Today is a good day! We are joined by one hilarious guy who helps us understand how we can take moments of absolute frustration and turn them into something funny. It’s time we all learn how to lighten the f*ck up!
Some of his thoughts & takeaways
“My passion is to make people laugh. Whether you are in public safety or not, I strive to make content that is relatable by pointing out the comedy that surrounds us daily. I have a passion for music and singing which is actually how my wife and I met, so incorporating that into my videos was a no brainer.”
As far as the take aways are concerned, I’ll try to articulate something that sounds intelligent. I have a passion for bringing people laughter and joy. I think that comes out in the content I create and the “peak behind the curtain” I give people in my IG/Facebook stories. I have been a mentor in our fire academy and I always tell the recruits that, we have the greatest job in the world, but it’s still just what we do for money. The job does not define us. It is something to be proud of, and we should strive to be the best at our craft, but at the end of the day it is still a job. We are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, etc who are also firefighters. We aren’t firefighters who also happen to be those other things, because those other things are what matter the most. I want the listener to remember that it’s ok to love your job, but just remember that it doesn’t love you back. Love your family more. Cheat *fill in the blank*, don’t cheat your family.
I also want the listener to know that we aren’t as cool as we think we are 😂. Just because we are firefighters doesn’t make us better than anyone else. I don’t really have much to expand on that.
I also want the listener to have a means for coping with the stress and trauma that this job can bring. Write, draw, run, workout, watch @firefighterfenton videos, create your own videos, talk to Jesus, talk to someone, but you’ve got to have an outlet and a means to cope. I have my faith, my family support system, and my comedy. I have found that there is a fine line between anger/rage and laughter, and it’s all about the perspective for which one you’ll fall into. Whenever I get pissed, or I hear someone angry or bitching, I write it down. I will then take those things I write and start to dissect them and find the comedy. When I’m in the moment of whatever frustrating situation, I will feel anger or rage, or even boredom at times. But, we get paid to hide all of that and be the professional which makes it all the more frustrating. So, when I can recreate in a short video, that same scenario that we’ve all been in and say what we’re all thinking, the negative emotions turn into laughter almost always.
Hi, welcome back to mindset radio. I’m your host, Jeff Banman. Today’s going to be a lot of fun. Uh, I’ve been looking forward to this episode for a while. I’ve talked to a few people and I’ve got a few other people in the wings that I’d like to run these on occasion, but really what we’re going to call today’s episode is lighten the fuck up. And, uh, there’s a guy that I come across, I follow on Instagram quite a bit. I, I personally think he’s absolutely hilarious. Um, he brings a lot of laughter and a lot of light to my days and so I reshot to, um, and today we have on our show who most of you probably know as firefighter Fenton. So welcome to the show brother. I thank you for having me, dude. It’s awesome. I’m really looking forward to this, this conversation.
I says, uh, I was telling you before the show, you know, my wife is always like, Jeff, would you just pull the stick out of your ass, you know, and just kinda like walked her out. And I think that that’s, you know, I think there’s a funny side to it and then I think there’s a serious side to it. And so, man, I just want to explore that today. Like, I want to understand, you know, where you came to, to kind of start to create these parodies, uh, you know, and the value of kind of making fun of ourselves in a way.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You know, um, yeah, I’ve been making videos now for about 10 years, which is crazy to say, and crazy to think, but yeah, it kind of all started as like a kind of, kind of by accident. My, I, I’ve been a firefighter. I just a little bit of history on me. I’ve, I’ve been married for 10 years. Um, we have four children. Um, my wife’s name, Stephanie. Um, and uh, yeah, I’ve been a firefighter for about 16 years, a paramedic for 13 of that as well. We do, uh, you know, Firebase. So, um, but yeah, so, um, we, my department, you know, they started doing some awards banquets kind of things and, and we kind of have all been in those awards banquets where it’s a, it’s a nice night, but it gets pretty boring. It’s a lot of the, you know, it’s kind of a lot of dog and pony show and different things like that.
So we were, we were talking about it. Um, I was talking with, uh, one of the guys on my crew who was part of the night and he was just like, man, this night is so boring. We need to do something to kind of, you know, change it up a bit. And so I was like, well, maybe I could do something funny. And he’s like, well, I’ll come up with some. And so I came up with, was kind of a song parody that actually happened. The song was called my knee hurts now and it was to the lady antebellum, I need you now. And it, you know, it was born coming back from a call at, you know, you know, quarter after one, you know, in the morning, just that song came on the radio and the truck and I started just seeing, you know, it’s quarter after one call, the number, cause my knee hurts now.
And my crew just erupted. And I was like, Oh, maybe I could make a music video. And then it just, I did that and it just kind of went viral overnight. And, you know, I, I, um, I put it out there. People loved it. I started like in, in local, I’m in Arizona, so locally I go to trainings, you know, it didn’t matter where I was at, people were starting recognize her. I was like, man, this is crazy. All from a little video that I made. And so I really only made like one video a year after that. Um, and then, uh, it just kinda with some encouragement from some other friends that I have. And, and uh, there’s a, there’s another, um, social media page on Instagram called farm in three, two, three. And, uh, so his name’s Scott. He reached out to me and was just like, Hey man, I love your stuff.
