65 episodes

Camaraderie. Courage. Commitment. Join host and former firefighter/paramedic Phil Klein as he delves into the heroic and heartbreaking stories told directly by the men and women who work the front lines every day. Whether you’re a first responder or simply interested in the lives of first responders, Stories From the Road presents a captivating, weekly perspective into the unique world of public service as only those who have experienced it can share.

Stories From the Road: First Responder Stories Phil Klein

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 81 Ratings

Camaraderie. Courage. Commitment. Join host and former firefighter/paramedic Phil Klein as he delves into the heroic and heartbreaking stories told directly by the men and women who work the front lines every day. Whether you’re a first responder or simply interested in the lives of first responders, Stories From the Road presents a captivating, weekly perspective into the unique world of public service as only those who have experienced it can share.

    Former Deputy Bridget - "Harassment"

    Former Deputy Bridget - "Harassment"

    “I never reported the things that were happening to me. I wanted so bad for people to respect me as a deputy sheriff, as an operator, as a narcotics investigator, and I realized that it was just not gonna happen.” – Former Deputy Bridget.

    Serving as a law enforcement officer inherently brings its own set of challenges and, for the 13 percent of full-time law enforcement officers who are female, those challenges can multiply quickly. As Bridget found, both men and women affected by harassment often feel as though their world is crashing down, and it can be difficult to know how to address and solve the problem. Victims may question their own sanity, lack needed resources and departmental support, and when they do report an incident, find themselves subject to retaliation and further mistreatment.

    Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he sits down with Former Deputy Bridget, who went to the police academy the week after she graduated from college. In her four-and-a-half-year career, she worked in patrol as well as on the SWAT team and the narcotics and organized crime unit. While she can say with confidence that she chose her career in law enforcement, it took her longer to adjust to her role afterward as an attorney. What she did know was that she wanted to help first responders in a different capacity by providing legal guidance, helping them understand their rights, and, when necessary, effectively building the case for a lawsuit.

    If you need legal assistance, please contact Bridget at Lady Law Shield.

    That’s a wrap for the sixth season of Stories From the Road! Thank you so much for listening and sharing your stories with us. If you enjoy this podcast, please take a moment to give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or whichever platform you use to listen. We look forward to hearing more of your Stories From the Road in 2024!
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    • 29 min
    PFC Murph - "Leaving the Job Behind"

    PFC Murph - "Leaving the Job Behind"

    “I made the conscious decision that I wanted to put my family first, and that is – it’s so important in our profession that you do that, because you need to give your best at home and, you know, do your best to leave work at work, because your family at home needs you. When people said, ‘Oh, you’re crazy! You’re leaving all that money on the table – you’re leaving all that!’ I said, ‘You know what, I never had it. […] I’m taking a sure thing right now so I can go home and be with my family.’” – PFC Murph 

    It was a “fleabag-type” motel – the kind of place where, if you were looking for trouble, you were guaranteed to find it. In the early hours of a Saturday morning in April 2001, PFC Murph rolled into that motel parking lot on a routine patrol. What he found, was a suspicious number of out of state plates but, after running the tags and observing the cars’ contents, he found nothing out of the ordinary – nothing that prompted further action. It wasn’t until he received a call from the FBI six months later, that he realized his suspicions were valid, and the “digital breadcrumbs” he’d left by checking the plates had provided agents insight about the 9/11 hijackers’ behavior.   

    Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he sits down with PFC Murph, a retired law enforcement officer of 20 years, who served in roles ranging from school resource officer and PIO to crime prevention specialist and officer. He shares how sometimes it’s the run-of-the-mill days, like running license plates in a motel parking lot, that come with the most unexpected endings. He discusses his decision to retire early in order to be with his family, the importance of putting family first, and the necessity of leaving work at work. 

    Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to tune in next week for the final episode of season six. Please take a moment to give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or whichever platform you use to listen. 
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    • 27 min
    Coordinator Mindy - "The Derecho"

    Coordinator Mindy - "The Derecho"

    “And the instant thought I had was, ‘I hope we don’t have catastrophic injuries. I hope we don’t have any deaths, because we are now on an island. The people to the west of us are being hit by this, people to the east of us are gonna be hit by this. To the south, to the north - they’re all being hit by this. We are on our own.’” – Coordinator Mindy

    It’s been three years since the derecho swept through Iowa and, although the days following have since become a blur, Mindy vividly remembers the storm itself: the sickly green color of the sky, the tumbling temperature, and the pieces of corrugated steel peeling from the rooftops around her before becoming airborne. She also remembers the urgency of her work: the warning calls made to the communities in her jurisdiction, the reassurance delivered to coworkers with a calm she did not necessarily feel herself, and the focus brought to a flustered fire department.

    Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein, as he sits down with the podcast’s first emergency manager, Coordinator Mindy, who has spent 22 years in public service. Mindy discusses the work involved before, during, and after the derecho, how her concentration on the 17,000 people in her service area left her temporarily forgetting to take care of herself, and the important steps communities can take to make sure they are prepared for wind and weather disasters.

    Thank you for listening! If you have a first responder story to share, please visit www.storiesfromtheroadpodcast.com to learn more about how you can be a guest on an upcoming episode. 





