it back into our firehouses! Also, I have a surprise for you all today!  Not many of you may know this, but growing up, I was big into the punk rock scene.  I was going to shows probably 2-3x a week and was really into playing the guitar as one of the ways I helped myself to deal with stress.  Teenagers, right…?  Some of my all-time favorite bands were (and still are) Face to Face, Lagwagon, Goldfinger, The Bouncing Souls, MxPx...I could go on and on.  One of the bands I’ve probably seen play live over 20x since 1996 is Less Than Jake and they are STILL putting out amazing albums!  Through the podcast world, I was able to connect with the lead singer, Chris Demakes.  As a result, I asked him to write a custom song for the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast and what he sent me is pure gold.  So today is the debut of the new song, enjoy! -- Pros and Cons of Private Sleeping Quarters in Fire Stations Simon Sinek Be the Last to Speak IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
17:54
February 12, 2021
Episode 110 - Become Coachable!
At one point or another, you may have been on a sports team with a coach.  Or maybe you’ve worked in sales and had what’s known as a “sales coach”.  Or maybe you have BEEN a coach in some form or another. Regardless of your experience being coached or AS a coach, in the fire service (and basically any profession), it’s in your best interests to retain the ability to BE coached. But what does it mean to be coachable?  Why is it important?  And what are some things we can do to remain coachable no matter how far along in our career we are?  I will address these very questions in today’s episode; Become Coachable! -- 28-Day Ignition Workout Program IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
15:25
February 5, 2021
Episode 109 - Do The Right Thing!
All of us in the fire and EMS services got into this job to help people.  Even at the cost of our own lives.  Even at the expense of breaking a few rules to do it. A story that came out of Oklahoma this week showcased a firefighter who made the call to transport a child in a fire engine who suffered burns from a fire, and he was disciplined for it. In today’s episode, I will give you all the information I was able to gather on the issue, I will give you my perspective on the topic, and I will pose some questions for you to think about in regards to where YOU would draw the line. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group Oklahoma City Fire Department Official Statement Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself
12:17
January 29, 2021
Episode 108 - Healthy vs Unhealthy Competition!
Let’s face facts; we’re all human and it’s in our nature to be competitive.  The desire to compete and win drives us to succeed and it also helps us push past our perceived barriers. However, competition needs to be carefully observed.  If left unchecked it can leave us constantly feeling unfulfilled and inadequate.  It can also make us extremely unpopular. In today’s episode, I will go over what the difference between healthy and unhealthy competition, how the difference comes down to your attitude, and I will talk about how we can consciously make an effort to put the power of healthy competition to use within the fire service. -- 28-Day Ignition Workout Program IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group
19:59
January 22, 2021
Episode 107 - Nutrition Myths and 4 Ways to Boost Your Immunity!
The internet is jam-packed with fitness and nutrition advice.  But how is one supposed to hack through all of the garbage and pick out the gems? I’ve done a lot of research over the years as a way to help myself on my own path.  However, as a result, I’ve become a resource for my organization and my clients by becoming a certified nutrition coach as well as a certified personal trainer.  I’ve also got an understanding of anatomy and physiology based on my education as a paramedic.  All of these things have culminated and allowed me to more precisely cut through the BS out there. In today’s episode, I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve discovered floating around out there that are misleading as well as provide you some things you can do to boost your immunity during these viral times. -- 28-Day Ignition Workout Program IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group Brew Dr
17:19
January 15, 2021
Episode 106 - Principles Over Optics!
I recently got an email from someone and in it he said that a certain strategy that a labor group was seeking to deploy “didn’t make for the best optics”. Honestly, the entire email sounded like something you hear in the report of a middle-schooler who is looking at a thesaurus to make their report sound more elegant, but that particular phrase stuck out to me. So in this episode I’d like to go over why this phrase about “optics” irked me and what we can keep in mind so we can remain in tact when it comes to keeping the trust of the public as well as the brothers and sisters we serve with. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group IGNITEd Homepage
12:46
January 8, 2021
Episode 105 - Establish a Warrior Ethos!
Ethos is defined as; the moral character, nature, disposition and customs of a people or culture. One could say that a fire department organization’s mission, vision, and values are a reflection of it’s ethos.  But what is your personal ethos?  What boundaries, rules, and principles do you subscribe to that makes you who you are? In today’s episode, I will talk specifically about what a warrior ethos is, why it’s important, and why it would be advantageous to establish a warrior ethos in your own life.  Spoiler alert: you probably already operate under a warrior ethos and just don’t know it! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group IGNITEd Recruit Academy
18:10
January 1, 2021
Episode 104 - Merry Christmas 2020!
Today is my Christmas wish for you and I present a "selfish" challenge to you! My gift to you are the videos that I've posted links to below.  Click 'em.  Watch 'em.  And laugh your butt off! Merry Christmas everyone! -- Christmas Morning - SNL "Punch his beard off!"
02:14
December 26, 2020
Episode 103 - Firefighter Success with Jim Moss
There’s a HUGE difference between just checking the boxes and being excellent at what you do.  One of the ways we can give the status quo a throat chop is by taking action toward excellence. My guest today is Captain Jim Moss from the Metro West Fire Protection District in St. Louis County Missouri and he just published a book called Firefighter Success - 20 C’s to Firefighter Excellence. In today’s interview, I’ll talk to him about this very thing and I will ask him to expand his thoughts and ideas in regards to what inspired him to write the book as well as share some insight into a few of the C’s he talks about. If you’re looking to refine yourself and level up in your role regardless of rank, then you won’t want to miss this episode!  Here is my conversation with Captain Jim Moss... -- Firefighter Success by Jim Moss SPECIAL REPORT - 101 Rules for Firefighter Success IGNITEd Recruit Academy IGNITEd Shop
45:53
December 18, 2020
Episode 102 - Ask Me Anything #2
Today I’m going to be doing another “Ask Me Anything” episode.  I recently asked those of you in the Facebook group what are some topics you’d like me to discuss on the show and I got a good amount of questions submitted in that thread. In today’s episode, I will be addressing these questions directly. And when I say “ask me anything”, I mean it.  It could be about ANYTHING!  So, if this AMA sparks any questions with you, please feel free to submit them via Facebook or Instagram and I will add them to the list for the next time I do this. -- Fire Interview: The Storyteller Method IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group IGNITEd Recruit Academy
19:41
December 11, 2020
Episode 101 - Eliminate Negative Energy!
As firefighters we have the best job in the world.  And even though we love our jobs, negativity can sometimes creep in.  Whether it’s the result of administration decimating morale, a call that goes bad, or family issues creeping into the firehouse, we all succumb to negative energy from time to time. This can be a death sentence when it comes to morale and everyday happiness, but it doesn’t have to be!  We are ultimately in control of how we feel and what we choose to focus on.  And sometimes, we need a little help out of the muck. In today’s episode, I will talk about what we can do to recognize negative energy when it flares up, mitigate it, and set the tone for a more positive and mentally healthy environment at the firehouse. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group IGNITEd Recruit Academy
19:55
December 4, 2020
Episode 100 - Be the Man in the Arena!
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for any amount of time, then you know how I feel about the subject of taking action. One of my most favorite quotes of all time is by Theodore Roosevelt.  It’s a poetic reminder of what it means to be a person of action and that it isn’t an easy way to be, but it isn’t meant to be easy.  It’s meant to be worth it. In today’s episode, I will read to you Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech and give you my take-aways, letting you know how I use this as motivation to help me focus on being a man of action. -- Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” IGNITEd Recruit Academy
19:53
November 27, 2020
Episode 099 - Know How To Cook!
WIth Thanksgiving coming up, you’ll be around a lot of food.  Not only that, you may be the one cooking.  Cooking for your family is great!  Now, imagine cooking for a large group of loud, boisterous, and very opinionated firefighters. As a firefighter, you may even be on duty during holidays like Thanksgiving where the saving grace of working on these holidays and being away from your family is sitting down with your fire department family and sharing a great meal. A lot of important conversations happen around our dinner tables whether at home or on duty, you don’t want one of those conversations to be how gross the food is that you’ve prepared. In today’s episode I will share my thoughts on the standards you should have when cooking a meal at the firehouse and I will give you some tips and tricks you can adopt to make sure that you aren’t just a one-trick pony and your reputation as a good cook stands the test of time.  And at the very end, I will share one of my personal firehouse recipes! -- Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” IGNITEd Recruit Academy Dijion Glazed Salmon Recipe: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees I typically use about two pounds of fresh atlantic salmon (¼ lb per person) I dash a small amount of salt and pepper on the filet and put it on a cooking sheet that I’ve covered in aluminum foil I put it in the oven and cook it for about 20 minutes During this time I prep the glaze which consists of about 3 tbsp of dijon mustard and ¼ cup of brown sugar.  Stir the mixture until it turns into a thick consistency. Then, I take the salmon out and turn the broiler on HIGH.  While that’s heating up, I spread the glaze on top of the salmon with a fork. Once the broiler has heated up to the right temperature, I put the salmon back in for about 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the sugar, it will smoke the kitchen up pretty good if you do.  Ideally you want a nice crisp on the salmon. Make sure you serve each meal with a carb and a veggie.  It’s important to eat a balanced meal and not just serve up ONE thing on a plate.  For reference on portion size, take a look at this infographic from Precision Nutrition.
20:03
November 20, 2020
Episode 098 - Fire Interview with Brendon Trayner
You’ve heard me say this before, the hiring process for the fire service is a gauntlet.  There are a series of tests that include mental and physical aspects, not to mention the rounds of panel interviews!  And if you’re currently in the testing process and have experienced what a fire service interview is like, then you know the stress that can come along with not knowing what to say or how to say it.  If you’re just starting, then this will be a great episode for you to pay particular attention to and take notes! My guest today is Captain Brendon Trayner with the Gilbert Fire Department and he just published a book called Fire Interview - “The Storyteller Method”.  In his book, he talks all about how to formulate the perfect answers to any question you could be asked.  His approach isn’t based on having canned answers to expected questions.  It’s about having a strong foundation on principles that will allow you to answer any questions that might be thrown at you.  His framework has helped numerous people get hired and promoted over the years and has become a sought-after mentor here in the Phoenix metro area where he and I live and work. If you’re looking to get hired or are looking to promote within your current organization, you won’t want to miss this episode!  Stay tuned to hear my conversation with Captain Brendon Trayner. -- Fire Interview “The Storyteller Method” by Brendon Trayner IGNITEd Recruit Academy
51:45
November 13, 2020
Episode 097 - Join the IGNITEd Recruit Academy!