Um, I think you should really press into this, uh, you know, social media thing I think you could do really well. And so I was like, sure. He’s like, I’ve been a fan, I love your videos. He’s like, I think you get it. Um, and he’s like, I’d love to see you kind of push yourself and see what comes out of that. And so yeah, like December 1st last year I started doing that and it has really taken off and, and uh, I really enjoy, you know, when, when guys reach out to me and tell me, you know, Hey man, having a rough day, but man, I came across your video and all my gosh, it seemed sad. I’ve been there. It’s so funny you’re saying the stuff that we all want to say kind of thing. And
yeah, I would, I would definitely, uh, I was laughing. I think one of them, uh, whenever you, the radio traffic guys, like I’m the BS, I’m the OB advise guy. I go like, see people go, Oh, that’s bad. You know, I’m like, ah, I’d be, if I’d run the scene, I got, I know that was totally, I mean it’s, it is, you’ve done a really great job because it is like distinct, it’s kind of like watching, you know, band of brothers or you know, when they do an old school world war one movie, world war II movie. Like I see the personality of those guys in the guys I served with. Right? And so like, even in the, you know, from the fire service, I, I watch your videos and I’m like, Oh, that’s, you know, shall remain nameless. And that’s, you know what I mean? And then of course it gets like, Oh, and, and that’s me. It’s like, shit,
that’s a great, yeah, that’s the greatest thing. It’s like, you know, this job, um, it attracts the same kind of people. It doesn’t matter where we live, where we’re at, it attracts the same kind of people. And that’s exactly it. Like there, I have so many videos and there’s guys that I work with and I’ll be like, Hey, you know, this video was 100% inspired.
I’m like, don’t worry, there’s videos that I make that are 100% inspired by myself, so nobody safe. Yeah, seriously. Well, and I think that’s it. I think there’s, you know, it’s, uh, it is, there’s this place where one, we run a pretty serious environment. We do, we handle serious things and we get it right, but, right. But I think there’s a point where laughter and that release has, is Nessus as you just, it’s critical in our roles. I mean, I even like watching black Hawk down in, I don’t know if you remember the movie or not, but like we used to have those when they were getting ready to go out and the one of the guys who was making fun of the commander, you know, he’s kinda mimic him. That was a normal, that’s a standard thing that we do in regiment. You know, one of the young guys will get up and imitate the commanding officer or whatever else and it’s like, you know, and it’s freaking hilarious. Uh, and it’s allowed because while you recognize that there has to be the, has to be that release.
Yeah. I mean, if we don’t have that, you know, like you said in your email, we’ll talk about it a little bit. But you know, the, we’re, we’re super prone. I’ve always said kind of the only acceptable emotion in our world is anger. You know, you can, you can be sad. You can’t be too funny or laugh too much or too happy cause then something’s wrong. But you can be pissed off at anything you want to be pissed off at. That’s okay.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I, I definitely, you know, you know, we, we’d kind of talked a little bit like my, um, I kind of noticed, you know, in just, I guess my mind has kind of switched gears and now that I’m making videos kind of all the time, so I’m always just kind of surveying what’s going around me. I think that’s something that I really, um, I really, uh, strive to do is just kinda survey what’s going on around, around me and around us in our lives and point out that there is, like, people always ask, how do you come up with your stuff? And I’m just like, man, just take a look around and what’s going on around your, like comedy is around us everywhere, but it doesn’t necessarily present itself as comedy. It’s usually guys bitching in the fire station or you know, or, or running to that same address 10 times, you know, you know, for probably the third time you’ve done it, this shift or you know, just the monotony of this stuff or you’re just, you’re pissed off or you go to a training and you got that same, you know, like kiss ass guy or, or you know, the guy who’s kind of, he was in a chief position now that has no business being in that position, can you, everybody’s got those guys, nobody can, can think of those kinds of things.
And so, um, I just kinda noticed like, man, it was all really like, it’s all about perspective because when I’m in those moments of, you know, it’s a bad call, it’s, you know, somebody being an ass or, or whatever, it’s just really frustrating. Um, but I can, I will tend to write that down when I hear somebody going off about something that they had going on and you know, a difference they had with another coworker or something they had on a call or whatever I use, I’ll just kinda like pull up my phone and make a note of it real quick and then I’ll usually go back and kind of dissect that. And it always, almost always, it’s like when you’re not in that scenario, in the moment, and you can kind of take a step back and look at it, it’s like, okay, this actually is really funny.
And then that’s what I’ll tend to do is I’ll, I’ll try and recreate that, that scene or that moment in a video. And then I’ll throw in my little nuances of, you know, just saying the things we always wanted to say or, or you know, or just seeing like, you know what, from taking a step back, what, you know, when I was there, you know, whatever it is, pissed me off. But now I take a step back and it makes me laugh. And so there’s like that fine line between like anger, rage and just outright outright comedy. You know, where you’re just cracking up laughing.
Yeah, I mean I think that’s it. Listen, I got a, that’s a, this is a new one for me. I mean this is, this is this, that’s a, that’s an actual really powerful tool. You know, when we, when we look at it, because it is, it is hard to see things from a different perspective, especially when we’re in it, especially when it impacts us. Um, you know, but I can like my head swirling right now with many things that I was clearly pissed off about raging, about, you know, going over the moon about that. If you were to watch it, especially if you were to put some kind of, you know, exaggerated parody to it, it would be hilarious, right? It would, it would be absolutely hilarious. And, and I think that’s a great, uh, you know, I’m going to take that away. I’m going to start, you know, it’s Truett and parodies of my wife and I fighting and stuff. Let’s see how that goes over. Yeah.
And, and you know, and it’s, and it’s funny because, yeah, like I, I’ve, I mean I’ve done that. Um, where, and, and, and like, I guess we all kind of do that in a sense, especially, you know, I’m primarily, you know, my background as far as public safety is, it’s just been in the fire service. And so I come from a family of cops, so I’ve kind of grown up around that kind of, that, uh, inappropriate sense of humor or making a bad joke at the wrong time. Yeah. You know, but it’s, yeah. And, and the, you know, you see people in the family or friends go like, Oh, what the hell is wrong with you? Like that is, that’s a terrible joke to make. And I’m just, I’m so used to it. And so I have to catch myself. Like, there are even times my wife will go, baby, not the fire station right now.
