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.
To handle the stress when you get home, it is important to find healthy and effective outlets to destress. Exercise, engaging with your kids and openmindedness to taking medication are just some of the ways to manage stress. Your goal should be to remain 3/4 full and be okay with that. Transcript: "So how do I handle the stress when I get home? I think you have to understand that you're not going to be perfect at this. And not being perfect at being able to handle stress and being able to find the best way is something that is hard for first responders' minds to be able to wrap around because we are always that first responder thinking of, here's the problem, here's the solution, let's move on. And so when you're dealing with stress, it's so important to have your way of figuring out what it's going to be, whether it's exercise. I use exercise, but when I was injured, I wasn't able to use exercise, so I used something that was not as good, it was eating. And so trying to figure out better, more healthy ways of doing work around the house, being engaged in your kid's life, there's so many different things that we can utilize to help with our stress. Sometimes it is medication that you need, and being open to being able to take that is probably one of the bigger things. And for me, it's been a lot of different things that I've had to utilize, and that's okay. And making sure that your ultimate goal is to be that three-quarters full person and be okay with that."
Celebrating success is not always easy and sometimes we can look like we are celebrating, but inwardly we may be feeling anxious about what comes next. Success isn't about reaching the finish line - it's about enjoying the journey and being appreciative of what you have been able to achieve. Be satisfied with your accomplishments, but also stay hungry for more. Transcript: "You know, this is one of those things that when you celebrate successes, and it's not an easy thing to do, and sometimes you can outwardly look like you're celebrating or outward look like you're really excited about the success, but inwardly you're going, well, that challenge is over, so now what am I going to do? What am I going to do with myself? And did I set that goal too low? Is there more possibility out there? So I think there's a lot of room for us to understand that when we look at finish lines, and I always tell people, when you look at finish lines, they aren't the end. They're just the beginning of something new. And a lot of people say that that's, well, you're not enjoying the success. It's like, yes, I am enjoying the success of a continued journey. And that's the way I look at things is that success and victories and being able to make sure that you understand that the journey of life is what you're on. And every single day that you get to wake up, every single day that you get to enjoy what you love to do, that is a celebration. And so make sure that you are constantly, constantly being appreciative of the journey. And don't look at all the finish lines, look at what's next, maybe. Be satisfied, but be hungry."
I would use my free time to work on my empathy and become more sympathetic to other people's issues and struggles. Transcript: "If time were no issue, what skill or characteristic would you work on more? I think mine, I would work on empathy. One of the things throughout my career, I think I've decreased my empathy, and not only at work, but at home. And so I think if I had, if time were no issue, I would definitely try to work on my empathy and become more sympathetic to other people's issues and sympathetic to huge tragedies don't have to be what debilitates people or what people go through for struggles and understand that other people's challenges and struggles are theirs and to what degree they find that difficult, that needs to be something that you're aware of. So I think that would be the biggest characteristic that I work on."
I started to seek support after I hit a low point and realized that I wasn't functioning as well as I wanted to. It took me some time to find the right person to help me, but I eventually did take the initiative to admit that it was okay to not be okay and seek out the support I needed. Transcript: "This is a great question. When in your career did you start to seek support? Do you think it was after you should have? Oh, completely it was after I should have. I think I started to seek support when I started to go downhill. I think there was a lot of years where I didn't really know who I was. I think I hit a lot of things really, really well and seeking support wasn't really that, it wasn't in the forefront of my mind. It wasn't something, I didn't think I had a problem because this is just what it was. And you know hearing from other people when I was, after I came back from September 11th that man you're different or something was different that, that triggered something but it didn't trigger something soon enough. And I think I had to get to a point where I didn't see myself as being functional. I didn't see myself as being the person that I wanted to be to be able to get to that point to ask for help. And even when I did ask for help it was, it took many different attempts to find the right person to be able to help me. And it took me really taking the initiative to admit that it's okay to not be okay. I know a lot of people say that but that's so valuable to try to find that and seek that support that you need."
Fire engines and fire trucks are dispatched along with ambulances to medical calls because they can provide more support quicker and more efficiently. Transcript: "Yeah, so this is actually pretty common question. We get asked because people don't understand why fire engine or fire truck are coming with the ambulance. Well, in the city that I work in, we are all EMTs and then we have our paramedics and we want to get our closest rig there, within five minutes for medical call and so we can paramedics and give Advanced life support where we can give the emergency basic life support. And the biggest thing is that we To have a lot of hands there if we have something that's really serious, but at the same point we want to get there quickly efficiently. And that's what we have. Both a fire engine or a fire truck and an ambulance coming to most all medical calls"
My dad's best advice is to control the controllables. This means that instead of worrying about things we can't change, focus on what we can do to make our situation better. Transcript: "Great question. What the best advice I've ever received is and it's really comes from my dad, control the controllables. And it's such a powerful statement that and it's so simple in the same respect of control what you can control in life and that helps to alleviate some of the stress that surrounds you because when you look at a situation or when you look at a problem or you look at something that is challenging you and you look at from a perspective of is this something that I can lead or is this something that I can change in my own way. If you can't it's outside of your purview and the more that you bang your head against the wall the more that you try and try again maybe it's something that you'll never be able to control. So understand in life there are certain things that you can control so manage the controllables. Such a great piece of advice from my dad."