Fireman Rob is an inspiring storyteller and impact leader. He is a speaker, trainer, competes in Ironman races in 50 lbs. of firefighter gear, breaks World Records, and delivers bears to children in hospitals. He has worked with Fortune companies, community groups, and colleges, including 3M, US Bank, Southwest Airlines, ATF, Timex, USA Triathlon, and Kraft. His presentations focus on overcoming adversity and discovering purpose. He encourages people to build mental strength and become better leaders.
I think one of the best courses to teach in the fire service would be mindset, which is understanding the different mindsets people have when they go into stressful and challenging environments, and how they can adapt it to the moment. It's also important to learn from others, so that you can have a better mindset in the future, regardless of physical limitations or environments that you haven't been in before. Transcript: "I think one of the best courses that I would love to be able to teach in the fire service would be mindset because you can work on mindset in so many different ways from going on a medical call to just being at the firehouse and leaving the firehouse to being on extrication, being on a fire, being on a writ company. There's so many different, it's not a standard mindset that you have to have. Yes, we all have the drive to be able to help others. We all have kind of a crazy side to us to be able to go into these austere environments. But I think it's so important to understand the distinction of the different mindsets when you go into these stressful, challenging environments and how you can adapt it when you're in the moment. And not all of us have the same strengths and weaknesses when we look at mindsets. And so that's, I think, a powerful course that would help a lot of people understand how some people approach things differently than themselves, but at the same time, how they can take little things away from other people to make their mindset better, not just now, but into the future when maybe your physical limitations come into play or there's an environment that you've never been in. So dynamic career, and it's so important to always be learning and always be understanding what other people are doing."
The best way to prepare for natural disasters and large-scale emergencies is by training to the nth degree and being prepared for the unknown. Additionally, it is important to rely on each other as a team during these challenging times. Transcript: "So this this question is great because it's just like a pro athlete. It's just like going to an office or it's just like going in for a test the way that we prepare for natural disasters. And large-scale, emergencies is the preparation that we do in training. So that the specialty, the, the repetition that we do in training, I was on the rapid intervention team and you can't prepare for all of the dynamic situations and the large scale that you can Encompass. And for myself, at 23 going to September 11th, and being a tunnel, rat, and doing search and Recovery, you can't prepare yourself for that. But what you can prepare yourself to do is be able to adapt and be flexible and those situations. And that's really what natural disasters and large-scale emergencies. You see people doing amazing things and 9/11, it was, you know, Steel. Workers going into tunnels and cutting off rebar, so that you could tunnel farther. The biggest thing that I would say that it to ensure that we're prepared is we train to the nth degree, we're prepared to be prepared for the unknown and also at the same time as a team. We rely on each other, to pick us up in those times when we need it, the most"
When working with a career fire department, it is important to start from the ground up and make sure that the individuals on the front lines have what they need to be successful. When dealing with volunteer fire departments, it is important to think about what the individuals in the community need to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently. Transcript: "It's a great question because when you work with a career Department, it's different than a volunteer department. And with career departments, we always have to work with the budget that the city brings down. And the biggest thing that you have to really look at, when you look at the demands of the department is start from the ground up. I'm a front line worker. I've been a fireman for sin for over 20 years and so understanding that those demands need to be met first because those rigs in the tools don't work without those individuals. Having what they need to be able to succeed. Same applies. Actually when you go to the volunteer departments and you think about what you need to have for individuals who are working within your community and living within your community, to be able to respond at a moment's notice to emergencies within that community. And I think that's always going to be a struggle in the fire service and as we see our numbers kind of dwindled down, it's looking at at the demands are stressful on the individuals themselves and as the budgets get smaller, you need to look at the basics of what you need to succeed and continue to succeed and at the same time, lift up the individuals that are helping to create a better community."
To support and mentor other firefighters, the most important thing is to be a team and provide a support network. Having mentors that can be counted on any time of day is critical for all emergency responders. Transcript: "Is it great question in, how do you support and Mentor your other firefighters and other personnel? And I think the biggest thing is that to be a team, a brother and a sister, who is the biggest thing for the fire service? Because when we go through calls, it's not, we are constantly adapting and changing our training, but yet at the same point, the existing things that we've learned from fires from medical calls from emergencies dealing with natural disasters. Us to God forbid. Anything that deals with like human tragedies as far as terrorism. I think we've learned that being able to support and Mentor your other firefighters in situations that not only deal with in the moment. But after the moment because those are one of the hardest situations to understand. Because a lot of the things that go on within the fire service and scenes and calls is something that we're not going to understand. And why they happened and making sure that there's a support network. Making sure that, you know, each individual, make sure to have a mentor or somebody that they can count on any time of the day. That is so critical for firefighters. Medics police, anybody?"
The biggest challenge in the fire service is tying everything together and identifying with the fire service as part of oneself. Academies and schools do a great job teaching students about the fire service, but there is still an opportunity to grow and move forward. Transcript: "I think when you look at the challenges and opportunities in the fire service, I think there's a lot of it stems to the individuals, the people and when you look at that from a perspective it's the physicality of it, the the mental components and then tying it all together is the biggest thing. I think that a lot of the academies and a lot of the schools do a great job with teaching the students about the fire service. I think it's tying everything back in together, that is the biggest Last challenge of the fire service and we've always had that challenge. I mean a lot of people will go through their careers and and they have great careers but it's when I'm done with that because a lot of us identify with the fire service as us and I think that's one of the bigger things is to identify that and figure out how to move forward. There's a lot of opportunities to be able to grow and I think we can all do it together."
Accountability and professionalism among firefighters should come from the top down, including senior firefighters and chiefs. This will ensure that all firefighters are accountable to each other and to the fire service as a whole. This will also help to ensure that they are delivering the necessary information in dynamic situations. Transcript: "So I think when you look at conflict and challenges within like stations or within a department and promote that accountability and professionalism, I think it starts from the top it starts from your senior. Firefighters it starts from your senior Chiefs, things like that. I think if they show the professionalism and accountability that they're looking for as well as you know, the accountability and professionalism also tie into how well, you know, your job. And that's a key aspect of being able to not just keep the information that you have to yourself but to be able to deliver that information to others. That's being accountable to not only your department but to the fire service in general because all situations in the fire, service are Dynamic and we reach in have individual experiences in different ways. And this is a way to continue to have be accountable to the next generation of firefighters."