And I’m like, Oh, I know. I’m sorry, but you know, you, y’all met, you know, I feel like I’m almost embodying my videos. Those jokes that you have in the truck when you just ran a really bad call in somebody, you know, you know, you know, I can think of, for instance, you know, something, you know, a gnarly trauma on the freeway where somebody just, you know, got destroyed and you know, literally there’s brain matter showing that kind of thing and then you get in the truck and somebody’s like, Oh, that guy only got the brains to do that again. You’re like, Oh my goodness, everybody laughs. But you’re just like, yeah, but that’s, it’s the coping mechanism. You gotta have that. And um, yeah, I, I feel like, um, I feel like I’m kind of just putting in the video kind of the stuff that’s already happening on the trucks and stuff like that, but it’s just more, um, I don’t know. I guess it’s a little more detached.
Yeah, man. But I mean, I think that’s also, you know, the, yeah, I rode with guys that, you know, you get in the truck and make something comment, like you just said, right. You, you try to break the cycle of what you just dealt with. And you know, I’ve had other guys be like, well, you can’t say that right now. It’s like, okay, I’m fucking out of here. You know what I mean? Like, okay, I can’t, I can’t take this right now. Listen, everybody in this, you know, this, this engine right now, or this truck right now just went through a fairly traumatic incident, you know, and we’ve gotta be able to normalize that a little bit. Uh, and we’ve got to be able to, to have some level of release here. And, you know, that comes from, you know, sometimes just, just comedy, right? Because you take it that way and there’s nothing wrong with it. You know, it’s not like you’re some bad evil person because you’re insensitive. It’s actually not. And I think that’s a perception that is out there that says, if I’m the joker around it, I’m somehow insensitive to what I just did.
Oh, yeah. And that’s, that’s kind of a thing that I’ve run into, even with my videos even, you know, I’ve, I, I would say overall, I’ve been very, uh, accepted in the, um, fire service police world that PO public safety in general. Um, for the, for the stuff they make, everybody knows that I’m making jokes, then they compare it as, and don’t take me too serious, but I have run into guys that, you know, I mean, shoot, there’s even local local chiefs, um, in the area where I, where I’m at that have said, you know, like, you know, you would never work for our city because you know, you’re an embarrassment to the fire service. And I’m like, Oh, you know, you can think that I, you know, I, you know, again, thanks for watching, but you know, guys will get, you know, guys will get so offended and, and to be honest, like some people will be like, man, you really, really gotta be careful with offending with people.
And I’m like, you know what? For one, that’s what’s wrong with America. The day is a, we’re so worried about offending people, but two, I’m like, you know what, if he, if what I’m doing offends you, then maybe you need to be offended because like I’m just making jokes here. Like, and for just an example, a recent one that I made, um, I don’t know if you saw the video where the guy’s helmets kept falling off when they were finding that. So I made, I made the video of me just kind of like narrating what was going on, but then I was like, I couldn’t resist and I thought of that like, you know, the iconic scene of saving private Ryan where the snag, what people have used it time and time again for like when people are slipping to fall and the snipers shooting and they’re falling down kind of thing.
I use that and it as just, I use that clip just as a means to make the guy’s helmets fall out. Yeah, it matched perfect. I thought it was hilarious. I put it out. I probably got about 90% positive and about 10% people were just, they couldn’t believe how insensitive I can be in the world we’re living in today. And then they brought up, um, a, a scene from New York, I guess five years ago or so where some guys were actually shot. Like I do let his house on fire and then went across the Lake and shot some firefighters killed, you know, for one. If I would have thought of that in my head, I PR, you know, I’ll give it to him. I probably wouldn’t have made it. But again, I wasn’t highlighting snipers shooting at firefighters. I was highlighting the fact that these guys can’t keep their helmets on their heads and that was just a clever way to put the helmet on. But, or to knock the helmet off, I’m just like, look guys, this is just a way to laugh and move on. My goodness, if you don’t like it keeps,
yeah. I mean, I think there’s a, you know, I had years ago, uh, w I dunno, a couple months ago we got into his Facebook com conversation or something. Like I posted a picture from, you know, early nineties or whatever, of a couple of us I was unpacking and came across some stuff and somebody made a comment about one of the guys in the pictures. And then in the comments, not even on the main page like, but in the comments I guess, I don’t know, probably 15 years ago I, we were up like one night, dude, skier was sitting on the front of the engine. And of course I drop trail and stick my button, his helmet, somebody snaps a picture and, and, and so, but that picture never circulated anywhere, you know. And, and this is an individual who generally has a significant stick up his ass pretty much all the time.
And, uh, and so I posted and I was like, I wonder if he’s ever seen this and, and put it up, you know, in the comments, not even on the main page. These are the comments and I get this, I get this Facebook message, can you please remove the picture of you fucking with my gear? And, um, and so of course I did, but I replaced it with, you know, removed from the, you know, removed by the request of the individual who can’t like the puck op or something. And I said I’m going no. And I said, dude, that was like 15 years ago. You know, I would hope that by now you would be able to laugh at kinda how stupid we were, you know, at that time. Um, yeah, I think there’s just this, you will run into it. I mean it’s, it is this, and here’s the thing, it’s not even, I don’t even feel like that’s authentic. I feel like that is trying to be something to appear a certain way to others around you. You would don’t do that. That’s not like it at its core. Hey that’s, that’s fucking funny. You know, that’s, that’s actually not hilarious. I like that. That was, you know, it’s like I don’t even have the freedom to laugh myself at something like that.
