If you’re a firefighter and love listening to podcasts (or are wanting to try out a podcast for the first time), this post is for you. Between firefighting, training, family, volunteering, working a second job, continuing education, or just dealing with the everyday hectic-ness of life in general, many firefighters find it challenging to stay up to date with the latest trends in the fire service. But, as some of you may already know, listening to podcasts is a great way to multitask and consume useful content about the industry while on the move – whether it’s while you’re working out, driving to work, or getting in a little bit of relaxation time at home.
We’ve put together a list of our top firefighting-related podcasts that are insightful, entertaining, and that anyone in the fire service would enjoy. Check them out (in no particular order) below:
IGNITEd Firefighter Podcast, hosted by Ryan Rodriquez, is a brotherhood of firefighters who challenge the status quo through self-improvement and accountability. The podcast sheds light on the issues facing us today and provides some strategies to help manage those challenges.
According to Rodriquez, the IGNITEd movement is all about being your best self and taking care of your mind and body. “We become stronger as we build each other, but we must first make sure that we are taking care of ourselves. Otherwise, we can’t take care of those we are sworn to serve,” he said.
The Average Jake Firefighter Podcast brings you an uncensored view of the fire service through the eyes of a guy who is running the line, making the back steps, and pumping and blowing. This podcast welcomes discussion on all fire service topics with very little moderation. According to the host “I have felt for a long time that while you can respect your department and the fire service, you did not give up your right to opinion and comment by joining the fire service; some however would like to take this away from you.”
Average Jake Firefighter is a podcast for every firefighter, from the probie to the experienced chief officer. This podcast presents training topics for discussion, drills to take to your department, fire service updates, and reviews of everything from fire service literature to fire apparatus and everything in between, all from the eyes of “The Average Jake.”
Scott Hewlett, a 22-year, second-generation firefighter working for a department in Southern Ontario, Canada, started this podcast because he wanted to provide a conduit for the people within his own department and others to tell their stories. The podcast discusses the how and why of each guest’s journey to the job, what challenges they have faced overall and how they made it through them, the struggles they see for our service, as well as what keeps them inspired and motivated.
Hewlett says, “When I first joined, we were a lot smaller and the senior firefighter on the truck with me for my first shift had been on longer than I had been alive. Outside of what he and many others taught me about the job, he recommended that I start a journal of all the calls and happenings around the hall so that one day I’d have the makings of a book. I took his advice and this journal has come to remind me that there are stories to tell and we all carry them – about us as individuals, as crews, as platoons, and as a department. The wisdom and instruction about how to do the job are crucial, but the experiences and stories also help to shape our character and our fire family as a whole. Stories are important. Through storytelling, we find comfort in what connects us and expand our minds through our differences.”
Fit to Fight Fire presents Lead Yourself, a podcast geared toward the growth of firefighters in the fitness and leadership realms. Hosts John Spera, Tom Johnson, and Craig Stalowy discuss a variety of topics and ask the listener: “Would you want you rescuing you?”
Spera and Johnson started the “Lead Yourself” podcast in 2017 because “we felt we were consuming a lot of leadership material that focused on leading others but not much on leading yourself. The personal ownership and accountability that a leader must have to be successful needs to be present in his/her personal life first. Our goal has been to promote an all-encompassing mindset that focuses on purpose while at the same time sticking to our lifestyle priorities of Faith – Family – Fire.”
According to the two, “One of the most unexpected benefits of producing our podcast has been the positive feedback we have received from those inside and outside of the fire service. To hear from firefighters saying that we helped them change the trajectory of their careers or personal lives, or even in extreme cases, to hear from individuals that say our mental health episodes (PTSD, addictions, and/or suicide) saved their lives, has been humbling.”
Down TO FIGHT FIRE (DTFF): THE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER PODCAST:
This podcast allows you to listen in on a group of volunteer firefighters as they discuss the ups and downs of the job, firefighter tactics, training, and tips, and how they stay “DTFF.”
According to the group, “There seemed to be a lot of content discussing career departments, but we noticed a fairly large gap in information for volunteer departments. Having a little different view and looking at topics from a volunteer perspective is something that sets our podcast apart from the rest.
“We try to shy away from the dry, standards-based podcasts that we found coming before us. We put our focus on the REAL-WORLD solutions we have found, what works for us, and what could potentially work for our listeners.” The podcast is meant to be something that any firefighter, or even non-firefighter, can relate to. The group added, “By sharing our experiences we hope that it may help other Fire Departments in creating what works for them to help bring everyone home safe.”
The NFPA Podcast is the place for safety professionals to stay up to speed on the fast-paced world of electrical, fire, and life safety. It features in-depth conversations with people out in the field and subject matter experts (including code officials, electricians, facility managers, inspectors, builders, firefighters, etc.) who discuss how they are confronting new challenges and staying on top of emerging technologies to keep the world safe. New episodes of the NFPA Podcast are available on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
The NFPA Podcast replaces their previous podcast, NFPA Journal Podcast. According to the NFPA, “The new podcast follows the same journalistic style that was employed by the former NFPA Journal Podcast but delves further into emerging issues and trending topics by featuring more voices from diverse professionals from around the globe.”
Presented by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and FirefighterSkills.com, After The Fire (ATF) is a new podcast dedicated to the remembrance of fallen firefighters and the comprehensive review of Line of Duty Deaths (LODDs) and near misses, intimately reliving the LODD experience through interviews of the boots on the ground and the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) connected to the incident. The goal of the podcast is to reduce the number of fire ground fatalities by helping others to learn from the unintended outcomes of our industry’s LODDs. After The Fire podcast is hosted by Jon Nelson, president of Firefighterskills.com.
Code 3 – The Firefighters’ Podcast is “a podcast for and about firefighters.” Code 3 is hosted by award-winning journalist Scott Orr, who has covered Fire, EMS, and Police-related topics for most of his 30-plus year career. In this podcast, Scott talks with members of the fire service, from chiefs to probies, about new tactics, new equipment and apparatus, and issues that concern firefighters, as well as interviews fire service leaders on issues that concern firefighters around the nation.
Orr says the podcast is not only for firefighters. “anyone who wants to learn more about what this career field involves and how the job is done may want to listen,” he said.
The Firefighter Training Podcast, hosted by Chief Peter Lamb, is designed for firefighters who are interested in training, firefighter safety, current events, and advancing their careers.
Chief Lamb, a 35-year veteran of the fire service, has led three suburban fire departments and has served in multiple capacities at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (including serving as the director of state training). He has authored articles for periodicals and has lectured nationally on a variety of topics including tactics, incident command, training, and operations. His Firefighter Training Podcast is highly rated on Apple Podcasts. Listener Kms126 said, “I highly recommend for any goal-oriented firefighter working towards being a leader and setting an example in the firehouse. Chief Lamb provides the wisdom to stay motivated and the necessary tools for personal growth. Keep a notebook close by.” Listener IdahoFFMedic208 commented, “His topics, guests, and leadership segments are unparalleled, and this podcast is a must-listen for those looking to improve themselves and their fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service.”
Fire Engineering Magazine has been devoted to the training interests of firefighters since 1877. Their podcast includes a lineup of episodes featuring hosts from around the fire service. Listen to this podcast to keep up with the latest news, techniques, products, training, and more to make you safer and more effective on the fire ground.
One listener commented, “This is a great show with tons of content for anyone interested in supplementing their learning in the fire service.” Another fan of the podcast said, “The content of this show is second to none.”