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FIRExTALK w/ Michael Snodgrass – 014

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Like learning from conferences, but hate four hours of the same speaker?


Then, my friend, you MUST check out FIRExTALK! A few weeks ago while on shift, I stumbled upon this talk by former Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf discussing leadership in the fire service and how his experiences in the SEALS applied.

It was a hard-hitting 20 minutes, and I shared it with my crew as quickly as I could.


Then, about 8 talks and two hours later, I realized I was addicted to FIRExTALK.

Seriously. You know how we all end up on Youtube watching an informational firefighting video and end up staring at dumb cats.  Not the case.  I was locked in. And you will be too.  The short format (20 minutes or less per talk) is exactly the right amount of time for us firefighters that get distracted when we see a squirrel or shiny object.  The speakers are absolutely fantastic and cover a HUGE variety of topics from leadership to “Morons: A Real Problem in the Fire Service.”  All the speakers have their own unique skills, talents, and ideas, and each brings something unique to the table. Here’s a rundown from Portland:

firextalk rundown

What I love most about FIRExTALK is the authenticity.  Some of these guys are NOT polished speakers. But they’re damn good, know a lot, and want to help you learn it. How much more authentic firefighter does it get than a red salvage cover as a backdrop?!  Awesome!

In this episode, FIRExTALK founder Michael Snodgrass shares how a lack of anything like this in the fire service existed, and why it needed to be done.  They’re set up just like a TED talk (the business/tech/education talks), but the content solely focuses on us firefighters.  He didn’t “intend” for how much success he’s had – a simple post on Facebook asking if someone would be interested turned into a ton of speakers in no time at all.

Michael plans on expanding the program to anywhere he can that has a training facility in the country. His aspirations are impressive too: post 500 different talks about the fire service.  Lofty, but I can see it happening in no time.


There’s tons of ways to check out all the talks and stay in touch with Michael and FIRExTALK:

FIRExTALK on Youtube – This is where you can find most of the videos uploaded regularly

FIRExTALK on Facebook – Many updates and other great information

FIRExTALK on Twitter – He posts some cool stuff here too

AggressiveFirefighter.com – Michael’s personal firefighting blog

Brothers In Battle – Fire training from some amazing instructors. Check out this site for their blog as well.

Fire Rescue Survey.com – An incredible new site that allows you to take a brief survey about rescues. Plots data and shares it with the community!


About the author, Bob

Bob Metcalfe is a career firefighter in a suburb of Rochester, NY, and was previously a 7-year volunteer at the department he grew up in. He's excited to bring together his broadcasting background with his career and passion of firefighting via The Firefighter Podcast.

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