Yeah. Cause, I mean cause really, I mean at the, at the core of why I do what I do and what I’m doing is I’m just like, I love making people laugh. I enjoy making people laugh. I love creating, um, moments where guys can come together as a crew, guys can come together with their families. Cause I um, you know, uh, uh, a goal of mine is to make sure that all my content is, is family friendly so you could watch it with your kids and not have to be kind of in fear. Like, Oh shoot, what’s the same kind of thing? And, and I love to be able to create moments where like guys are sitting down with their families and watching stuff and they get to explain to their wife or their kids like this is why this is so funny. Or remember me, I always talk about this guy. Well that’s basically him, right? Yes. You know, and they, and they can sit there and they can watch it in and cause, you know, that’s
ultimately, that’s what’s, what’s important is, you know, is making sure that, you know, these are families are famous or what’s important. You know, they’re the backbones behind. You’re inviting them in to, to understand, you know, a piece of your world to write in a very, you know, easy light, funny way. You know, I think, I think it’s, dude, I, I really, uh, I enjoy your stuff. I was telling you before the show and I dated myself. Like the last funny thing I felt was like the policemen versus fireman videos that we used to just crack up at [inaudible] even still out there. I don’t even know if they’re out there anymore. You can find them deep on you too. Thanks. Thanks for, excuse me while I bring out the dinosaur episode here.
Oh no, no, those are great though. Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, cause yeah, I, I, you know, I, one time we had there, you know, the cops would always come by the firehouse and come in and all night. And, uh, in the County, there hadn’t been a, uh, police officer involved shooting in years and know where I, where I started, and this was a long time ago, but, so they’d had one guy came out of the house with a shotgun, you know, was kinda barricaded and came out with a shotgun and, and they ended up shooting him. And, uh, I think this was post my military time, so I was a little bit more jaded as well to some ways. And, uh, you know, they were all in the kitchen at midnight, like 15 of them packed into our kitchen at midnight. Of course, I’m like, all right, you really need to be here.
And, uh, sorry for all of the cops that listen, you know, but this is, gives you an idea and you know, go ahead and get that. D you’re going to hit that unsubscribe button right now. Um, you know, but literally it’s like 11 o’clock at night and they’re all glued to the TV. And I had actually been on the engine for the call, you know, years prior where one of the, one of the deputies had to shoot the guy. Um, you know, we worked with the guy trying to try and bring them back. And uh, so I go next door to the, the gas station and you know, it’s 11 o’clock, so God gives me a donut for free. So I tie some five 50 core to it. I’m hanging around the corner of the, you know, the kitchen. I throw it in a drag it back out a little bit, throw it back in, I’m dragging it.
One of my guys walks start of the corner. He’s like, dude, what are you doing? I said, I’m fishing for the polio, you know, and a couple of them who had been around for a long time who knew me, you know, just completely erupted. They thought it was hilarious, but a couple of young guys, they were all like, you do have any idea what happened today? And I looked at him like, yeah, I know exactly what happened today. Do you have any idea when the last shooting where you even born when the last shooting happened? You know, I was the guy that was there trying to resuscitate the dudes, so pull the stick out of your ass, you know what I mean? Like you’re in my house now. So yeah, I always love to the banter, you know, and uh, the engagement there, I think I probably got, I grew up, I mean it was outside DC, so I had plenty of people who were all tightwads and couldn’t do this and couldn’t do that. And uh, yeah, it’s definitely [inaudible] it’s an interesting environment that we operate in.
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, it really is. Yeah. They, I mean, uh, I’ve been very fortunate that, um, with my department, you know, when I made that first video, it kinda, it definitely created some buzz, some, some craziness around, uh, you know, the Phoenix Metro area and, and, and just really all over. And so many people were asking like, Oh man, how much trouble did you get into? Did you get fired? No, actually I didn’t get into any trouble. My and my fire chief’s fantastic. He’s got, uh, like almost 48. He’s retiring this February with like 48 years in the fire service. And, and, and he, uh, he’s kind of a legend around the area. Everybody knows him and he, you know, he’s just, he’s like a Fireman’s fireman and he was just like, I think what you’re doing is fantastic. I think it’s hilarious. I think we all deserve to laugh. Um, you know, he’s like, my only request is that you don’t put any department identifiers in it. And I was like, all right, because that first video there was a little bit and uh, but we, you know, I was literally making it for the guys who couldn’t be at the banquet cause they were on shift. This was like here, watch it on YouTube and it blew, nobody saw it.
Right. Just out of nowhere. It was like, wait a minute. Okay.
Yeah. And so that was also how my department social media policy,
my lesson, I’m in the closet of, of many of many, uh, the changes, you know, like the bar for barn Baghdad is no longer open the night before the plane leaves. Uh, cause I had to have somebody, well, you know, we’re drinking the night before. It’s like last flight out before Christmas out of Baghdad. And you know, being working for the agency, we travel with a bar everywhere. Uh, I mean that’s the great thing about working for those guys is, you know, everybody had to come over and see us. But yeah, one of the, one of the guys who was the second bartender was drinking with us and you know, they closed the bar. He was like, I got keys. So we almost missed the plane. Right. So now the new policy is the bar’s closed completely the night before the, the plane leaves. So there was a cause for some of us to do that.
