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70% of firefighters in America are volunteers. Most fire districts are served by largely volunteer or combined career and volunteer departments. Today we’re talking with such a volunteer who reveals how first responders can guide us in ways to act more effectively in our own lives. He advises, and it is his experience, that it is helpful to approach life’s inevitable emergencies with the intention to remain calm and act creatively. Prepare yourself for insightful and practical wisdom as he talks about an approaching adversity. “[When] something bad happens it's not laid out for us neat…it's chaotic. We need to learn to stop, get underneath the smoke, see what's really happening in order to do the right thing.” He also talks about how our smart phones are like fire dispatchers putting us on-call 24/7. “The cost to always being hooked into your phone is being [constantly] adrenalized, intellectually going at mach 2, hair on fire … I'm not going to let all the stuff that comes at me during the day, all that chaos, good, bad, indifferent, define who I am. I'm not going to let it flow through me; It’s going to flow around me. It’s a learning process. With firefighters, when we go to a really bad call, there's so much [chaos] going on, we have to stay centered. We have to see what the problem really is. We cannot get distracted by the loudest people yelling. We have to stay focused and intentional.” Wilson points out that when things are going well we can get away with a kind of “Lone-Ranger” life. “But when tough stuff happens, like what we're going through right now, it's vital to have community.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
Hersch Wilson is a former ballet dancer (along with his wife Laurie) and is now a 30-year veteran volunteer firefighter–EMT with the Hondo Fire Department in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. He is also a writer, speaker, and consultant who has worked extensively with leadership teams from a variety of organizations including IBM Japan, the US Postal Service, and the CIA, to name a few. He also writes a monthly column on dogs for the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Hersch Wilson is the author of:
To learn more about Hersch Wilson go to www.herschwilson.com.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
Host: Justine Willis Toms Interview Date: 9/25/2020 Program Number: 3714
From Album: Silver ShipArtist: Suzanne Ciani2007 Seventh Wave B0009941I4
Opening Essay: Track 04 CapriMusic Break 1: Track 02 Wine Dark SeaMusic Break 2: Track 04 Capri (reprise)Music Break 3: Track 05 Eclipse
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