I'm a 23 year, second-generation Firefighter working for a Department in Southern Ontario, Canada, with around 400 suppression personnel, 13 stations and 18 apparatus. I spent the first half of my career at a Technical Rescue station, six years working as a primary care medic, 3 years instructing as a Fire Training Officer, and had the honour and pleasure of co-leading our Peer Support Team for over a decade.
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. He was right, but unfortunately, of all the things I heeded and applied, that wasn't one of them. The point being, 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 story-telling, we find comfort in what connects us and expand our minds through our differences.
I've come late to the party when it comes to podcasts. A move in the summer of 2017 that involves an hour plus commute, opened up the opportunity to fill that time with some quality content. I've been inspired by a number of podcasts and listed the fire-related ones on the Multiple Calls Website in the Resources section along with books, Facebook pages, websites, literature, and videos. You can also find a running list of those in the Fire Service at large that deserve our respect and acknowledgment for their efforts to keep us grounded and progressing, in the Credits section. Please message me if you want me to add someone.
We get to know each other very well in this line of work. From all that we experience together, we create strong bonds, and we use deeply meaningful words like Family and Brotherhood to describe them. As shift schedules, generations, where we choose to live, our societal norms, and the size of our departments change, our view of the importance and tradition of the Fire Service Family and Brotherhood can be challenged, strained and at risk of being lost. This would be incredibly sad, tragic, and detrimental. We need to continue to invest in each other and learn and participate in each other's stories.
This podcast has come about because I wanted to provide a conduit for the great people within our own department and others to tell their stories. We will be talking about 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 and their ideas on how each of us can help ground and progress the job, as well as what keeps them inspired and motivated. You will be getting to know your family better.
'Multiple Calls' is a phrase that catches a Firefighter's attention because it signifies that there is a strong possibility that what we are responding to is legitimate and will require us to be at our best. It is also what experience is made of. We're going to be at our best to capture your attention with legitimate stories and enrich our experience of this unique and amazing job.
Multiple Calls Episode 34 - Jess Clermont
Jess Clermont has been a Firefighter with Toronto Fire Services since 2008. She received a full athletic scholarship to Niagara University for Hockey, has coached Team Ontario Women’s Lacrosse, and was a member of the National Champion Toronto Women’s and Tandem Firefit teams. in addition to being a RIT, and High-Rise Ops Instructor for TFS, she instructs for the Centennial and Fleming College Firefighter Pre-Service Programs and received the 2019 Fire Service Women of Ontario Trailblazer award. Her favourite weapons are halligan bars and hockey sticks, and she has 3 dogs, 2 cats and, 1 human.
Multiple Calls Episode 33 - Andrew Gould
Andrew has been part of the Fire Service for over 16 years, from his local volunteer station in Nova Scotia to work as a Military Firefighter across the country, to his current role as a Training Captain with Brampton Fire. Throughout his career, he has strived to be a good leader, team member and friend by applying his personal ethos of accountability and ownership.
Multiple Calls Episode 32 - Aaron Quinn
Aaron grew up and lives in Oakland, California and has worked the east end since his career began in 2002. He is currently the Senior Firefighter on B shift at station 18.
For as long as he can remember, he has been passionate about fitness, overall health and wellness and general optimization and human potential. Over the years, he has been seeking the unification of mind, body, soul/spirit to achieve peak performance through all aspects of his life. He has found tremendous joy in passing on what he has learned to others. In 2007 he was asked to train all of Oakland Fire’s new recruits in physical fitness. He has since trained over 150 firefighters in over 15 different academies.
Over the 13 years, he has developed a unique system of fire ground fitness and longevity for firefighters, focusing on Connection, Passion, Strength and Fuel. He dives deep into his 4 pillars, exploring breath, mental performance, learning, the what, when, and how of diet, positive psychological, injury prevention, and of course exercise.