But uh, yeah man, here’s my question. Let me ask you this. How do you feel like, how do you, you know, with the sup, you know, with the support of the chief in a way, right? Not maybe direct, but you know, keep doing what you’re doing. And how does that impacted the culture of, of your department? Do you feel like you’re, I mean, I imagine pretty much everybody in the department knows exactly who you are. Uh, yeah. How is that, how do you feel like that may be, has impacted the culture of the, of the, of the department?
You know, I, um, I honestly feel like it is definitely impacted the culture in a, in a really good way. Um, because my department, we’re, um, we’re just outside of Phoenix. We’re just North of Phoenix. We have, we got five stations, so we’ve got a hundred, and I think it’s 118 field personnel. So we’re, we’re not tiny, but we’re not gigantic either. So we’re decent sized department, but you know, it, um, people would always ask, you know, when they would, they would see us just cause as the community has really built out, um, people would see no, Hey, where’s this department at? Or are we just department nobody’s ever heard of? And sorry, I’m kinda like,
yeah, I got it under wraps. I get, I tough. I get a ton of people that don’t worry about it though. If it slips, I’ll just flip it out.
Yeah. So, you know, people would be like, you know, where are you guys at? But now that question doesn’t happen anymore and guys are always like, man, people are always like, Oh, you work that, Hey that video guy. Oh man, we love those videos. And it’s awesome because I think it’s definitely given people a sense of pride. I mean, not that they didn’t have pride before, but definitely a sense of pride of like, yeah. Like, um, you know, I don’t want to sound like airy or anything, but it definitely put the, put the place on the map, that’s for sure. And, and when guys, you know, we’re, we’re very active in the wild land world too, so we, you know, we’re, we’re an all hazards department basically. So we, we do have a, um, a special ops division and part of that special ops division is our wildland division.
So we deploy all over the country. And, um, when people hear or they see our, our names on our shirts, they’re like, Hey, you’re the, you’re the ones that make that video. And I’ve actually, you know, like just this past year, I went out this past year, like I said, this is the most active, I’ve been on social media and we were out on a wildfire, a really large wildfire. And we were spiked out. Um, and we were sitting down at dinner and I was, um, helping serve some of the food and stuff. And, and guys, the guys came by in the headlamp at one dude looked at me and was like, Hey, you’re that guy that makes that videos. And I was like, I don’t know.
He said it happened. And then, and then all of these, you know,
all these other guys were like, Holy crap, Hey, this is that guy. And then it was just crazy how many people like recognize me and I’m like, man, this is really, this is, this is really cool. And it just showed me that like, it’s really making a difference. A lot of guys are seeing it and it, and even in the wall land world. And so like the culture at my department for sure has, is, has definitely changed where, um, you know, the
or maybe guys were like, yeah, I don’t know that guy. Or guys, Nasser was like, Oh yeah, I know that guy’s great. Yeah. But yeah, but really is, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Kids, kids grew up around him. Yeah, exactly. But, but no, I,
I th I think as a whole, I think, I think the culture for sure, um, has, has changed a lot. Um, it really put our department on the map. Um, guys are really, um, proud when people ask that. And, and guys at, for [inaudible] as a whole, I would say really support what I’m doing. Guys are like, I don’t have trouble finding people being in the video. It’s like, Oh, you guys will see, you know, I’ll have dudes call me, text me. Or when they see me like, Hey man, this happened. You should totally make a video about this. Or Hey, I got this idea. Or if I’m on shift and I need help, you know, I’m like, Hey, I’m going to film tomorrow. You guys want to help guide you. Like, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, let’s, you know, you know, let know where I need to be and we’ll be there. And so it’s been really cool to
kind of do that. And so it’s, it’s, it’s been very accepted, I should say. That’s dude. I mean that’s, it’s, it’s awesome to hear that because I think, you know, my world in really focused on, you know, educating people and getting down to kind of why we do what we do and, and dealing with, you know, it’s, you know, we have fun on it sometimes, but it’s like I had a Elliot Rose, like one of the top hypnotherapist around the world. He works with like all the UFC fighters and all the poker pros. He’s become a really good friend over the last year or so. Uh, you know, we’re talking about like self sabotage and I’m like, dude, no guys are sitting on the front of firetruck right now talking about self sabotage. Like they’re not, you know, guys aren’t hanging out in the firehouse doing this stuff. And, and I, but I think that this is, you know, this is a, this is an easily acceptable method because you’re really kind of touching the same pieces in some ways.
Like you are giving, you know, that relief valve, if you will. Right. Uh, to, to those of us who need it, you know, cause I was, I was at Dick for a long time. You know what I mean? I’d just kind of wound up in my own space. Uh, you know, because you deal with not only the job and the stresses and the things that come and the trauma you’re dealing with and whatever it may be there, but then you’ve also got the flip side of home and you know, money and life. And, uh, there’s a lot, I mean there’s a lot that, uh, uh, that those of us who’ve have chosen to kind of involve ourselves in these communities deal with, you know, it’s not like work is necessarily a full blown escape every day. Sometimes it can be. Um, but you know, sometimes it’s not.
Sometimes it’s, there’s, there’s a lot more to it and so I think that it’s, it adds such a, a unique level of value to it. Um, I think it’s cool, man. I think it’s, it’s been really, it’s, it’s a lot of fun to watch her. Do you know, I saw the other day I saw somebody like talking about you and your mustache. Like it was a, I think it was on one of your stories or some guy, you know, you having a whole breakdown on you and your mustaches, those videos, those things just come to you. Do people send that stuff to you or,
yeah, every once in a while I get stuff like that where someone that was actually the first one where I’ve had anybody kind of like go a whole a whole series about all the things that my muscles, I’m like, man, this is awesome.
