July 22, 2021

Do More - Firefighter Corey Sierra

In this episode, we discuss...

  1. Who is Corey Sierra and his life in the Navy before he became a firefighter (3:29)
  2. "My time in the navy, I am so grateful for but it made me realize that you have to do what you love." (5:03)
  3. How he found out that he wanted to be a fireman (9:18)
  4. "I'm proud of my military service but it's time to move on and I've always been more of a community guy than a country guy. Not saying I don't love the country, I love this country but I feel like I can have more of an impact in the community" (10:42)
  5. "Man, I'm learning a lot. I think one of the biggest things I'm learning is that, you know these rural areas are they don't they don't they're not they don't have the same resources at the metropolitan areas have like out here in Vegas you know or in LA or New York.." (17:40) 
  6. "We got a little philosophy up there in C. O. B. I call it the art the 90 day theory. Okay so it stems from the EMS idea of Use it or Lose it right? Gosh I know you heard that." (21:46)

  7. How he handled extended calls and reassuring patients (26:29)
  8. "That that's what really messes me up that that's, I can honestly say, when I had my first my first pediatric death, that that that was the one time in my entire career in my entire, you know, journey to be a fireman that I thought I couldn't do this job." (28:04)
  9. "Why is that important for you to find a solve for those departments with, you know, less equipment and less, just less resources in that can be just human resources and right, the physical resources? Why? Why does that even matter to you?" (30:30)

  10. First Tuesday Training (FTT) for volunteers and professionals (32:06)
  11. How the Silver Valley Fire Alliance was formed (35:45)
  12. "When it comes to the mark want to leave in the world, man. The first thing that comes to mind is is my family, you know, it's my, it's my wife, Jackie, my daughters Ava and Cali. You know, if I can, if I can, because they they're number one." (53:24)

Guest Contact Information
Instagram: @silvervalleyfirealliance_
Facebook: SilverValleyFireAlliance
Or visit www.silvervalleyfirealliance.org

Host Information
Your host Jerry D. Lund can be reached at 801-376-7124 or email at enduringthebdage@gmail.com or voice message use the icon microphone at www.enduringthebadgepodcast.com. Please feel free to give my information to anyone that might be feeling down or anyone you would like to be on the podcast. Please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast.  If you like the podcast please share it and join the online community at www.instagram.com/enduringthebadgepodcast.


Everyday Podcast Network: This podcast is part of The Everyday Heroes Podcast Network. The network for first responders and those who support them.

Intro: Welcome. The trials of first responders and their families aren't easy. Enduring the Badge Podcast is building a community to help them out. Introducing your host back by 30 years of experience as a first responder, Jerry Dean Lund.

Jerry D. Lund: Hi everyone before we jump into this next episode I wanna thank my sponsor,  Patriot Supreme, a veteran owned company with products made in the U. S. Patriot Supreme makes the best CBD products I've ever used. I really love their CBD roll on it's got a deep freeze filled to it I use it in different joint areas when they feel a little tight or there's a little bit of a hinge. I also use them on my muscles when they're a little bit sore. You can use that up to 4 times a day for pain relief. Check them out at patriotsupreme.com and be sure to follow on Instagram and Facebook as well. Let's jump right into this next episode with my very special guest.

How you doin’ Corey?

Corey Sierra: Better than I deserve my friend. How you doing?

Jerry D. Lund: Oh, I doubt that I'm doing great doing great just got back from a little quick walk in between all the other things going on in my life but yeah doing well doing well. So let’s get right into “Who is Corey Sierra? Where you coming from? and what you're doing?”, So introduce yourself a little bit.

Corey Sierra: Okay ahm well actually, would you mind if I start by thanking you, Jerry for allowing me to be on this podcast? I'm a fan of it I love it I I do got a little gripe of you though, I do got a little gripe.

Jerry D. Lund: Oh boy, here you go this is gonna be good.

Corey Sierra: All right so in the earlier episodes of the podcast you had this cool little intro and it was like your host Jerry D. Lund  and backed by 30 years of experience. Yeah I love that thing man but you’ve gone away from in recent episodes man what's up with that?

Jerry D. Lund: It's coming, it came back in a little it should become back in a little bit different way recorded some all the episode should have it now but yeah

Corey Sierra: Okay

Jerry D. Lund: I had paid somebody else to do it because it sounded their voice sounds better than mine and so yeah, it's, it'll be back that'll be on your episode for sure I can say that

Correy Sierra: Okay that was gonna be a request of mine. Can we have the intro on the on the podcast and online because I love Jerry D. Lund [yeah]. 

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah it's good it's good. I had to separate myself out it can't be like Jerry you know Lund because there's too many of them out there surprisingly. So you know how is the Dean to separate myself you know

Corey Sierra: Okay is that what is for, Dean?

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah yeah my Dad want me to name James Dean but my Mom said no. 

Corey Sierra: Well you got the looks of James Dean so that's good. 

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah I was so look alike Dennis Quaid yesterday when I got my hair cut so. 

Corey Sierra: No, I can see that too man. 

Jerry D. Lund: People are like “you guys going to get into this or what?”

Corey Sierra: Yeah I know I'm sorry man, I I I wanted to go out of my way to thank you too man

Jerry D. Lund: I appreciate it I knew that was first and foremost because I think you're doing something amazing with this podcast and I wanted to make sure that you know. You know that that I'm very grateful so.

Jerry D. Lund: I appreciate that, I appreciate that.

