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

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