You create that environment, like you’ve given permission for somebody, then you know, you’re like, you’re, you’re, you’ve created that. You know, that’s where, to me, where I think you’re seeing the success of what you’re doing right. When you’re, when you’re able to get somebody back that provides comedy back to you. You know what I mean? Oh yeah, yeah,
absolutely. And it, it’s been good. And you know, like it’s been, I’ve been really supported by my wife and by all, like I said, all my coworkers and like that, but, and, but I, I definitely give them all permission. Like, Hey, you know, because it is cool to see guys, you know, making videos like that and that kind of thing. But I want to make sure that, you know, I’m not a, I’m not a prima Donna or anything like that. You know, and I want to make sure that I, that I stick to what I started out doing this for, which was to make people laugh. And I, and I don’t want to, you know, get too big for my bridges or whatever, or start thinking too much to myself. Cause again, like guys will, people, like I’ve had, I’ve literally been at the fire station and the doorbell rings and you know, I had a, I had a gentleman come from Indiana, from Indiana.
It was like, dude, we’re in town here. I had to stop by, I had to meet you. And I was like, Oh thanks man. And it was just, it was really, really cool. And of course, you know, all my crews give me the crap, like, Oh, mr celebrity, blah blah blah. And I’m just like, okay. I always try to make it clear that like, look, I’m just a guy who makes funny videos. I’m just like, you, I got the same problems at home. I’ve got the same problems at my job. You know, like I still pay bills. I, you know what I mean? Like, I’m, I’m no different than anybody else. I just make funny. I was Sam the internet do, should I just make funny videos on the end, but, um, I, you know, I want to, it, it is humbling to me when I see stuff like that, when somebody makes a video like that and I’m just like, it’s somebody to me because, and, and, and even you reaching out to me and hearing all the stuff you’re saying, I really appreciate it because it’s, um, people are seeing value in what I’m doing and, and
yeah, Matt and I think it’s important. I mean, I, I’m, my guess would be, you know, I think you, I think at some level, you know, you can watch like what you do and then there’s this assumption made that you’re just kind of that guy, right? That some people that are funny are just funny, you know what I mean? Like, like, like they don’t have to deal with too much or they don’t take themselves too seriously. There’s not, you know, days where they were just like, dude, I’m hitting it. You know what I mean? And I think that’s important, that, that people do understand that, you know, dude, you’re still doing a lot crazy job. You’re still exposed to the same thing everybody else is exposed to. You’re still dealing with the things that you deal with and you know, and I, and that’s why I want to take back to that kind of where we started with this understanding of, you know, when you experienced frustration or anger or upset or rage or pissed off at something or you see that, like the translation of that is to be able to write that down and then be able to come back to that with a fresh perspective.
I think that is a art artful tool.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And, and um, yeah, like you said, it just, I, I kind of feel like, you know, I’ve got the kind of the personal, another firefighter, Fenton, you know, big mustache guy or whatever and, and making the funny videos and all that and the parody stuff. But then I also give kind of a, a peek behind the curtain, like you said. Um, which I, which I feel has also, it kinda surprised me that that actually added value to some people because I’m in my stories on Instagram or on Facebook, that’s where you’re going to kind of get to see the real me, the guy behind that character, that kind of stuff. And you’ll see more of my family and those kinds of things. And people have messaged me and said, you know, Hey, I really appreciate I’m seeing that because you get to see that. Yeah, you make funny videos and we all know you’re a firefighter and we all know the kind of job that you do as a firefighter, but then you’re also coming home and you have four kids, you know, you know, they’re all ages six and under. It’s just kind of a whirlwind of stuff that’s gone.
Don’t worry, dude. Yeah, I did. I mean, I’ve got, I’ve got 15 and a half. I spent my birthday getting her learners
permit. I’ve got 13 and then I’ve got two. So I,
right, two year old. Yeah. So I, I pretty much should have just shot myself the heels a lot faster.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s cool to see that and then to hear guys say that because, you know, um, I’ve had guys, you know, messaged me and I, and I’ll, you know, like I do get like a ton of messages and I, you know, I don’t, you know, I can, I can be selective on the ones that I respond to and, and, but I, I try, I try to respond to as many people as I can because, you know, I’ve, I’ve had people reach out to me telling me that they’re, you know, they’re having a hard time with their mental health or they’re having a hard time with balancing work and family. And, you know, the thing that I always say is, and we talked about this before, um, was, you know, like, I, I’ve, I’ve actually gone and been a mentor in the Academy, uh, which for me, I think hands down, that’s been the greatest thing.
The same greatest thing I’ve done in my career was having that opportunity to be a mentor in a 12 week fire Academy. You know, with the next generation of firefighters coming up and they’re looking at me, you know, they’re not gonna talk to the RTOs cause they’re, you know, getting yelled at by them. But you know, I’m, you know, I’m the buddy and they’re in, you know, and also it was kinda, you know, I had to set the record straight because a lot of them knew me as well from my videos. And so I had to say, look, yes, I make videos, but I’m just a firefighter just like you. I’m just a guy, you know, I’m, but I’m here to give you some tips and, and you know, talking about that like work life balance thing. It was, that’s something that I’m really passionate about too, is, you know, I just tell these guys, like, look like we’re firefighters.
We, we love, we love this job. Um, we get to do some amazing things. We get to do some really hard things, some pretty terrible things, but all in all, it’s a fantastic job. And we get to do it with our friends. And it doesn’t feel like you’re going to work. It feels like you’re going to a place where you hang out with your buddies and you get paid to go do pretty awesome things, sometimes crappy things, but all in all, it’s great. And you know, I tell him like, there’s nothing wrong with loving your job and, and, and really digging into it and, and becoming a master your craft, but like, just remember that it doesn’t love you back. And I always tell the guys that like, you know, they, I love this job and I love learning tools and teaching and all kinds of stuff and that’s why I was there a mentor to teach and, and um, kinda sh show and share what I’ve learned over the years.
