Oakland Paramedic and author Zac Unger Interview; WOTS 038

Welcome everyone. Today I am interviewing Oakland Fire Department firefighter, paramedic and author Zac Unger.

About the author

I have been with the Oakland Fire Department as a firefighter and a paramedic since 1998. Prior to that, I had a number of short (but brutally cold and lonely) jobs working as a peregrine falcon watcher, an elephant seal tagger, a municipal dump laborer, and a muffin delivery driver. In addition, I continue to work summers as a whitewater river guide for ARTA river trips.

After high school I attended Deep Springs College in California, a strange and tiny two-year school in the California desert which revolves around the three pillars of literature, testosterone, and cattle. Following that, I finished my Bachelor’s degree at Brown University and went on to earn a Master’s in Range Management at UC Berkeley. I have yet to manage a range.

I’m currently living in Oakland with my wife Shona, our daughter Perseverance, and our sons Maccabee and Zeke.

About the books and works

Working Fire

The Making of a Fireman

A remarkable memoir, by turns funny and deeply moving, of one man’s coming into his calling and his transformation from ambivalent Ivy League grad to skilled and dedicated firefighter.

Zac Unger didn’t feel like much of a firefighter at first. Most of his fellow recruits seemed to have planned for the job all their lives; he was an Ivy League grad responding to a help-wanted ad at an Oakland bus stop. He couldn’t keep his boots shined, and he looked horrible in his uniform. Working Fire is the story of how, from this unlikely beginning, Zac Unger came to feel at home among this close-knit tribe, came to master his work’s demands, and came to know what it is to see the city of Oakland through a firefighter’s eyes.

From the materials of his day’s work – the harrowing calls and the hilarious, the moments of triumph and of grief – Zac Unger has forged a timeless story of finding one’s path. He never takes himself too seriously, but he comes to take his job very seriously. Because he tells his story with such extraordinary empathy and wit, his fierce passion for his work, his comrades, and the city he protects becomes our own.

Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye

A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows

Unlike some small towns that gradually peter out into the wilderness, this one just ends. On the west edge of town sits the Iceberg Tavern; behind it there’s a steel-mesh garbage cage, rusted by the salt air and battered by encounters with something even more inhospitable and frightening than the Arctic elements. Beyond that…there’s nothing. Standing on the roof of the bar you can throw a rock that would land in Hudson Bay. Nearby, a signpost is planted in the ground, with a picture of a polar bear and an admonition not to go any further. Take one step backwards and you can be inside enjoying caribou steaks and Canadian whiskey. One step forward and you’re in bear country–over a million square kilometers of frozen sea ice, dotted with blood stains where the largest land predators on earth have dragged their prey from the water. Welcome to Churchill, Manitoba, “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” Human population: 943. In Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye, Zac Unger takes us to an utterly unique and remote place like no other–a realm once reserved exclusively for one of the most majestic predators on earth, and where now the line between man’s territory and mother nature’s has become perilously blurred. It is one man’s journey to develop a deeper understanding of an animal that has become a lightning rod for environmental debate, as well as the uneasy relationship between polar bears and the people whose presence is both at odds with and dependent on the bears’ survival.

SPONSOR

 

This episode was also brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.

  Show Links

Words off the street

www.wordsoffthestreet.com

streetwordscast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Words-off-the-Street

@streetwordscast on Twitter

GUEST Zac Unger

http://www.zacunger.com

 

https://www.amazon.com/Zac-Unger/e/B001K8BB6I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1509030112&sr=1-1

Clear For Traffic 04 (Chicken Hands)

Welcome to CLEAR FOR TRAFFIC… sharing your first responder stories. Please contact me so we can get you on.

Today’s story is from my friend and producer Annette its a story from her days working EMS in Ohio. Enjoy!

SPONSOR

 

This episode was also brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.

  Show Links

Words off the street

www.wordsoffthestreet.com

streetwordscast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Words-off-the-Street

@streetwordscast on Twitter

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief, John Salka Interview; WOTS 037

Welcome everyone. Today I am interviewing Retired Battalion Chief John Salka. John served 33 years with the FDNY and has had an amazing career as a leader, instructor article contributor and author.

About the author

John Salka (ret) served with the FDNY for over 33 years, the past 15 years a battalion chief in the 18th Battalion in the Bronx. Prior to being promoted to battalion chief, Chief Salka was assigned as the Captain of 48 Engine also in the Bronx.

He is a New York State certified instructor and also lectures nationally. He is a seminar presenter and has presented at the Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, the FDIC in Indianapolis, the NY State Association of Fire Chiefs show and many other venues. Chief Salka writes the monthly back page column “The Fire Scene” in Firehouse Magazine and has also written for Fire Engineering, Size-Up and the FDNY training magazine WNYF.