When I was trying to get a career in the fire service, I didn’t have anyone to help me.  I didn’t have family or friends that were doing the job.  I don’t come from a “legacy family”.  I worked hard and forged ahead down a path of self-education and institutionalized education.  It was hard and I really wish I had someone help me along the path.  I could’ve avoided some pitfalls and some setbacks. My goal with the IGNITEd Recruit Academy is to provide that mentorship to you.  I’ve been a firefighter/paramedic for 15 years and I’ve been a part of numerous hiring processes.  I’m here to provide you some insight and guidance on things you need to incorporate and refine in order to get your dream job! In today’s episode, I will go over what the IGNITEd Recruit Academy is and why you should join if you’re currently trying to get hired on -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Recruit Academy
07:29
November 6, 2020
Episode 096 - Don't Let Gossip Destroy You!
When I was in the academy I heard the saying “if you want the whole department to know a secret, tell a firefighter”.  This is one of those jokes that is sad, but true.  I call it the “fire wire”.  Gossip exists within the walls of the firehouse and it’s destroying us. This issue of gossip isn’t exclusive to the fire service, it can be found in a lot of organizations around the world.  But why does it exist?  Why do we perpetuate it?  And what, if anything can we do to put a stop to it? In today’s episode, I will define what gossip is, how it affects us in the fire service, and I will provide some strategies we can put in place to fight this toxic behavior. -- Dave Ramsey on Gossip Saving Private Ryan - The Gripe IGNITEd Recruit Academy -- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
20:46
October 30, 2020
Episode 095 - Civilize the Mind, but Make Savage the Body!
One of my most favorite quotes, one that has guided my life for years, is a samurai proverb.  You’ve heard me reference it numerous times throughout the podcast. “Civilize the mind, but make savage the body.” In today’s episode I will break down the two different parts to this proverb and I will discuss the elements that I utilize to make sure that I’m living by this ancient code. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Group Audible SpartanRace Tough Mudder
20:44
October 23, 2020
Episode 094 - Fostering Grit!
It takes a lot to get a career in the fire service.  There is a gauntlet of elements in the process; turn in an application, take the written test, perform some kind of physical performance test, panel interview or TWO, then it’s onto the academy.  Even then, an invitation to the academy isn’t a guaranteed spot on the truck.  A full-time spot is conditional upon successful completion. It also sometimes takes a lot to stay engaged and focused on the mission when you’ve been on the job for a while. Staying engaged and focused on the reason why you got into this profession to begin with can take effort. Something that this profession definitely takes is GRIT!  But what IS grit?  If we don’t have it, what can we do about it?  In today’s episode, I’m going to review what it is, how we can foster it, and how having grit is NOT a team sport even though some people might have you think that. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community 28-Day Ignition Workout Program Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
19:37
October 16, 2020
Episode 093 - Be Lions, Not Sheep!
Whenever you try to achieve something more, there will always be those people who are like crabs in a bucket who will try to pull you down.  They will mock, they will ridicule, and some will even use their resources and active efforts just to hold you back. But not matter how many times they pull you back down, no matter how many times you may get knocked on your butt, you’ve gotta get back up and keep going. One of my most favorite quotes is “Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep” and in today’s episode, I will talk about what it means to be a “lion” among “sheep”, how this mindset will help you focus on your personal development and success, and I will provide you some strategies you can implement in order to awaken the lion inside of you. -- Lion Speech - Poolhall Junkies (2002) YouTube 28-Day Ignition Workout Plan IGNITEd Hats - Flash Sale! BrandedBills
28:24
October 9, 2020
Episode 092 - I Love What I Do!
I’m not one to go on about “war stories”, but I sure had a rough one the other day.  And as a result, I was reminded as to why I do this job, and why I love it. We’re going to have some hard days and we’re going to have some fantastic days. My goal in today’s episode is to share with you what things came to my mind, share a bit of perspective, and how we can be active in having gratitude! -- Flash sale on all hats! Episode 048 - Health Benefits of Gratitude Branded Bills
16:09
October 2, 2020
Episode 091 - More Fit 4 the Kingdom with Skye Fagrell
Today I'm talking to my friend and author Skye Fagrell.  He has provided performance coaching and leadership training for over 20 years and his book "More Fit 4 the Kingdom" delivers truths of faith-based principles that can be applied to anyone, anywhere.  The focus of Skye's effort is on how incorporating measurable principles into our lives and tracking them, we can improve our wisdom, stature, favor of man, and favor of God. -- Skye's social media: Instagram Facebook Buy the book!
49:29
September 25, 2020
Episode 090 - Invest in Yourself!
If you aren’t investing in yourself, then you are wasting your time!  In this day and age where knowledge is at your fingertips, the only reason we DON’T take action toward bettering ourselves is the direct result of complacency. Being a firefighter and working in EMS, we need to make sure that we are keeping at the forefront of the new trends in medicine as well as the advancements in our ability to fight fire. But this isn’t just about training and practical application.  This is also about investing yourself in a way that helps better prepare you to be able to be a better all-around version of YOU. In today’s episode, I will talk about why that’s important and I will provide you some strategies that you can use to start actively investing in yourself. -- Echelon Front The Sixth Floor Museum
18:08
September 18, 2020
Episode 089 - IGNITEd Core Values: Brotherhood
Part 3!  The last section of my 3-part miniseries on the IGNITEd Core Values!  So far, we’ve covered ACTION, and OWNERSHIP.  These core values can be found stamped onto the new IGNITEd challenge coin, which you can find on the IGNITEd shop! Core values are those things that you naturally operate under.  If you have to force a value, it’s not a core value.  Core values make you who you are.  Now, you CAN adopt core values over time and active implementation.  However, you can’t “fake it until you make it”. As you listen to this miniseries, make an effort to identify some of the core values that you feel you operate under.  By doing this, you become more aware of your purpose and ironclad in your stance on principle when it comes to why it is you do what you do. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Referral Link How to Create a Lifelong Brotherhood (Art of Manliness)
17:10
September 11, 2020
Episode 088 - IGNITEd Core Values: Ownership
Welcome to part two of my 3-part miniseries on the IGNITEd Core Values!  Like I said in the first episode, with the release of the new IGNITEd challenge coin, I thought it would be fitting to do a 3-part miniseries on the IGNITEd core values that are stamped on that coin; ACTION, OWNERSHIP, BROTHERHOOD. We should all have a set of identifiable core values that we operate by and we should be able to talk about them and why they matter to us at any given moment. I’d advise that while you listen to this miniseries, that you identify some of the core values that speak to you in your own personal life.  By doing this, you become ironclad in your stance on principle when it comes to why it is you do what you do. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Referral Link Episode 047 - Respond Don’t React
20:34
September 4, 2020
Episode 087 - IGNITEd Core Values: Action
With the release of the new IGNITEd challenge coin, I thought it would be fitting to do a 3-part miniseries on the IGNITEd core values that are stamped on that coin; ACTION, OWNERSHIP, BROTHERHOOD. We should all have a set of identifiable core values that we operate by and we should be able to talk about them and why they matter to us at any given moment. So, take these next three weeks, listen to the motivation behind the core values of IGNITEd, and start identifying what your own core values are so that you can become ironclad in your stance when it comes to why it is you do what you do. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Referral Link
15:39
August 28, 2020
Episode 086 - Reduce Your Risk of Cancer!
This is not going to be a particularly fun and exciting episode.  However, I’d encourage you to listen so that what I’m about to tell you can hang in the back of your head while on the fireground and after you get back to the station after a fire. The more we can be mindful of the things that are trying to kill us, the better off we are at formulating a defense against them. In today’s episode, I will talk about how we are affected by cancer in the fire service, and I will give you some steps you can take to help reduce the risk. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Referral Link Firefighter Cancer Support Network Firefighter Cancer Foundation Fire Smoke Coalition Rx of Fitness Regimen On-scene Decon Kit Decon 7
26:28
August 21, 2020
Episode 085 - Why You Need a Hot List!
Whether you’re a paper and pencil type of person or an all digital-demigod, I can’t stress to you the importance of writing down a list of things you want to get accomplished on a daily basis. Without an idea of the things you need to get accomplished daily, you will wind up letting your time slip away to things less important than contributing to the reason you were put on this earth. In this episode, I will talk about why you need to write down a list of things to do, how it will help you be more productive, and ultimately become more fulfilled. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Referral Link Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success Neuroscience Explains Why You Need to Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them
10:09
August 14, 2020
Episode 084 - Set the Tone for a Healthy Culture!
In the fire service, we have a designated hierarchy of rank.  The influence of this chain of command is supposed to be followed up and down.  However, what happens when people in the high ranked positions are a big reason why people are feeling disenfranchised down the chain? We look to our leaders to set the tone for the organization and help with disbursement of information as well as morale.  Can you imagine William Wallace riding on his horse at the battle of Stirling, and instead of rallying his countrymen and talking about freedom, he says, “Eff morale!” In today’s episode, I will talk about how our culture in the fire service is being neglected and becoming stagnant and toxic, what we can do about it, and I will provide you with three simple things you can do every day to set the tone for a healthy culture. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop Braveheart: Speech at Stirling It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
22:44
August 7, 2020
Episode 083 - Define What Success Means To You!