But just remembering like you’re not a firefighter who happens to be, you know, a husband, a father, you know, a wife, a sister, whatever. You know, you’re all those other things. Who happens to be a firefighter, that’s what you do for money. You know, and don’t forget that, you know, your family is the ones that have supported you since day one. Your family is the one that’s behind you when you come home from those bad shifts. And you know, and like you said, and me making these videos, it kind of brings them into that world and they get to kind of understand a little bit of what we see, what we go through, that kind of thing. So it doesn’t feel like such a, such a big disconnect. And, and um, it really, I don’t know. I, I feel for me that’s what I’ve been really passionate about is, is, is making people laugh. Creating those moments for, you know, where your family can engage with you and given them kind of a peek into your world, to our world. Um, but, and also, you know, the mental health aspect of the thing of just, you know, that’s a big thing going on right now and you know, and guys are taking their lives and it’s terrible. And I’m just like, you know, I, I, I, there are some, you know, resources where I’ve been able to point people in the directions, you know, cause I wouldn’t say that I’m the most,
but I do feel huge. Man. I mean, that’s why I wanted to bring you on. I mean, that’s, you know, we deal with enough and enough stuff across this show. Uh, you know, and part of my mission was to bring people to the community that, you know, they may not know it all, like Philip McKernan and, uh, dr Sherry walling and these people that are, that I’ve had the opportunity to kind of get to know over a different side of my life, uh, who do exceptional things out there and then, you know, inject them into this community with some, some tools or some resources or some knowledge around stuff that, you know, you probably just wouldn’t normally come across right in your day. And yeah, I mean, and it’s, it is, it’s, uh, there’s no one answer to it and I don’t have to be sad about everything all the time.
I think that’s the other thing, it’s like, you know, there’s, there’s two sides to, it’s like this whole deep, serious world of, you know, Hey, we have to deal with X, Y, and Z. Okay, I got that. But sometimes all that, I mean I at the core, everything I’ve ever done, it’s like how do I recover and how do I transition? And, and to, and to me, laughter, humor, being able to separate yourself from the situation, look at things differently, get a perspective that’s a, that’s a brilliant form of recovery. And if it comes with me, you know, rolling on the floor, crying, laughing so hard, that’s even like the bonus time. Right? That’s, that’s, that’s bonus hour. Yeah. Cause it’s like there’s this, like I said earlier, it’s kinda like this idea where I can’t quite laugh at this. Oh dude, we’ll have your ass off at it.
Like I love it when I get a good, a good laugh on. That’s like the, you know, the most magical thing, you know, you can do. I mean, yeah. We were always faced, I’m in San Diego now, let’s face time with my son. They had her last night or night before and you know, we did the face things or whatever and my wife flipped it around. But like the little, you know, shithead emoji audio or whatever, cause he’s been a little bit of, and I was, I was in tears, you know, my mom’s in the other room, like, what are you laughing at? And I’m literally, uh, in tears and it’s such a, it is such an amazing human release and human response, uh, that I think is actually then bonding with other people. Right. Uh, in the same way being sad is right. But I don’t always have to be sad. I mean, and that’s where, that’s where I think it’s important for us to look at all sides of the equation. And, you know, I’m glad that, you know, we’ve got guys like you that are out there that are far funnier than, you know, a lot of us could ever be, uh, doing stuff like this. It’s, uh, it’s pretty rad. It’s actually a pretty rad.
Yeah. I, it’s, it’s been, it has definitely been a, a really good, a really fun ride as far as that, as far as just making people laugh and kind of recreating scenarios. But, um, yeah, I mean, I just, I just enjoy it. You know, and, and I’ve had some of the most amazing things, you know, like if I, like I had a, I had a woman, um, she reached out to me, um, about a year ago, maybe a little bit longer and this, this made it all worth it to me. Where is she? She said that her husband had recently passed away from cancer. He was a firefighter in the Chicago area and she said that some of her greatest memories towards the end was her and him and their daughters in his bed. Um, watching my videos and just laughing and him being able to, to tell them, you know, to just share that moment with them, creating a mood where they like, or now this is a memory that that lady has of, you know, you know, a little bit of, you know, light in a otherwise horrible, horrible, hopeless situation where, you know, your husband is dying of cancer.
He’s, you know, and same for him. He knows that he’s not, you know, his time with his family is short, but they’re able to remember, you know, and sit there. And because I was able to make them laugh, like to me that was just, you know, when she, she said me.