John is the author of the best-selling books “First In Last Out Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department” and “The Engine Company.” He received the 2001 FDIC Training Achievement Award for his Get Out Alive firefighter survival training program Chief Salka has also served as a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years.

About the books and works

First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department 

What does it take to lead people into a burning building? How do the leaders of the New York City Fire Department develop so much loyalty, trust, and grace under pressure that their subordinates will risk their very lives for them?

As a high-ranking officer of the FDNY, John Salka is an expert at both practicing and teaching high-stakes leadership. In First In, Last Out, he explains the department’s unique strategies and how they can be adopted by leaders in any field—as he has taught them to organizations around the country. In a tough-talking, no-nonsense style, Salka uses real-world stories to convey leadership imperatives such as: first in, last out—your people need to see you taking the biggest risk.

The Engine Company

In his new book, Battalion Chief Salka, a nationally recognized speaker and author with years of service in several career and volunteer departments, looks at both the similarities and differences in the engine company operations practiced by fire departments throughout the United States and discusses in detail the equipment, staffing, and operations of engine company firefighters at structural fires and emergencies in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

The Engine Company is an invaluable resource for firefighters who want a better understanding of the functions of the engine company, and training officers and instructors.

 Five Alarm Leadership: From Firehouse to Fireground

Rick Lasky and John Salka are two of the most dynamic and inspirational leaders in the fire service.

Their book, Five Alarm Leadership, is a compilation of leadership lessons learned, situations handled, decisions made, and problems solved during their combined 60-plus years of fire service experience. Also included is a special introduction by Chief (ret.) Bobby Halton, Editor-in-Chief of Fire Engineering magazine, outlining the nature of transformational leadership and its power to inspire excellence in the fire service.

The Fire Scene” in Firehouse Magazine and has also written for Fire Engineering

2001 FDIC Training Achievement Award for Get Out Alive firefighter survival training program

http://www.firstinleadership.com

https://www.facebook.com/chiefjohnsalka

https://www.amazon.com/John-Salka/e/B001K88SCI

http://www.firehouse.com/contact/10243458/john-j-salka-jr

Clear For Traffic 03 (A Story by BJ Schneider)

Welcome to CLEAR FOR TRAFFIC… sharing your first responder stories. Please contact me so we can get you on.

Today’s show is one from my first book called Make your skin crawl………… Enjoy

SPONSOR

 

This episode was also brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.

  Show Links

Words off the street

www.wordsoffthestreet.com

streetwordscast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Words-off-the-Street

@streetwordscast on Twitter

Paramedic, Assoc Professor and Podcaster, Ginger Locke Interview; WOTS 036

Welcome everyone. Today I am interviewing Ginger Locke. Ginger is an Associate Professor of EMS Professions at Austin Community College and the creator of the Medic Mindset podcast and blog.

About Ginger, her Podcast & Blog

Ginger Locke is infatuated with the minds of medics. As an Associate Professor of EMS Professions at Austin Community College and as the creator of the Medic Mindset podcast, she has immersed herself in the art and science of thinking and performing under pressure. Prior to becoming a paramedic, she studied social psychology at the University of Georgia and the University of Leicester, UK. Her professional endeavors revolve around the conviction that the most important (and complicated) tool in Emergency Medicine is the brain of the clinician. Her long-term goal is to write the operation manual for the human brain working in what she has called “wicked” environments.

SPONSOR

 

This episode was also brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.

  Show Links

Words off the street

www.wordsoffthestreet.com

streetwordscast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Words-off-the-Street

@streetwordscast on Twitter

GUEST Ginger Locke

Follow on Twitter: @gingerlockeATX

Follow on Facebook: Ginger Locke

Connect on LinkedIn: Ginger Locke

The Medic Mindset podcast is a creative outlet (art).

Clear For Traffic 02 (A Story by Anthony Curty)

Welcome to CLEAR FOR TRAFFIC… sharing your first responder stories. Please contact me so we can get you on.

Today’s show is one from medic Anthony Curty………… Enjoy

SPONSOR

 

This episode was also brought to you by Xiphos Books & Training. Xiphos Books is responsible for books such as ‘Welcome to New Orleans… How many shots did you hear? Volume 1 and 2 as well as the fiction novel A Salty Life & A Traitor’s Death. Be sure to stop by their website and look at their books, training and public speaking dates.

  Show Links

Words off the street

www.wordsoffthestreet.com

streetwordscast@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Words-off-the-Street

@streetwordscast on Twitter