Going into our panel interviews when trying to land a career in the fire service, you may hear the question, “what does success mean to you?”  For all of the questions you will get asked, you should be sure enough in what drives you, who you are, and what you want that you shouldn’t skip a beat. If you don’t have an idea of what it looks like to be successful, then how will you know what you need to do to achieve it?  The ONLY way to measure improvement is to have some kind of metric for measure, in this case; what is your definition of success? In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about why you need to identify what success means to you, and I will give you some steps you can take to start on your path -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX  WHOOP Referral Link John Boyd: To Be or To Do
15:15
July 31, 2020
Episode 082 - Exploring Heart Rate Variability
There’s a lot of different ways to track your fitness out there with Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Polar and all the other products popping up every day.  But which one is the best for you?  What exactly should you be measuring and why? You’ve heard me say it before, “what gets measured gets improved”.  Today I’m going to specifically talk about Heart Rate Variability.  I’ve touched on this topic before, but in today’s episode, I’m going to dive deeper into what HRV is, why you should pay attention to it, and at the end, I will provide 10 ways that you can improve your heart rate variability. I will also share with you which fitness tracker that I use and why. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX  WHOOP Referral Link
25:29
July 24, 2020
Episode 081 - Science-Based Benefits of CBD Oil
I worked with a guy the other day who was talking about how he holds a medical marijuana card and after he retires, he was thinking about going into the CBD and marijuana business. Now, I don’t have much experience with this kind of stuff because I have never smoked marijuana or done drugs.  However, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t talk to him about his thoughts and ideas on the topic.  He told me that there are a lot more people in the fire service using therapeutic marijuana products than you’d think. So in my efforts to keep balanced and learn more about this element that has a presence in the fire service, today’s episode is focused on talking about the things I learned while doing my homework on the subject of CBD oil. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Fitness Ambassador Link FNX Relief
17:30
July 17, 2020
Episode 080 - Lose Your Gut!
When it comes to having six-pack abs, we all want results ASAP.  But when it comes to this particular fitness feat, time and dedication are the key.  But where do we start?  And how long can we expect it to take?  A few weeks?  A few months?  Well, things aren’t that simple.  There are many factors that go into this accomplishment and everyone is different.  However, we all have to start somewhere.  And starting is the KEY! Wherever you’re at, now is as good of time as any to get started in shedding that belly fat.  Obesity is surprisingly common in the U.S. fire service which causes us to have significantly reduced fitness and readiness, but more on that later. In today’s episode, I will talk about why we should be conscious in our efforts to lose your gut, and I will provide you with 12 ways that you can attack your belly fat and return to a state of fit readiness.  Not to mention improve your longevity. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Online Shop FNXfit.com FNX Reburn Thermogenic FNX Relax Sleep Aid The Secret to Great Abs Severely Obese Firefighters: What the Data Says 6 Reasons Why Eggs Are the Healthiest Food on the Planet
20:31
July 10, 2020
Episode 079 - When That Day Comes with Chris Hoyer
With all the craziness of what’s going on in the world right now; rioting, looting and murders going unchecked, our brothers in blue have a lot on their plate.  Those working the front lines when it comes to maintaining order have some particular challenges that they’re currently facing.  Those of us in the fire service know what it’s like to work toward mitigating the stressors of the things that we see and the jobs that we are tasked with.  However, I wanted to get the perspective of a police officer who has worked in the field for over 20 years. Today, I share with you a conversation I had with Chris Hoyer.  He just retired from the Phoenix Police Department two years ago and in that time he’s been busy speaking to officers and public safety workers across the country about his experiences and how he dealt with them.  He also wrote a book called, “When That Day Comes” where he goes into more depth about the things he saw and how he handled them, and continues to keep the demons at bay today. I hope this interview helps to shine a light on the role that we don’t necessarily get to see all that often.  And by the end, I hope you come away with a sense that we are all people, trying to do a job, and not be taken over by the darkness that would otherwise envelop us. -- The David Glasser Foundation Nothing But Love Notes When That Day Comes (Book) IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Fitness
48:51
July 3, 2020
Episode 078 - Get Some Sleep!
Getting proper sleep is one of the most challenging parts of being a firefighter and doing shift work. I’ve witnessed firefighters stay up all night at the firehouse, watching TV, neglecting any opportunity to sleep.  I’ve seen supervisors criticise firefighters when they try to take naps to make sure they’re rested and ready for when the tones kick out.  I’ve personally been up all night running calls and then up all day the next day running calls into the night.  Coming off of a shift like that doesn’t help when it comes to being present with your family or the people you love.  If you’re coming home to pets, then you’ve got it a bit better off in regards to being able to take a nap whenever you’d like. However, today I’m going to focus on why sleep is so important, why we shouldn’t demonize it or feel guilty for taking naps, and I will provide some strategies to help facilitate your mind and body into a place where you can get quality sleep. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop FNX Fitness Supplements FNX Relax - Sleep Aid WHOOP Blue Light and Sleep: What’s the Connection?
19:14
June 26, 2020
Episode 077 - Nutritional Supplements and You!
With all the nutrition supplements out there in the market, there can be a lot of confusion and misdirection for the sake of selling a shoddy product. As a professional strength and fitness coach, and as a certified nutrition coach, I am VERY leery of nutrition supplement companies and I have spent years researching and testing out over the counter products on myself. I’ve come up with a great formula for supplementation for myself and strive to keep it simple in regards to that, and so should YOU.  You don’t need a counter or a cabinet full of supplements. In today’s episode, I will tell you why that is.  Not only that, I will go over my personal supplement stack, make some recommendations, and at the end I have a big announcement to make! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd FNX Fitness Ambassador Link FNX Fitness Homepage FNX Live THIRST: CharityWater 28-Day Ignition Workout Program
27:20
June 19, 2020
Episode 076 - 8 Health Benefits of Fasting
You may have heard a lot of talk lately about fasting, particularly intermittent fasting (or IF).  Despite this recent surge in popularity, fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and plays an important role in many cultures and religions. In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24-72 hours.  Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time. Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function. Today, I’m going to talk about 8 health benefits of fasting - backed by science. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update Fasting: Health Benefits and Risks Blood Sugar Testing: When, Why, and How
18:36
June 12, 2020
Episode 075 - 3 Crucial Habits to Build NOW!
I wanted to start out today and first say “thank you” for listening to the show.  I was reviewing the numbers and the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast has surpassed 35k downloads.  I’m really humbled by all of this and am honored that you all find value in the things that I’m sharing with you.  This all started because I wanted to provide something that I never had when trying to get into the fire service; resources!  Even now, whether or not you’re trying to get hired or are currently on the job, I want to provide you all with tools, resources, conversations, and everything that you might need to become a more capable and better firefighter. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things it took for me to get this job as well as the things it takes for me to keep proficient at it.  I see it more often than I’d like, people who get hired on and then stop dead in their tracks with any kind of progression.  Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to promote.  If you’re happy in your rank of firefighter, that’s GREAT!  There’s nothing wrong with working your entire career at the rank of firefighter!  However, there’s still progress that can be made at that level.  Become a person of added value.  You can earn your paramedic cert, you can earn a college degree, you can obtain a unique specialization like TRT or HAZMAT.  What I’m saying is, you should always be taking steps toward improving yourself and becoming an asset. In the spirit of that, in today’s episode, I’m going to go over 3 practices that I’ve incorporated into my daily routine that have helped me get the job of my dreams.  I share these things with you to give you a very basic idea of how you should be operating daily.  I want to emphasize that...EVERY DAY.  So, let’s get going! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd Recruit Academy 8 Health Benefits of Fasting
18:17
June 5, 2020
Episode 074 - Knowing Is Half the Battle
If you’re a child of the 80’s like I am and watched Saturday morning cartoons, then you probably watched GI Joe.  One of the most impactful things I remember is how each episode ended. There was always a lesson to be learned and at the end, and it was always capped off with the saying, “Knowing is half the battle.” In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about how knowing IS only half the battle and I will provide you with 5 ways that you can move from knowing to doing! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop IGNITEd Recruit Academy
14:32
May 29, 2020
Episode 073 - Ask Me Anything #1
Today is a first for the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast!  Today I’m going to be doing an “Ask Me Anything” episode.  Over the past several weeks I’ve asked you guys to submit questions that might be on your mind and you didn’t disappoint! I got all kinds of questions!  Some related to the show, some related to the fire service, and some not related to any of that.  Regardless of their nature, I thought it would be fun to take some of the questions that you guys submitted and answer them off the cuff today. When I say “ask me anything”, I mean it.  It could be about ANYTHING!  So, if this AMA sparks any questions with you, please feel free to submit them via FB or IG and I will add them to the list for the next time I do this. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop Incomparable by Brie and Nikki Bella Extreme Ownership by Leif Babin and Jocko WIllink The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman Fire Command by Alan Brunacini
24:50
May 22, 2020
Episode 072 - Why You Need Vision
The ability to envision possibilities for the future and share that vision with others is something that distinguishes leaders from nonleaders.  It also separates the performers from the spectators. If you don’t have an idea of where you’re going, you’ll end up just going in circles.  Ultimately, when we’re on a fireground, the vision is to put the fire out.  The strategy is how we get there.  By having an ultimate vision for what we want to happen, we lay down a marker for what success looks like. Today I’m going to talk about why we need vision.  I’ll talk about how having a personal vision statement can better prepare you for leadership roles, and I’ll provide you with ways to formulate your own vision in a practical way so that you can take action! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club IGNITEd Online Shop Start with Why by Simon Sinek The Vision Driven Leader by Michael Hyatt
18:03
May 15, 2020
Episode 071 - Vagal Down & Shape Up!
When we go through EMT or paramedic school, we learn of the two different responses that our nervous system has; sympathetic and parasympathetic.  What’s really incredible, specifically about the parasympathetic system, is that it can be manipulated and used to our advantage so that we can have a better impact on our cardiovascular system by removing stress and shock. In today’s episode, I will do a quick review of these systems, how we can manipulate the parasympathetic system through vagal stimulation, what heart rate variability (HRV) is and how being conscious of all these things can greatly improve our physical condition and immunity. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential The Effect of Gag Reflex on Cardiac Sympathovagal Tone WHOOP EXOS Studies in Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
22:23
May 8, 2020
Episode 070 - Understanding SLICERS
In the fire service, there is an ocean of acronyms out there; CAFS, ALS, AAR, FMP, SOP, ETA, you get the idea.  One of the most recent ones to emerge is SLICERS. In today’s episode, I will be focusing on this latest acronym, what it means, and why we should think about possibly adding it to our ever-growing repertoire. If you’re unfamiliar with SLICERS, don’t feel guilty about it.  Not all organizations incorporate this specific methodology.  However, if after listening to this episode, you find yourself wanting to incorporate it into how you do things, I will also provide a way to acquire a SAMPLE DRILL that you can review with your crew and then try out for yourselves. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Bret Tarver | Phoenix Fire Foundation National Fallen Firefighters Foundation - Bret Tarver NIST/FIRE IGNITEd Shop SLICERS Sample Drill
17:58
May 1, 2020
Episode 069 - Optimize Your Immunity!