Yeah, yeah. I’ve got, yeah, that’s the goodness. Right? I mean, I, uh, I’ve, I really, I was, I was kinda when I came back to the community after a couple of years and to see that the conversation hadn’t gotten where it needed to get yet, that’s where I kind of was like, all right, you know, how we got to step in here and do something and recreate a different conversation, different kind of way of being. So, dude, I, yeah, it’s magic. I mean, that’s, that’s pretty provided been cried out, have been totally, yeah,
no, yeah. Hearing
that, hearing that and seeing that I would just, you know, I looked at my wife and I was like, okay. And the, all their things aside, all that is 100% worth any video I could stop right now. And it was a complete success. It was a complete one because of that one moment. I was just like, wow, that was extremely humbling. And I was just, you know, I thanked her so much for sharing that with them. I was like, thank you so much for sharing that with me, that, that’s amazing. And of course I was just like, I’m very sorry for your loss, but man, I, that is just incredible that, you know, that was able to do that. And so that’s, yeah. And I think some people miss that. Like they think we do these things for some, you know, self-gratification way in the same time. Like that’s the, you know, when I get an email from guys or a note from people, uh, it’s like, wow. I mean, I, I just, it’s, it’s, it’s like, okay, we’re doing the right thing, you know, stay the course. You know, we’re, we’re getting out there and, and we’re making an impact. And I think that’s the, that’s the most important thing. Most importantly we can do today. Uh, it’s the effective use of the platforms that have been given to them. Yes. Yes. So
exactly. Yeah. Because yeah, that’s exactly, yeah. I definitely, that’s a, that’s a great point. I definitely want to respect, you know, I don’t want to be one of these guys that, you know, like, you know, like we see a lot of times in the celebrity world where they build this big platform and then all of a sudden they want to share all their views on, yeah, you know, you should vote this, you should do that, you should do that. Whatever. Like that’s, I want to respect the platform. I have like people are following me for a reason and so I wanted to continue to, um, you know, give them that same thing that caused them to click that follow button there, that
subscribe button or that like I went somewhere. We’re not, we’re not, there’s not some alternate plan down this down the road that’s like, okay, when I get the new people, now I can, you know, reshape how they get to their political view or belief structure. There’s no thanks or time for that.
Yeah, exactly. It’s like, yeah, I just, I, yeah, I just want to make people laugh and continue doing what I’ve been doing in, in, you know, ultimately like I make the videos that I put out or
yeah, you’ll be doing just fine. Yeah, totally. Trust me now that we’ve had done a show of you, if you throw it out that socks, I’ll just send you a note and be like, dude, that really sucked. You need, you need to go back and rethink
a little bit. Yeah. Oh and yeah, if I could say something to the listeners for sure. When somebody makes a video, like, you know, I find that if I make something, tell me it sucks but, or don’t tell me there are some videos that just makes me laugh because there, there are some videos where somebody will, you know, like I will put lot of time into it or whatever or other like, you know, Jason from fire department Chronicles, hilarious guy. He, you know, he, he puts out videos, we both put out videos that we work hard on. We spend a lot of time writing and reviewing and doing different things. And then there’ll be something, you know, a little blooper or a little mistake or whatever and like, Oh my gosh, people want to dwell on that. Or they’ll just be like, let’s totally not.
Yeah, too. It’s like, yes, those comments to yourself and yeah. Or it’s like, yeah, we’ll be in [inaudible]. Same thing, man. I’ll be teaching a course. We’ll be like, you know, two hours into this in depth course where we’re talking about like high trauma, stress management, whatever else. And inevitably on a break or something, so they come, I’d be like, ya know, you know, misspelled blah blah blah and the slot. And I’m like, okay, does it, doesn’t it really fucking matter? Like you miss it really is that way, you know? And so you know. But you know, unfortunately that just, yes. It’s like, dude, okay. Did you, did you miss everything we just said and focused on that. But yeah, people are going to get that stuff all the time, but now, all right, dude, well I, man, I got to say thanks for coming on the show.
This has been, this is I, I one I learned something from you, so thank you. Absolutely. Uh, yeah, I’m actually gonna I’m gonna kind of take this, this idea of, of writing things down and then going back and look at them a little bit later. Cause there’s, you know, that I get some hindsight on it and I guess some humor to it. So I’m definitely gonna kind of take that and uh, just all the listeners know, uh, the show notes will be up and I’ll make sure there’s links to everything. Uh, you know, every possible outlet you have up there. Uh, so everybody can, yeah, if you learn, if you’re not already following this guy, also follow this guy cause it’s, uh, it’s good stuff. It will definitely impact your day. It’ll, it’ll, it’ll bring something to the table. Even if you’re, you know, even if you’re a cop, you can watch them. It’s okay. Alright. That’s, that’s allowed. Um, and we’ll find somebody. There’s gotta be, we came from a family. Yeah. Are there any, I, you know, I came from, are there any police officers out there that are doing this stuff? Do you know, I haven’t seen too many.
Um, they’re actually, there actually is. Um, uh, I, I actually have [inaudible] I’ve done some collaborations with some guys. Um, there’s a nine one, one strong, um, officer Daniels, Mike the cop, officer Smith though there’s, there’s, there’s quite a few out there. Those guys. Um, uh, if you look them up yeah, you’ll find them for sure. If you start looking at like some of the comedic cops or,
yeah, we’ll have to go out to find some balance to the till the regimen on it. Cause I’m sure there’s, yeah, I’m sure there’s a couple of them out there cause it’s, uh, it’s, uh, that’s, that’s a whole nother funny world. I mean that’s a, you know, we run our fair share of stuff, but the shit those guys see, uh, yeah, that’s a whole different, whole different view of life. Uh, so. All right man. Well dude, any final thoughts? Anything, anything you want to close out with for I cut you off or we end in the show. Yeah. You know, I just wanted again, when they say, you know, just thank you very much for having me. I really, really appreciate it. Um, I appreciate, uh, you know, all the confidence you had and everything had to say, you know, and, and the value that you see in what I’m doing.
And, um, I hope, you know, you guys are out there listening. I hope that, uh, you guys see the value I want them doing and don’t take, don’t take yourself too serious. We’re all that, all Fox. I just have some hubs. Have some fun in the process. Right. That’s, that’s what I think of bows down to and, you know, hold the stick out of her ass and just line up. Right. Just, just the opportunity for a day, for a moment. Whatever else. Just kind of lightened up in your day. It’ll, I think it’ll, it’ll definitely shifted dynamics. So brother, thanks for coming on. I really appreciate it. Absolutely. Thank you.