“You’re supposed to be the person that shows up and makes things better, and it’s pretty hard to make things better if you’re struggling yourself.” – Chief David
First responders’ coping mechanisms are often instituted over years of service, with each call serving as another brick in the wall they build to divide the life-changing trauma they’ve witnessed from their ability to work their next shift and operate in the normalcy of life outside the station walls. When there is a culture that prevents open discussions around the job they do and the impact it has, first responders can become further entrenched in behaviors that attempt to deny or conceal mental health issues like PTSD.
Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein for the final episode of season four with David, a Navy veteran and retired battalion chief who spent 23 years in the fire service. David shares how following in his father’s footsteps led him down his chosen career path, how losing his younger brother called him to serve with greater empathy and understanding, and the work it took to come to terms with his PTSD and seek the help he needed. A best-selling author and professional speaker, he works as a coach and mentor to help others see how their failures can serve as an opportunity to “refine instead of define” them.
To learn more about David’s work, purchase his book, Fireproof: Your Grand Strategy for Transforming Failure into Fuel for Your Future, or listen to his podcast, From Embers to Excellence, click here.
Thank you for your support of season four! From the guests who courageously share their stories, to the listeners who tune in every week, and the sponsors who see and support the value of transparent dialogue surrounding first responders’ experiences and mental health, you are all important members of the Stories From the Road community, and we can’t wait to have you join us for season five in 2023!