We already know that we can’t fully control whether or not we catch a cold, the flu, or even COVID-19.  We also know that we can’t fully control how our body will react once exposed to a pathogen. There are all kinds of different factors that determine your body’s response.  Some you can have an impact on, like nutrient deficiencies.  Others, you can’t do anything about, like your age.  But even among all the things you CAN influence, no single “hack” can control the complex system that is our body. However, when it comes to your overall immune system, your daily actions can have a meaningful impact.  By consistently practicing healthy behaviors, you can: Reduce your exposure and susceptibility Help optimize your immune function over time And better prepare your body to fight off foreign invaders In today’s episode, I’m going to give you 8 ways to optimize your immunity and protect your health! -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Atomic Habits by James Clear IGNITEd Shop
23:21
April 24, 2020
Episode 068 - Protect Your Family!
During this pandemic, working from home obviously isn’t an option for those of us on the frontline working FIRE and EMS.  That’s what we signed up for!  This means that we’ll be exposed to all kinds of nasty stuff that’s out there and we will have a direct connection to the thing that’s causing the pandemic.  But just because WE may get exposed to all that nasty stuff, doesn’t mean our families should too! When we return home from a shift, we should be making sure that we are protecting our loved ones from the threats in the field. I know everyone has their checklists and procedures for how to go about doing decon after a call, but in today’s episode, I’m lining out a checklist that we can keep in mind (or even print out) in order to make sure that we can protect our homes and families from COVID-19. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club EMS After-Shift Checklist The Doctor Who Championed Hand Washing and Briefly Saved Lives 10:1 Water-to-Bleach Solution
14:31
April 17, 2020
Episode 067 - Tactical Science to Keep You Alive
The continual changes and innovation in building materials has us constantly refining our tactical approach when it comes to firefighting.  There are so many different factors that contribute to what we see on the fireground; things like building materials, synthetic furniture, not to mention all the unknowns.  So, we have to be just as adaptable as the fire is. Fortunately, there is an army of people at Underwriter’s Laboratories that spend a great deal of time doing the research FOR us!  All we have to do is make an effort to read over their findings. Having all of this scientifically-validated, previously-unrecognized, and potentially life-saving information doesn’t really mean anything unless you can interpret it and apply it. In the spirit of simplification and making things “firefighter-proof”, in today’s episode, I’m going to attempt to condense what I’ve read and learned into three practical approaches that should cover the bases. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Top 20 Tactical Considerations From Firefighter Research UL FSRI Top 20 Tactics Online Course New Rules: 1. Water flow is good, 2. Air flow is bad
20:32
April 10, 2020
Episode 066 - 3 Principles to Manage Stress Through COVID-19
With the way our lives have been disrupted due to COVID-19, we can look around and see the panic in the uncertainty of the people who are making mad dashes to the grocery store and having fights in the aisles in order to stock up on toilet paper. I feel like a lot of this kind of behavior can be directly attributed to the fact that we live in a society that is constantly telling us to avoid stress.  But why is that?  Isn’t stress the very thing that makes us better at handling any given situation? Think about it, we exercise to utilize stress and become better at performing on the fireground.  Some of us get flu shots as a way to introduce stress into our bodies so that we can naturally build up our immune system and fight any incoming seasonal threat of illness.  The more we avoid a situation or confrontation whether it’s at work or at home, the more we increase the anxiety of the issue, rather than just dealing with it. In today’s episode, I will discuss some VERY helpful principles that you can adopt when it comes to tackling any challenge that comes your way and, if consistently practiced, will soon make you the hero in all situations. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Unstable Unicorns Putting Feelings Into Words by Matt Leiberman
18:53
April 3, 2020
Episode 065 - Adapt or Die!
There are two things that firefighters hate; change, and the way things are... The world can seem like a daunting and complicated place at times, especially considering the perpetually increasing complexity of our chosen career.  As building materials and textiles change chemical composition, the time of survivability and rate of fire spread rapidly decrease.  If we choose not to adapt to these changes, then we are choosing to be victims of our environments. The whole plight of this IGNITEd movement is to disrupt that stagnation that we may have found ourselves in, specifically in regards to the fire service.  If you’re listening to this now, then you’ve most likely taken a look around and realized just how content people are with the status quo.  This level of contentment is killing us, literally and figuratively.  The stagnant attitudes kill the legacy of the fire service and the lack of movement kills us off soon after retirement. It’s up to us to take the reigns and make sure we are driving forward and not just sitting still. By being willing and able to adapt to the circumstances around us, we fight that complacency.  We’ve got to take active steps toward being adaptable and becoming better.  In today’s episode, I will talk about the different types of adaptation and I’ll give you some steps you can take to become more adaptable in your environment. -- IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club As A Man Thinketh by James Allen: Review Atomic Habits by James Clear: Review Adapt or Die: Battle-tested Principles for Leaders by Lt Gen Rick Lynch
23:17
March 27, 2020
Episode 064 - State of Fear
We are currently facing a society that is gripped in fear due to the COVID-19 or “Corona Virus” pandemic.  We as first-responders don’t have a choice to run and hide because that’s not who we are.  We act in the face of fear. And yet, we are witnessing people act completely irrationally because of what the news media is telling them.  And in that fear, it seems that they are buying up all of the world’s toilet paper. In today’s episode, I will talk about why we’re subject to fear, what it does to us, and I will provide some strategies as to how to overcome fear so we can live happy, productive lives that will allow us to be the best firefighter and EMS professionals that we can be! -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
16:40
March 20, 2020
Episode 063 - Low Thyroid and Weight Loss
Having several conversations over the past several weeks, I became aware of something I didn’t realize was so prominent among the people that I work with; hypothyroidism. This isn’t something that I personally struggle with, but I wanted to learn more about it.  And the more I learned about it, the more I discovered how well-documented it is that there is a direct correlation between shift workers and low thyroid issues; particularly firefighters and nurses. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about what hypothyroidism is, how it affects us as firefighters, and I will provide some strategies on how we can combat it and not let it rule our lives. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club National Institute of Health Fact Sheet
17:33
March 13, 2020
Episode 062 - Lose Weight with Strength Training
As the years go by, complacency sets in.  We get comfortable in our positions and sometimes those positions are of the reclined nature.  As a result, we gain weight in the form of useless fat and the bigger we get, the more unmotivated we become. Fitness is a crucial part of our profession.  We don’t have a lot of time in our careers when compared to corporate America or most other professions.  We are given the benefit of being able to retire early.  However, if we aren’t healthy enough to live fully during our retirement, or even MAKE it to our retirement, then what’s the point? In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about how we can introduce strength training into our routine to not only be dynamic in how we exercise and steer clear of becoming a one-trick pony when it comes to fitness, but I will talk about how strength training can help us lose fat. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Essential Guide to Strength Training 10 Essential Bodyweight Exercises What’s the Best Form of Cardio for Fat Loss? How to Gain Muscle Without Losing Fat Strength Training and Belly Fat High Reps with Low Weight vs Low Reps with High Weight
14:39
March 6, 2020
Episode 061 - Do Work on the Front End
As firefighters and EMS professionals, we are constantly doing work on the front end so that when the time comes, we can be at the ready to respond.  Oftentimes we don’t even realize that that’s what we are in fact doing. When it comes to our professional lives, we are hyper-vigilant in making sure that our equipment is in operating order and ready at all times.  So why is it so challenging for us to do these things when it comes to our personal lives? In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about what doing work on the front end looks like, why it’s important, and how we can incorporate related principles into our personal lives to work toward a more mentally and emotionally balanced self. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club
13:18
February 28, 2020
Episode 060 - Teach Something!
(I'm so sorry for the drop in volume about halfway in!  I have absolutely NO IDEA what happened!) You’ve probably heard it said that “those who can no longer do, teach.”  As we get older in our lives and in our careers in the fire service, we lose some ability to do things the way that we used to. You’ve heard me talk about the “Key 3” back in episode 50 - light the spark, stoke the flame, pass the torch, but do you yourself take action in regards to those things? Today I’m going to talk about how we can “pass the torch” on those things that we know and are particularly proficient in so we can contribute to our crew, our organizations, and our profession as a whole. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club
17:46
February 21, 2020
Episode 059 - Track Your Macros!
The bulk of the food that we consume consists of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.  These are known as macronutrients.  Other elements that make up the foods that we eat are called micronutrients; these are the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that we intake. Macros influence our body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrients, and produce hormones.  They also impact our immune function, our metabolic function, cell structure and function, and our overall body composition. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about what macronutrients are, how they affect us, and how we can manipulate them to get the results that we want. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club MyFitnessPal (Macro tracker) If It Fits Your Macros (Macro Calculator) Eat This Much (Macro Meal Planner) Body Fat Percentage Scale How To Read and Understand A Nutrition Label 3 Keys to Dialing in Your Macronutrient Ratios Federal Dietary Recommendations
19:28
February 14, 2020
Episode 058 - Train Your Brain!