Currently, the Wim Hof Method has reshaped his belief in what is possible for human existence. Melding his experience on duty and off, from the pools of my youth to the gyms of my yesterday, to the mats (jiu-jitsu AND yoga) of today, and all my futures--from my life as a Father and Husband-- He wishes to share the tools, tricks, and tips that help him. He offers to all, his lessons and failures, triumphs and losses, so we may learn and grow stronger.
Multiple Calls Episode 31 - Ryan Gallagher
Ryan Gallagher is a father, a husband, and a firefighter. He is a member of the City of Burlington Peer Support program and has helped raise more than $80,000 for charities in his community. He attends the Professional Addiction Studies program at McMaster University with the goal to better recognize and understand people’s struggles so he can give them better support, on the job and in his everyday life.
He has had his own struggles — He lost his father when he was 16 and used alcohol to help him cope. Through his own journey, he discovered the importance of opening up about his problems and how speaking with many people around him that are dealing with similar struggles can go a long way in helping one overcome life’s challenges and become a stronger person.
Ryan produces and hosts the Mental Edge Lifestyle Podcast that offers honest conversations about mental health. Episodes feature those that have overcome mental health issues sharing their stories and experts from around the world discussing subjects like addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), financial stress, the mind-body connection, and the importance of sleep and fitness. The goal of the podcast is to give the tools and resources required to maintain a healthy mind and body to allow people to operate at peak performance for whatever life demands of them.
Multiple Calls Episode 30 - Dena Ali
Dena Ali is a Captain with the Raleigh (NC) Fire Department where she has worked her way up the ranks. She previously served as a police officer for five years. Ali has a degree from North Carolina State University and an MPA from the University of North Carolina—Pembroke, where her research focused on firefighter suicide. As a graduate student, she was awarded the 2018 MPA student of the year. She has also received several awards throughout her career. One that she is most proud of is the NC Office of State Fire Marshal Honor, Courage, and Valor award that she earned in 2018 for her steadfast effort to bring awareness to firefighter mental health through her vulnerability. Dena is an advocate of awareness, education, and understanding of mental health disorders and suicidality. She speaks locally and nationally on these topics and is a QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructor. She has written several articles on topics such as suicide prevention, peer support, wellness, and post-traumatic stress. Dena is the founder and director of North Carolina Peer Support where she helped to develop their statewide curriculum. She is also a founding member of the Carolina Brotherhood, a group of cyclists/firefighters in North Carolina who honour the fallen and their families annually.
Multiple Calls Episode 29 - Mahlon Johnson
Mahlon Joined the Navy in 2003 as a Hospital Corpsman stationed at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda MD. He received orders to Iraq where he was assigned to 18th Battalion 7th Brigade Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq. Located in the city of Fallujah on March 2005, he was the only medical provider for this battalion. After 6 months, he returned home and finished off the remainder of his contract at The Basic School in Quantico VA discharging Feb. 2010.
Transitioning back to civilian life isn’t easy and he was no exception. He reached points in his life where suicide became an option. His wife tried to understand but was left with no other option but to threaten to kick him out. He was lost between who I use to be and what I had become. He found a combat support group in Fredericksburg VA and after a few months, he accepted a full-time job as a Veteran Peer Specialist for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP). Over the course of 5 years, he worked with Veterans from all eras to provide them with various resources through local, state, and/or non-profit organizations. Through this he was able to find his purpose again. The group became largest support group in the state. Mahlon trained other Peer Specialists and helped organize their support groups to include the programs first Family Support Group.
Responsible for hundreds of square miles tracking veterans down, he worked with local law enforcement, Community Services Boards, VFW’s, American Legions, local churches, and Congressman Rob Wittman and Governor Bob McDonnell on Veteran related issues throughout the state.
After completing his EMT training he landed his career job with Fauquier County in January of 2017. He currently leads their Peer Support Team.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fantastic host, guests and conversation. Learn so many things to learn in every single episode. Thank you for the great resource!
Every person that comes on the podcast brings something different to the table. Love listening to this podcast!
Great podcast! Awesome to listed to fellow firefighters who are truly passionate about the job.