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    • 28 min
    CO Wayne - "Career Ending"

    CO Wayne - "Career Ending"

    “It was a hard pill to swallow. And […] it was one of these deals that if you was gonna retire, you know, you got that retirement date, you go have your little retirement party and everybody pats you on the back. You get that proverbial gold watch and everything, you know, ‘Good job!’ and, you know, ‘Enjoy your retirement.’ And, like I say, I walked in the door […] that day and people never seen me again. I never walked back in the door.” – CO Wayne
    It wasn’t Wayne’s plan to work in corrections but, once he started, he found quickly that he had a passion for it. In a career that spanned nearly two decades across multiple states and levels of security, he prided himself on being firm, fair, and objective. He especially enjoyed his work in transportation, which included getting inmates to everything from surgeries to court hearings, and it was a role from which he assumed he would retire – until an icy January morning changed everything.

    Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with friend and guest Corrections Officer Wayne, who recalls the accident that ended his career. While transporting two inmates to a court hearing, the van Wayne was riding in hit a patch of black ice and barrel rolled, leaving the van’s passengers trapped inside. After sustaining knee, back, and shoulder injuries as well as a concussion, what he originally thought would merely delay his return to work until the following Monday resulted in extensive physical therapy and surgeries and prevented him from ever stepping foot inside the prison again.

    Don’t forget! If you’re enjoying Stories From the Road, please take a moment to give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or whichever platform you use to listen. Visit www.storiesfromtheroadpodcast.com for more content. 
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    • 21 min
    Captain Kara - "Fire and Life Safety"

    Captain Kara - "Fire and Life Safety"

    “I don’t care how long anybody has been doing this – when you hear that, it just creates something in you that is almost a feral response. You know, I don’t think that it’s something that you can even control – even if you are the most calm, salty, old-school firefighter and you’ve done it a thousand times – when you hear that, it just creates a reaction in you that’s just visceral.” – Captain Kara

    The fire department’s alert system sliced through the previously quiet night, and Kara was jarred awake by an incomparable rush of adrenaline. A structure fire had been reported in rural Upstate New York by a neighbor, and she immediately knew there was a lot working against them, including time, distance, and water supply. Although they were racing through the inky darkness, from the back seat Kara felt like they were crawling, and she could only think about how far ahead of them the fire must be and the need to get to the people reportedly trapped inside.

    Join former firefighter/paramedic and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with Captain Kara, the first female officer in her fire department’s 213-year history. Kara discusses her work that spans what she calls the “best of both worlds.” Not only does she perform the hands-on work necessary to combat structural fires as a volunteer firefighter, but she also utilizes data as a fire and life safety educator and juvenile firefighter intervention specialist to understand how people are getting injured in relation to fire emergencies. Ultimately, she hopes to reduce the number of people injured or killed by fire and burn-related emergencies. 

    In addition to her career and volunteer work, Kara also owns St. Florian Fitness. Her goal is to reduce line of duty deaths related to poor cardiac health. You can learn more about Kara’s work by visiting her organization’s Instagram page: St. Florian Fitness.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of Stories From the Road! Please take a moment to give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or whichever platform you use to listen. If you’d like more content, or to learn about opportunities to be a guest on the show, visit www.storiesfromtheroadpodcast.com. 
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    • 38 min
    Paramedic Josh - "Eleven Patients and No Help"

    Paramedic Josh - "Eleven Patients and No Help"

    “You know we asked – I asked – ‘Hey, if you can send anybody from that other service we can get some mutual aid, and then if you can clear anybody out [of] the hospital, we have multiple children kind of on the ground ejected from a vehicle,’ and we – I – knew it was serious.” – Paramedic Josh

    A sea of red taillights laid out before them, Josh and his colleague quickly realized that the New Orleans East interstate – usually humming with traffic – had turned into a haphazard parking lot. They had been given minimal information about the motor vehicle accident they were approaching, but rather than wait for the ambulance to navigate the maze of cars, Josh decided to make the rest of the trek to the scene on foot. He'd hoped to find a run-of-the-mill fender bender at the end of his half-mile journey, but his arrival brought something far worse: a nightmarish scene comprised of a severely damaged minivan, 11 children in various states of injury, and absolutely no help. 

    Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with Josh, a quality manager and critical care paramedic, who shares a story from early in his career. Josh and his colleagues weren’t unfamiliar with operating on limited resources, especially while working weekend shifts in New Orleans – a city that is no stranger to widespread chronic diseases, gun violence, hordes of tourists, and a perpetually festive atmosphere. But when Josh finds himself to be the lone paramedic on the scene of a mass casualty incident involving children, he must swiftly learn how to balance his desire to be an expert clinician with the need to effectively manage the scene and his resources.

    Thanks for listening to Stories From the Road! Please take a moment to share it with a friend and give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or whichever platform you use to listen. Check out all available episodes on www.storiesfromtheroadpodcast.com.



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    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

denzlercs ,

What an excellent podcast!

My Father gave his life over to the local volunteer fire dept. He ate, breathed and slept fire. Being the oldest son, it was my obsession for as long as my memory extends. It was in my blood. I enlisted in the Marines. Upon returning home I got an application for the local volunteer fire dept in the area that I moved to. Unfortunately, I sustained a traumatic brain injury a couple of weeks out and have been unable to carry out my dreams. There are deep regrets in my mind for the choices made that put me where I am. This podcast is an excellent work and tells the stories of the first responders and the emotional baggage that comes inherently with the territory. I have listened to your podcast since I found it.

Hogie1 ,

Terrific Podcast

Great podcast to hear about what other first responders have dealt with. It’s good to be able to relate to their experiences. Definitely recommend!

E. Ramsey ,

Keep posting episodes

This is a cool and nice outlet for me to hear how others have gone through similar things. Keep posting!

From NRP Ramsey.

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