We have a lot of different things occupying real estate in our minds at any given moment.  One thing that we sometimes forget about is the fact that WE are the owners of that real estate and make the choice as to who or what occupies that space. While on the fireground or EMS scene it’s important that we remain focused.  But how can we work on that while we aren’t ON emergency scenes? In today’s episode, I will talk about why it’s so important to train our brains, and I will provide some practical steps to take in order to become more disciplined in our mental game. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverace Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High-Performance Edge
12:24
February 7, 2020
Episode 057 - Proximity and Purpose
In today’s society we are told that we need to accept others for who they are.  But with that acceptance sometimes comes a lack of standards.  I said it in a recent podcast episode, “the minimum standard becomes the new standard.” It can be unhealthy and even dangerous to cling to the level of acceptance that we are provided by the people we choose to be around.  Like it or not, we are all products of our environment, good or bad. We all have a choice as to who we allow into our lives and how we allow their influence to affect us.  Today’s episode is focused on our mental health.  Specifically, how our mental health is affected by those who we allow in our lives and in our proximity.  I will talk about the different ways people affect us and possibly even stifle our potential and I will give you some strategies that you can implement in order to qualify your sphere of influence. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
14:11
January 31, 2020
Episode 056 - Crucial Accountability
The health of any relationship, team, or organization can be measured by the lag time between identifying problems and discussing those problems.  And couldn’t the same be said for how we respond to fire and EMS calls?  We don’t seem to have hang-ups when it comes to quickly and systematically identifying problems on the fireground and EMS scene.  So, why do we have such a problem making the connection when it comes to our relationships within the firehouse walls? In today’s episode, I’m going to share some insight that I received while at a VitalSmarts training here in Phoenix where I learned some of the things discussed in their book Crucial Accountability. And make sure to stay tuned because at the end I will give some details on how you can win a free copy! -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club Lacking Resolve at Work The Janitor Story from Crucial Accountability The Four Agreements book Episode 006 - The Four Agreements
21:57
January 25, 2020
Episode 055 - Focus on Breathing!
The self-contained breathing apparatus (or SCBA) has a direct impact when it comes to our personal safety on the fireground.  Our lives literally depend on it’s proper operation and use.  So, it’s not news to those of you who are currently serving as firefighters that you should be checking it off and making sure it’s in operating order at the beginning of each shift. We may be operating with different sizes of SCBAs (30, 45, or 60 minute bottles).  Knowing what you’re working with is important, but what’s even MORE important is knowing how long you can make that bottle last when you’re working performing fireground operations. There are a lot of factors that contribute to how long your bottle lasts.  Fortunately, you have control over one of the biggest factors; how you breathe.  A lot of this goes hand in hand with your level of fitness as well.  So, in today’s episode, I will talk about some of the limiting physical factors and how we can use conscious methods of breathing to help us maintain control and last longer when it counts. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club XRT Pro SCBA Firefighter Breathing Trainer
20:31
January 24, 2020
Episode 054 - Being a Firefighter Parent
For those of us that are parents, we know that as we balance work and home life, sometimes it can be difficult to keep our negative emotions at bay.  We might lash out at our kids or we may withdraw from them completely when something that happened at work has affected us. The way we behave toward our children will set them up for how they handle the relationships they have throughout their own lives.  Do we want them to be successful in their relationships, or do we want them to struggle through them and learn the lessons after it’s too late? In today’s episode I’m going to review a list of behaviors that we can incorporate in regards to how we treat our children in order to build them up and foster successful relationships with them.  Not only that, after reading the article that inspired this episode, I realized that these same behaviors can be directly applied to our relationships with our crewmates!  Thinking about treating your crewmates like children might seem insulting, but after this episode, you may think differently about that. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community IGNITEd Readers Book Club If We Behave In These 10 Ways Towards Children The Future Of Humanity Will Be In Safe Hands
21:49
January 10, 2020
Episode 053 - Asset or Liability
As we progress in our careers, sometimes we fall into complacency.  And like I mentioned in the previous episode, complacency kills!  As we become more complacent in our abilities, we place ourselves further to the “liability” category.  When we sat in our interviews to get hired for the career of a lifetime, we told the panel that we’d bring a lot to the table.  We were motivated and eager to contribute to our respective organizations.  But, why does that change?  And what can we DO about it?  You’ve heard me say it before; on the fireground, you are either an asset or a liability.  In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about what exactly that means and I will provide some steps that you can take to self-evaluate and work toward making the changes that may be needed in order to become the firefighter that you’d want on your crew! --  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community  IGNITEd Readers Book Club  Are You an Asset or a Liability?  Reducing Line-of-Duty Deaths Through Healthful Cooking
15:47
January 3, 2020
Episode 052 - Make A Plan
We would NEVER think to fight a fire without evaluating the situation, formulating a strategy, and taking action toward the objective.  So, why do we not think to take a similar approach when it comes to our personal lives? Benjamin Franklin once said that “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and if you are living your life right now so that you aren’t actively working toward some kind of personal development, then you are a part of the deterioration of the fire service.  You’ve grown comfortable with the status quo of complacency.  And as we all know, complacency kills. In today’s episode, I’ll talk about why it’s important to have a plan, steps to take to identify and work toward a plan of action, and I will share my personal approach to continual growth. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community 12-Days of Kaizen Motivation Worksheet MyFitnessPal
16:58
December 27, 2019
Episode 051 - Core Values
We hear a lot about mission, vision, and values when we go to our department trainings or when a new chief shows up, but do we think of them any other time? Or do we even hear them when we aren’t sitting in these meetings?  Maybe you don’t even hear them in those meetings!  And if that’s the case, then there is more work that needs to be done.  But I’m getting ahead of myself...before you can be a champion of your values, you first have to identify and then define what they are. If your vision is what you want to do, your mission is how you get there; but it’s your VALUES that make you unique and set you apart from the other people and organizations around you.  In today’s episode, we’ll review what core values are, how to identify them within yourself and your organization, and I will give you some steps you can take in order to implement them in your daily life so that you can be the firefighter you’d want on your crew; and be the organization that people would be proud to be a part of.  --  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community  12 Days of Leadership  The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni  Get a Grip by Gino Wickman & Mike Paton  Chick-fil-A: Who We Are
17:38
December 20, 2019
Episode 050 - The Key Three
This week’s episode marks the 50th episode that I’ve recorded.  In just two weeks, I will cross the one year mark for how long I’ve been producing and recording this show.  I’ve learned a LOT along the way and going back and listening to my earlier episodes, although embarrassing, shows me just how much I’ve learned. I want to say “Thank you” to all of you who subscribe, download and listen to the show.  I get a lot out of doing this show in that I am constantly learning new things, but I mainly do it for you.  I do it to get the conversations started, to help provide different perspectives to the same issues that we’re all facing as firefighters and EMS professionals. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about a system that I’ve come up with in regards to mentorship, how it should work, what it should look like, and how we can take an active role in being mentored and being a mentor to others. -- Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community 12 Days of Leadership
17:16
December 13, 2019
Episode 049 - Addicted to Awake
Those of us who are firefighters and work in EMS are known as “shift workers” because we work outside of the typical hours of 9am to 5pm.  Depending on how busy our department, our station, and our truck is, the amount of sleep we get is usually in the hands of the Fire & EMS gods, but that doesn’t mean that we are totally helpless and can’t do something about it. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”  Now, how many times have you rolled your eyes at the person who said it?  I know I do.  I can’t understand how people wear lack of sleep as some kind of badge of honor.  If they were being productive, that’s one thing, but in the instances that I’ve experienced people say that, that’s not the case.  They are chugging energy drinks as if they are some kind of on-duty replacement for their off-duty alcohol dependence, which is a whole other topic itself.  However, by continuing to shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes to getting quality sleep, we are running toward burnout and disease. In today’s episode, I am going to talk about how not getting enough sleep is literally killing us and what we can do to help be our own advocates when it comes to getting the quality sleep that we need.  --  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community  12 Days of Kaizen First Responder Sleep Recovery Training Do Firefighters Shift Schedules Affect Sleep Quality? Shift Work and Sleep Book: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time Book: Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success
27:12
December 6, 2019
Episode 048 - Health Benefits of Gratitude
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you were able to wear your special Thanksgiving pants and pack your bellies full of whatever it is you eat on Thanksgiving.  I’m not here to lecture you and tell you how to be and that you should be thankful for all you have, you’ve already heard a lot of that already, I’m sure. But in today’s episode, I AM going to talk about how focusing on the positive over the negative can help your health, how gratitude is linked to improved heart-health, sleep, and well-being, and how it can also improve job satisfaction and the way you deal with stress.  --  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community  12 Days of Kaizen  Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration  The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-being in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep conditions
14:34
November 29, 2019
Episode 047 - Respond Don't React
We as firefighters are labeled as “first responders”.  Think about that for a moment...we are called first responders, not “first reactors”.  We are expected to respond to incidents rather than react to them.  But what exactly does that mean?  What’s the difference?  And IS there a difference?  I’m here to tell you that there ABSOLUTELY IS a difference when it comes to responding versus reacting.  In today’s episode, I will talk about the differences, go over some examples that I’ve witnessed, and provide you with some strategies to help change your mindset from reaction-based panic to response-based control.  --  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community http://bit.ly/IGNITEdFirefighterPodcastCommunity  IGNITEd Readers Book Club  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ignitedreaders  Disney+ free from Verizon  https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/disneyplus/?cmp=KNC-C-HQ-PRO-R-BP-NONE-UnlimitedDisneyPlus-2K0PX0-PX-GAW-71700000059062055&gclid=Cj0KCQiAiNnuBRD3ARIsAM8KmlsK18xhVY2pD1q658-9Z_ehNqQJYegwP2mAyuo6oNcgaMCfII1Hn3gaAq2JEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds  12 Days of Kaizen  http://bit.ly/12dayskaizen  Respond Vs. React: How To Keep Your Cool in Times of Stress  https://mindfulminutes.com/respond-vs-react-how-to-keep-your-cool-in-times-of-stress/
17:08
November 22, 2019
Episode 046 - Fighting Your Ego
While we’d all like to blame our problems on everyone and everything else, one thing we need to keep at the forefront of our mind is that it is OURSELVES who are often our own worst enemies.  Ego hinders us at every turn.  We feel that we are entitled to things or positions due to either our time invested or our “amazing abilities”. We spend a lot of time spending money we don’t have on things that we can’t afford to impress people we don’t even like.  All for what?  Some false sense of accomplishment.   In order to live a genuine and fulfilling life, we’ve got to stop “playing the game” and start building our own empires.  I’m not just talking about monetarily, either. As Ryan Holiday puts in his book, Ego is the Enemy, once you start being consciously aware of putting your own ego in check, “you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve.”  In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about what ego is, how it affects us, and I will give you some strategies you can put in place to help keep yourself in check.  That way, you can remain focused on YOU OWN world-changing work that you hope to achieve.  __  Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community  IGNITEd Readers Book Club  Dunning-Kruger Published Paper Additional Reading
21:37
November 16, 2019
Episode 045 - Being an Alpha Maiden with Jordan Raye
In this episode I get to have a conversation with Jordan Raye, founder and leader of Alpha Maiden.  She has a clear mission of helping women become strong mentally and physically in order to become the warrior that they’re meant to be. Jordan is the epitome of how fostering strength from within can translate to all areas of your life.  In her social media posts and on her website she shows incredible vulnerability which is a testament to just how strong she is. In a male-dominated career, women in the fire service account for about 3%.  The job of a firefighter is incredibly demanding on a physical and mental level.   So, I want to dedicate this episode to that 3% and bring awareness to the unique challenges that you may face as women in the fire service. Jordan seeks to develop powerful women everywhere!  She brings a focused and motivating perspective to her followers and clients around the world! Join the brotherhood of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, and make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing.  -- Alpha Maiden (https://alphamaiden.com/) IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/IGNITEdFirefighterPodcastCommunity/)
37:59
November 8, 2019
Episode 044 - Firefighter Functional Fitness with Dan Kerrigan and Jim Moss
Today we’re talking about something near and dear to my heart, firefighter functional fitness.  In this episode, I have a great conversation with Dan Kerrigan and Jim Moss, the authors of Firefighter Functional Fitness, basically the fitness “bible” for firefighters. If these guys aren’t on your radar yet, they will be after this!   Their practical approach to functional fitness as it specifically relates to the fire service is what they are well known for. There are some bold, but much-needed claims that they make in their book and oftentimes on their social media.  Things like, “The extent to which a firefighter develops their cardiovascular capacity will ultimately determine whether they are an asset or a liability on the fireground.”  These are hard truths that we sometimes choose to ignore and in doing so, we shirk accountability. You’ll hear me ask them about the 4 Pillars of Firefighter Functional Fitness and how accountability plays a huge role in it.   You’ll also hear me talk to them about how being mindful in your physical training also relates to building your character as well as your leadership skills. Join the brotherhood of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, and make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. -- Links mentioned in this episode: UL Sponsorship Firefighter Functional Fitness Firefighter Toolbox Yoga for First Responders Fit to Fight Fire -- Fit to Fight Fire (http://www.fittofightfire.com/) IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/IGNITEdFirefighterPodcastCommunity/)
01:01:50
November 1, 2019
Episode 043 - Carb Cycling
When we hear that one of our fellow firefighters is going on a “diet” we sometimes tease them or try to make things worse for them by bringing sweets into the station.  None of this is productive and just makes you look like an asshole. While we shouldn’t be constantly “on a diet” we should be MINDFUL of our diet. Going on a special diet from time to time is perfectly fine.  However, most trend “diets” aren’t sustainable, and they aren’t meant to be, hence the term “trend”.  What’s sustainable is a healthy lifestyle.   One of the elements you have full control over is what kinds of foods you are putting into your body. In today’s episode, I’m going to speak specifically about carb cycling; what it is, and give you some strategies and tools to help you use it in working toward any weight-loss goals you might have.  Join the brotherhood of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, and make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. - Show Notes/Links: Portion Control Hand Guide Infographic (Pn1) Carb Cycling YouTube Video Underwriter’s Laboratories sponsorship link Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community -- Portion Control Hand Guide Infographic (Pn1) Carb Cycling YouTube Video Underwriter’s Laboratories sponsorship link Firefighter Podcast Facebook Community
25:15
October 25, 2019
Episode 042 - Decon Challenge
Studies have shown that inhalation or absorption of carcinogens is how firefighters are most likely exposed to cancer risk.  Exposure can come from direct contact with the skin to dirty gear - including gear removal - or indirect contact by off-gassing. While there is a wider awareness of the danger that dirty gear represents to firefighters, it is still the prevailing cultural and work norms that more often determine when firefighters don their gear and how that gear is maintained.  Peer pressure and organizational imperatives will override safety culture in many instances. In today’s episode, I will discuss what the research shows about carcinogens and what we can do about it, make the case for a change in mindset regarding the “badge of honor” mentality, and provide some strategies to help lower the risk of cancer from needless continued exposure. Visit our show sponsor link: https://smokealarms.ul.org/  __  Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the 12 Days of Leadership Challenge that I mention in the episode!  Click HERE to visit the website and learn more about me and the IGNITEd movement. Join the brotherhood of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, and make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!  __ “Firefighter Decon Challenges?  Try A Communication Intervention.”   “Firefighter Decon Challenges: Knowledge vs Practice”  “Clean Gear is the New Badge of Honor”  Videos mentioned:  The Invisible Danger of Bunker Gear Transfer  Clean Gear As the New Badge of Honor  Studies mentioned:  1 Harrison, T.R., Wendorf Muhamad, J. Yang, F., Morgan, S.E., & Talavera, E., Caban-Martinez, A., & Kobetz, N. (2018). Firefighter attitudes, norms, beliefs, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes in an era of increased cancer risk. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 15(4), 279-284. DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2017.1416389  2 Harrison, T., Yang, F., Anderson, D., Morgan, S. Muhamad, J., Talavera, E., Solle, N., Lee, D., Caban-Martinez, A., Kobetz, E. (2017). Resilience, culture change, and cancer risk reduction in a fire rescue organization: clean gear as the new badge of honor. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management: Vol 25 (30), 171-181.
18:16
October 18, 2019
Episode 041 - Dealing with Burnout
As firefighters, we work in physically, emotionally, and psychologically challenging situations.  It’s the nature of the job and for a good part, that’s why we are attracted to the job in the first place, for the challenging element.  But with those challenges come the pressure to constantly perform, often times with limited resources.   These difficult work conditions can lead to burnout over the long-term. So what IS “burnout”?  In today’s episode I’m going to talk about what burnout is, how it affects us, and I will provide some strategies that we can use to help fight it so that we can keep our love for the job and retire with pride and fulfillment.  Visit our show sponsor link: https://smokealarms.ul.org/  _________  Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the 12 Days of Leadership Challenge that I mention in the episode!  Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the Motivation Worksheet!  Click HERE to visit the website and learn more about me and the IGNITEd movement.  Join the battalion of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, but make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. Love to read?  Join the IGNITEd Readers Book Club on Facebook!  Learn about new books and share your favorites!  We also have a monthly group read with discussion questions at the end of each month!  __  Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
19:31
October 11, 2019
Episode 040 - Cultivating Culture
As firefighters, we are a unique culture.  We tend to fall into the Type A personality category where we are very competitive, have an ingrained sense of urgency, and have an affinity toward being hostile and aggressive.  However, we also have a handful of Type B personalities as well; people who are relaxed, patient, and easy-going.   Something important to remember is that one isn’t more productive or effective than the other.  Both serve their purpose for different situations. We shouldn’t think of ourselves as strictly one or the other.  And we damn sure shouldn’t act like one is “better” than the other.  We should be adaptable to each situation that presents itself and utilize traits from both sides of the coin.  Think of it this way, a carpenter doesn’t just have a hammer in his toolbox.  He’s got an array of tools that he can use for specific projects because he understands that a hammer isn’t the end all, be all. Within our organizations, we operate in sub-cultures under the umbrella of being firefighters and EMS professionals.   Each of our respective organizations have a mission, vision, and values.  If not, then you’ve got some work to do.  It’s up to us how we want our cultures to look.  Do we want to operate under the table, motivated by selfish political gain, or do we want to operate in a manner that promotes a healthy culture where we put our cards on the holy dining table that we all talk a big game about and operate in a truthful and respectful way where mutual benefits are the goal? Today, I’m going to identify some challenges that face us as a culture,I’ll  give you some personal examples I’ve had in dealing with toxic culture, and provide 3 strategies to help you build a thriving culture no matter what organization you belong to.  Visit our show sponsor link: https://smokealarms.ul.org/  _________  Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the 12 Days of Leadership Challenge that I mention in the episode!  Click HERE to read more about and purchase the 28-Day Ignition Workout Program!  Click HERE to visit the website and learn more about me and the IGNITEd movement.  Join the battalion of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, but make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. Love to read?  Join the IGNITEd Readers Book Club on Facebook!  Learn about new books and share your favorites!  We also have a monthly group read with discussion questions at the end of each month!  _________  Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
28:51
October 4, 2019
Episode 039 - A Call to Arms
Suicide awareness month is wrapping up as September comes to an end, but that doesn’t mean we should stop making plans to improve our mentalities as well as our bodies.  I’ve put a focus on mental health and wellness this month with a little bit of physical awareness thrown in.  It’s important to remember that the body follows the mind, but it’s EQUALLY as important to remember that the mind follows the body as well.  One impacts the other, but HOW they impact each other is completely up to you, your motivations, and mindset.  Today’s episode is a CALL TO ARMS.  A “call to arms” is a call to defend against a takeover.  We are all facing different battles, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t rally to fight against these battles in similar ways.  Prepare for confrontation.  Prepare for that big fire.  Prepare for a situation where you will need to harness your emotions in order to get your job done. I’m going to review some strategies that can help you become better prepared to defend the castle walls of your mind and get your body into a place where you can physically overcome the challenges that would come your way.  ____ Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the Motivation Worksheet that I mention in the episode!  Click HERE to read more about and purchase the 28-Day Ignition Workout Program!  Click HERE to visit the website and learn more about me and the IGNITEd movement.  Join the battalion of firefighters and EMS professionals who want to civilize their minds, but make savage their bodies by joining the IGNITEd Firefighters Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other as we deal with the struggles that we may be facing. Love to read?  Join the IGNITEd Readers Book Club on Facebook!  Learn about new books and share your favorites!  We also have a monthly group read with discussion questions at the end of each month!  ____ Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
30:06
September 27, 2019
Episode 038 - Working with Mentors with Jonathan Santana
Back in Episode 033, I talked about the importance of mentorship.  In this episode, I have a conversation with Jonathan Santana, who is on a mission to teach individuals life balancing skills to cope with stress in their day to day lives. He is a Firefighter/Paramedic, Speaker, Mentor & Coach.   During our conversation, we discuss what it means to be mentored, qualities to look for in a mentor, and what the benefits of this kind of relationship are. We discuss how stress should be managed, how ego needs to be put in check, and what it means to be an "ask-hole". The idea that leadership isn't tied to rank definitely comes through in Jonathan's passion for this topic.  Be sure to visit his website and download his free eBook, "A Guide to Working with Mentors".   Also, do yourself a favor and look into his HEAD Start program that he talks about.  There are some great lessons to be learned and principles to incorporate!  _________  Click HERE to get your FREE COPY of the Motivation Worksheet that I mention in the episode!  Please visit my website (www.IGNITEdFF.com) to learn more about me and the IGNITEd movement. Also, if you are a firefighter looking to join the battalion of firefighters who want to civilize their minds, but make savage their bodies, join the IGNITEd Firefighters Podcast Community on Facebook.  This is where you can connect with me and other firefighters all over the world!  We can share our experiences and gain insight from each other when trying to deal with the struggles that we may be facing.  _________  Click HERE to visit Jonathan Santana's website and download his FREE eBook "A Guide to Working with Mentors". You can find his H.E.A.D Start Program to Managing Stress on Udemy.com.  Find him on YouTube HERE!
41:02
September 19, 2019
Episode 037 - Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
As September is suicide awareness month, I’m putting a focus on mental health and wellness.  We are already aware that exercise is good for the body.  But did you know that it’s also VERY effective in dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress? In today’s episode I will discuss the mental benefits of exercise and provide some strategies that can help keep you operating in a positive light. To download the Motivation Worksheet mentioned in this episode, visit my website and click on the link in the top right corner that says "Get !", or  click HERE to download directly!
18:51
September 13, 2019
Episode 036 - Finding Fulfillment
A lot of firefighters base their level of fulfillment in their career.  We sometimes forget that we aren’t JUST firefighters.  We are also fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, friends and family.  Fulfillment can and should be found in other areas of our lives so once that time in our lives is over, we have a strong basis to continue our sense of meaning and purpose. Are you constantly disappointed?  Do you find yourself being short with people who are within your vicinity?  Are you just not interested in the things that would typically interest you?  You’ve got to identify and make a choice as to how you show up each and every day.  Just like with anything, you only get out what you put in. Today, we’re going to review 7 strategies we can create habits from so that we can maintain a sense of fulfillment no matter where we are. Download the Motivation Worksheet mentioned in this episode HERE, or visit http://bit.ly/motivationworksheet
18:57
September 6, 2019
Episode 035 - Nozzle Recon with Adam Wilson
**I apologize for the throat-clearing in advance.  I'm fighting a cold and I hit "mute", but my editing software still picked it up*** The different types of materials and hazards out there have changed the way we fight fire.  With all the new and different types of materials we are finding in homes and even commercial buildings and how quickly they burn, it's important to select the appropriate weapon to fight it.   Materials burn a lot quicker and a lot hotter, which means our window for effective attack along with our margin for error is getting smaller. My guest today, Adam Wilson*, talks about his experience in doing research on how nozzle selection, hose management, and hose line technique are crucial elements to consider when fighting fires and we talk about the resources that he's used to learn more about this specific topic. I would encourage you to look into when and where the next class on fire hose management is and get yourself and your crew enrolled.  We do not rise to the level of the obstacle, we fall to the level of our training.  Be the one people can count on.  Be IGNITEd. *Adam Wilson is a firefighter/paramedic with the Maricopa Fire Department near central Arizona.  Click HERE to learn more about the Maricopa Fire Department, or visit https://www.maricopa-az.gov/web/maricopafiredept-home.  You can reach him at adam1126@me.com. We also discussed: Fire by Trade (https://www.firebytrade.com/) Mesa Fire and Medical Department (https://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/fire-medical) Chandler Fire Department (https://www.chandleraz.gov/residents/fire) Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department (https://www.gilbertaz.gov/departments/fire-and-rescue) Fit to Fight Fire (https://fittofightfire.com/) Gordon Graham (https://www.lexipol.com/author/gordon-graham/) VIDEO - UL study on natural vs synthetic room comparison (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7T43OmErmU)
33:01
August 30, 2019
Episode 034 - Be a Professional
People look at firefighters with a certain level of expectation when it comes to capability as well as professionalism.  There is a standard that the public holds us to.  We are public servants and in that expectation, they have every right to hold us to a standard.  But are we holding ourselves to that standard? If you are currently working as a firefighter or are taking steps toward it, then you have some kind of understanding of what it means to be a professional.  In today’s episode, we’ll leave no room for error as we discuss exactly what it means to be a professional and I will go over some key points that you can keep in mind in order to foster your professionalism for whatever environment you’re working in.
16:59
August 23, 2019
Episode 033 - The Importance of Mentorship
When starting out on a new venture, whatever it may be, it can be difficult if you don’t have any ideas on where to start or how the process works. A lot of the times we may feel overwhelmed which causes us to stop in our tracks and never reach the potential that we could, and are meant to. In the fire service, mentorship is crucial for personal development and professional growth.  Without those who have gone before us being willing to help those coming up find the path and achieve their potential, they become lost and are left to their own devices, usually leading to stagnant and sometimes destructive behavior.  This causes distance between crews and individuals which ultimately leads to an organization that becomes lost in regards to its mission and culture. In today’s episode, I will discuss the importance of mentorship.  I will go over why mentorship is so important and how we can become mentors to those following us up the ranks.
23:14
August 16, 2019
Episode 032 - Nothing But Love Notes with Natalie Reilly
Those of us in the first-responder community are expected to respond to the most harrowing and devastating situations imaginable.  We do it because we have the desire to help those in need.  Most of the time the last interaction people have with us is negative due to the circumstances of the situation.  How can we make a conscious effort to leave our last interactions we have with people on a positive note?  Personally, I write hand-written notes to my patients providing them reassurance that I/we are always there for them or I simply offer a kind word that may help in the days after their horrible experience. This week, I sat down this week with Natalie Reilly, founder of the #NothingButLoveNotes movement.  She leaves hand-written notes of love and positive encouragement to those of us in the first-responder community as well as those who serve (or have served) our country in the military.  We discuss the bravery it takes to be vulnerable, the power of the written word, how she got started and why she keeps going.  She is a great example of challenging the status quo and doing things that may be uncomfortable, but that benefit all.   We also discuss a book that was selected as this month's group read for the IGNITEd Readers Book Club.  If you love reading as much as I do, want some ideas on books to read and engage in some meaningful dialogue, then join the group! Also, if you are a firefighter/paramedic/EMT that wants to challenge the status quo and are looking for a community to be a part of where you will be among like-minded people, join the IGNITEd Firefighters Facebook Group.   IGNITEd is a battalion of firefighters who challenge the status quo through a forum dedicated to self-improvement and accountability.  This is a place for firefighters, first-responders and anyone wanting to be a part of the IGNITEd community to come together and share our experiences, perspectives, and challenges.  By having meaningful discussion, we can help refine and support each other as we serve our communities.  Please leave us a rating and review on your chosen platform and connect with us on Instagram and Twitter. For more info, visit the website at www.IGNITEdFF.com.
49:35
August 9, 2019
Episode 031 - Modern Day Samurai
The word “samurai” means “one who serves”.  It was a title given to the renowned warrior class of pre-modern Japan.  The elements that attract a lot of people (me included) to the ideals lived and practiced by the samurai are their fierce fighting style and strict sense of discipline.  The kind of discipline that made the samurai a very admired as well as feared culture was their dedication of focus to their minds as well as their bodies.  I have utilized a samurai proverb in my personal life for years.  It helps me to focus on the balance I must strike between my mind and body.  In fact, you hear it in the intro to my podcast every time you listen: “Civilize the mind, but make savage the body”.   Who are we as firefighters if not modern-day samurai?  But does that mean that once we've earned the right to wear the maltese cross on a T-shirt that we are inherently entitled to stop progressing or being conscious in our efforts to be better people?  The answer is a resounding ‘NO!”  We should be striving to earn that privilege every day! In today’s episode, I will talk about the importance of living by a code, I will go over the 8 virtues of Bushido (the code of the samurai) and how we can implement those things into our lives to become better firefighters and better people.
19:27
August 2, 2019
Episode 030 - Challenging the Status Quo
I talk a lot about the ‘status quo’ in this podcast and in the things that I write.  But what exactly does that mean? In this episode I talk about what the ‘status quo’ is, why it proposes a problem, why people are afraid to challenge it, and what WE can do to challenge it as agents of positive change.
16:13
July 26, 2019
Episode 029 - Sugar Detox
In a profession where our physical fitness can literally mean the difference between life and death, it’s critical for us to do what we can to stay in ideal physical shape.  We do that by working out, but one of the aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is to maintain a proper diet. In this episode, I’m going to review the elements of going on a sugar detox.  It’s something that you can do to help cut sugar from your diet and help you drop some lbs so that you can gain some momentum toward a healthier lifestyle.  Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily designed to be a sustainable way of life for us as firefighters, because we need carbs and sugars to perform many of the strenuous activities on a fireground.  However, this is simply a way to kickstart some good habits.
23:40
July 19, 2019
Episode 028 - Maintaining a Positive Attitude
When bad stuff happens, you’ve probably heard people say things like, “Look on the bright side!” or  “No rain, no rainbows!” and you might feel like punching that person in the face.  But, what if I told you that they’re onto something? Sometimes all you wanna do is break something or punch a hole in the wall, but in a career where your mentality plays a big part on your own personal well-being, we can’t afford NOT to maintain a positive attitude.  Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean to be unrealistic.  What it means is to seek out the positive in a crap situation.  And while you don’t have to shove that attitude down peoples’ throats, making them want to punch you, you CAN set the tone for yourself, your crew, and your patients; ultimately changing your mentality and environment for the better.
14:25
July 12, 2019
Episode 027 - Tips to Surviving Your First Year as a Firefighter
We've recently had some "probies" come out of their 16-week fire academy and we’ve been able to put eyes on them and see their personalities come out.  While in the academy, everything was regimented for them and planned out.  Now, they’re having to adapt to their crew, adapt to the interruption of emergency calls coming in, and adapt to the emergency situation itself.  It can be overwhelming at times… They may have been confident in the academy, but now that they are on the trucks, shift work will provide them with an entirely different environment when it comes to getting along with their crew, being adaptable, and knowing when to relax, if ever. I’ve got some friends who just got the call to start an academy soon.  So, I’ve decided to dedicate this episode to those who are about to start an academy, are currently in one, or have just come out of one and may be looking for some guidance or advice on things they can keep in mind in order to help them manage the first impressions they leave and build bonds with their crew.
20:59
July 5, 2019
Episode 026 - 8 Traits of Toxic Leadership
Firefighters are typically known for their physical strength, not necessarily their emotional strength.  When people stop to think about the job we do, they often realize just how much impact we absorb not only physically but mentally and especially emotionally. How many times do we hear members of our organizations say things like, “I come to work to relax and get away from the stress of home.”  For some, it IS a respite and sort of sanctuary.  Which, is sad to me, but it’s the truth for others. We spend one-third of our lives at the firehouse.  Our job is stressful enough.  So, when the relationships at work become a source of stress for people, that stress has a huge impact on our mental health. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the 8 traits of toxic leadership to avoid.  I’m taking this approach because if you know where the landmines are, then you can avoid stepping on them.  Also, the solutions to overcoming these traits will be unique to your organization.  So, I can identify the common problems, but it will be up to you & me to identify the unique solutions.
17:46
June 28, 2019
Episode 025 - The Need for Conflict
People hear the word “conflict” and often think of it as a negative word.  I would challenge that way of thinking.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that conflict on a crew or any team is a GOOD thing and very necessary. The fear of conflict is a dysfunction when it comes to building a productive and effective team. If something matters and you have a difference of opinion or perspective, it’s crucial to bring it up to the team so that the issue can be addressed. In this episode I’m going to talk about the need for conflict on a team and why it’s so crucial in order to achieve our fullest potential.
25:10
June 21, 2019
Episode 024 - Crew Builder
As we’ve become more and more disenfranchised as individuals within our organizations, we tend to retreat into our little caves which does nothing for us as fire crews.  Some people think that by sitting and watching TV together is adequate, but it doesn’t build true bonds of brotherhood.  Some people retreat into their rooms to avoid any contact due to discomfort.  With all the distractions in our lives, it’s more important now more than ever to be purposeful and focused on our relationships with our crew members. In this episode, I will introduce a brand new program that I will be hosting called CREW BUILDER.  During this 6-week program, we will focus on the active things that we can do on our end to build a stronger crew and exercise our leadership in creating the environment of true brotherhood that we desire.
10:05
June 14, 2019
Episode 023 - Becoming a Firefighter
Have you ever wondered what the process is to becoming a firefighter?  When I was starting out, I had no clue what I was doing or what the steps were that I needed to take.  I had to do a lot of footwork to gather information and understanding as to what it took to earn a career living my dream. In today's episode I take what I learned and share it with you.  This episode is dedicated to those who may be seeking a career with the fire service, but don't know where to start.  Grab a pen and paper and take notes!
19:25
June 7, 2019
Episode 022 - Servant Leadership
You may have heard the term “Servant Leadership” before. People talk about the different styles of leadership there are and servant leadership has been brought up many times lately in circles of conferences and presentations. But what does it look like and how can we become servant leaders? Today we explore what it means to be a servant-leader and how we can enact the principles of servant-leadership in our own lives.
20:56
May 31, 2019
Episode 021 - Be Unapologetically Selfish
In order to be able to take care of others, you must first take care of yourself.  This can be difficult for us as firefighters as it is in our nature to help others in need and oftentimes risk our own well-being for the sake of others.  However, if you’ve ever flown in a plane and listened to the pre-flight safety instructions, you’ll remember that if the cabin pressure drops and the oxygen masks drop down, you are instructed to put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST.  This is for good reason.  If you are incapacitated, then you become a part of the problem and are of no use to anyone. In this episode we talk about the importance of taking care of yourself first so that you can take care of those you serve.
13:15
May 24, 2019
Episode 020 - 5 Keys to Promoting Accountability
The entire plight of the IGNITEd movement is to challenge the status quo through self-improvement and accountability.  But how exactly does one take active steps toward accountability? When I say the “A-word”, people do one of two things; get quiet and change the subject OR they ask me what I mean by accountability.  Either way, it’s a HUGE red flag that lets me know that there is a severe lacking of accountability among the ranks.  Only through an established system of accountability will an organization thrive and fulfill its purpose and vision. In this episode we discuss 5 things that you can do to actively promote accountability within your organization and sphere of influence.
27:55
May 17, 2019
Episode 019 - Education vs Experience
I hear it argued all the time in the fire service; which is better to have, education or experience?  Aren't they BOTH a form of education?  Aren't they BOTH a form of experience?   In this episode we discuss how both are important and work in tandem and that there isn't one that is "better" than the other.  A well-rounded professional should have elements of BOTH!
17:41
May 10, 2019
Episode 018 - The Importance of a Tribe
When we think of the word TRIBE, we tend to think of indigenous people in a far off jungle.  But what does that word mean for us in modern society and is that a term or way of thinking that we need anymore? I would argue YES! In a world that continually sells independence and isolation, we are becoming less and less able to communicate with each other and more incapable of forming lasting and meaningful relationships. In this episode we talk about what a TRIBE is, why it is important for us today, and how we can incorporate a TRIBE mentality into our firehouses and organizations.
16:56
May 3, 2019
Episode 017 - Listen Up!
Everyone wants to feel like they've been heard.  Sometimes, that's all it takes to make the situation better.  As firefighters and EMS professionals, we sometimes get so focused on solving the problem that we forget to listen.  That tunnel vision bleeds into our personal lives and relationships. In this episode, we talk about how to recognize when we're doing that as well as some of the steps we can take to put a stop to it and and deepen our connections with the people we love and the people we serve by listening more.
20:18
April 26, 2019
Episode 016 - 3 Ways to Fight Biased Leaders
Every human being needs to feel like the person they are working for cares about them.  This is the only way to foster and maintain a healthy organization.  But what do you do when you are met with biased leaders who focus on things other than their employees, i.e. YOU?  Today we identify some of the biases we may be facing within our organizations as well as some methods we can use to challenge them and change the status quo.
21:52
April 19, 2019
Episode 015 - 5 Tools for Exercise Consistency
Consistency is CRUCIAL when working toward a goal you have set for yourself. Today I give you some tools that you can use to implement some consistency in your fitness goals. Take what we talk about today and apply it!
12:60
April 12, 2019
Episode 014 - Stress Management and the Tale of Two Wolves
Stress isn't unique to anyone on this planet. However, certain stressors are unique to those of us who are firefighters. Today we talk about those stressors and what we can do to manage them. I also share the tale of two wolves to help keep our stress management in perspective. --
23:23
April 5, 2019
Episode 013 - Having Vision
Vision without action is merely a dream. In this week's episode, learn what it means to have vision and the elements that will make that vision a reality!
21:49
March 29, 2019
Episode 012 - Fentanyl and Narcan Abuse
Fentanyl has been a hot topic lately as abuse of it is on the rise. But, how do we combat it? Are we abusing the systems in place to do so? Today we talk about Fentanyl and Narcan abuse.
16:53
March 22, 2019
Episode 011 - Mental Health in the Fire Service
Issues in addressing mental health are our biggest challenge in the fire service today. As suicide rates continue to climb, we can't afford to ignore it any longer. In today's episode we talk about mental health and what we can to do improve it.
19:02
March 15, 2019
Episode 010 - The Parable of the Oranges
Where do integrity and intent meet? I believe they go hand in hand. One must be intentional in order to have integrity. In this episode we discuss how by having intent in our actions, we can add value to the lives of those around us.
20:58
March 8, 2019
Episode 009 - The 4 Pillars of Wellness
This episode we dive into what I call the 4 Pillars of Welllness. These are the four areas that I personally use as focal points to make sure that I'm operating at my peak. By focusing on these areas, you can intentionally improve your life as well.
30:11
March 2, 2019
Episode 008 - Living in the Moment
Today we talk about how living in the moment can help you stay focused on the things that matter in the here and now. We also talk about how living in the past can bring you down and how fears of the future can paralyze you. When everything out there is trying to kill us, it's important we stay focused on the things that are happening in the moment.
21:24
February 22, 2019
Episode 007 - The Ideal Team Player
In this episode, we delve into the virtues that make an ideal team player. This helps us to identify our own weaknesses so we can strengthen our character and become the ideal team player that we'd want on our team. -- Download the Ideal Team Player Self Assessment HERE!
28:40
February 15, 2019
Episode 006 - The Four Agreements
In Episode 006 I discuss author Don Miguel Ruiz's book, "The Four Agreements". The focus on this is to help us be more conscious with our efforts when it comes to our personal mental health as well as the health of our interpersonal relationships.
17:16
February 8, 2019
Episode 005 - Productivity in Your Downtime
We all lead busy lives.  But how productive are we being?  And what's the difference between the two?  In this episode, we focus on the difference between being “busy” & being productive and I share some ways to help us focus on being productive with our time.
19:59
February 1, 2019
Episode 004 - Building Physical Strength
The fire service is looked at as a career where physically fit men and women are the standard, or they SHOULD be anyway.  In this episode we discuss how to build physical strength and why it’s so important within our community.
34:57
January 25, 2019
Episode 003 - Emotional Resilience
As first-responders we see a lot of bad things.  These things can have some devastating effects on our emotional well-being.  In this episode we discuss emotional resiliency, how crucial it is for our profession, and how we can build ourselves up to become more emotionally resilient.
19:34
January 18, 2019
Episode 002 - Organizational Health
We spend a lot of focus on our physical health within the fire service.  But how much time to we spend focusing on our organizational health? In this episode we talk about organizational health and how workplace toxicity dampens it. We also discuss some things we can do to battle workplace toxicity in efforts to create and ideal workplace.
14:13
January 11, 2019
Episode 001 - Introduction to IGNITEd
IGNITEd is a battalion of first-responders who challenge the status quo through a forum of self-improvement and accountability. This podcast is dedicated to anyone within the fire service community who are looking to level up and leave a legacy of strength and brotherhood.
24:43
January 4, 2019