Corey Sierra: But anyways I am yeah Corey Sierra, I am a husband and a father of 2 first and foremost I was, I'm originally from Southern California the high desert area Victorville Hysperia, and but I grew up in Las Vegas so I hail from Las Vegas Nevada that is where I currently reside and yeah I. You know I spent 6 years in the navy as a Maintenance Administration Man. And you know I, during my career in the navy I was, you know I was still wasn't set on what I wanted to do the job was it was a desk job you know and I didn't really have a lot of direction going into the navy so I was just brainstorming ideas what I can do for a career you know. And I thought about this for years, literally. Even to my my my deployments and you know while I was going to school and at the same time I was doing my job as you know Maintenance Administration Man and I thought about it every single day every day I was like What I’m going to do? Do I want to be in the navy? you know for a career? or do I want to go back home to Vegas? Do I want to move somewhere else? You know and on my time in the navy, I am so grateful for but it made me realize that are you have to do what you love. You know you got to, you gotta follow, you got to follow your your ambitions and your passions for that interest you because you know if you're working 16 hour days and you don't love it then it truly is work. you know.

Jerry D. Lund: Right, right right why did you get in the navy then?

Corey Sierra: Well you know for me man I was I was a little bit of a problem child, you know. I I made made some mistakes growing up you know and are you just kind of run in the streets and things of that nature and I needed some direction and you know the military was I I had a buddy who went into the military, who went to the navy specifically and he was coming back home to Vegas every weekend and he's like the navies not bad at all man, it’s nothing like what you think you know and I was like okay well that sounds good. My ahm, so that's what what led me to you know the recruiters office but I still didn't really know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I needed some direction, I needed to get educated I could. You know, in the neighborhood that I grew up up up in here in Vegas like you know we weren't, you know it's single mother households and you know, you know me my boys are running the streets and stuff like that and and you know do we have direction you know what I mean? And I started looking at what's the difference between myself the people around me and the people that are successful? And the conclusion I came to was education. And so I was like okay I just got to figure out a way to educate myself. Mind you, you know I I was I was what some would call  “super senior” okay? Some call it a “13th grader”. Someone called it a “second year senior”. But ahm

Jerry D. Lund: I got yah. You can this be but paint a picture how you want it. Critical judgment on this. And you know we've all we've all had our our struggles.

Corey Sierra: You know I was I was a bit of a I just needed direction man. And after looking at the people around me, the people who are interpreted that were successful, I determined that the you know the difference between us was education you know. And I was like okay so how do I get myself educated I don't got no money. Never prepped or you know we never even thought about college or anything like that. So you know my body had joined the navy is telling me that there's you know tuition benefits and get all these benefits you get a steady paycheck and things of that nature. So I just ran with it but I missed a key element though in this I didn't find out until I was well into my enlistment that I still didn't know what I wanted to do. So you know in my mind I picked what I thought would be the easiest job ever you know. And it was a maintenance administration, it was an office job and I did that and I was like I quickly found out that it wasn't for me, I'm a hands on type of guy I'm busy bee, you know I like staying in I like just working you know and that's where I came to the conclusion that you have to do something you love because I was still working 16 hour days you know and what the job that I thought was going to be easy, turned out being hard not because it was hard because it was labor intensive or because he was you know physically hard, it was hard because I didn't like it you know. So that got me in the mindset of I got to find something that I like, not just that I like that I love and you know I just started just thinking I I literally thought about it every day for almost my whole enlistment.

It wasn't until year 5 that I figured out that I want to be a firemen. And I I just looked at all the things that you know that I like, what are about me and fire fighting was the most logical conclusion on some of those things are. I am very proud to say that I serve the country.

I do want to distinguish this, Jerry, there's a difference between fighting for the country and serving the country. I fall in the service category you know and I'm very proud of that but I’m 100 percent tip my hat off to the people who fought for this country you know they are they are the real heroes and not not taking any way anything away from the people that serve because there's there's you know it's a lot of moving parts in our armed forces you know and they're all needed but I really have a lot of respect for the guys who fought for this country so I don't fall in that category. But you know, I thought okay I'm proud of my military service but it's time to move on and I've always been more of a community guy than a country guy. Not saying I don't love the country, I love this country but I feel like I can have more of an impact in the community you know and you know

Jerry D. Lund: Right. 

Corey Sierra: So you know I just ah was thinking of of how can I serve the community you know, the community that I grew up in and I'm doing something I like you know and you don't be able to feed my family as well. And that's what led me to firefighting. And you know, listening to the podcast and some of your other guest I think we all have something in common that we all have a desire to help man. And I see it in you to you know it's awesome. I think that's that's something you know firemen are tough and you know alpha males and things like that but but in all of that man is this desire to help. That's what led me to firefighting truly is. I said, okay in what way can I help because I want the thesis you know like in college you know you got to write a thesis paper I want the thesis of my life to be helping people you know. And in any way you know possible.

Jerry D. Lund: Right right. Is that what led you to the wildland firefighting first? Was that the first area you thought you could serve your community in?

Corey Sierra: Yes. Well, no it was it was more I was just trying to break in the fire service in any way I could I had started. So after my military enlistment I did 6 years active duty, I came back home to Vegas first and that last year of my enlistment I started to start of my EMT certifications and stuff like that. Research in the fire service, I was knocking on firehouse doors and each crew gave me different pointers on how to break into the fire service and that's how I heard  some of their customs and traditions that go along with being a fireman. And so when I got out of the navy, I went right to school to get my EMT, at the time it was EMT Intermediate, it wasn't Advanced EMT and that led me to you know a workshop out here in Vegas and I met some people who are like you should try being a wildland firefighter you know you just gotta do a PACK Tests you know. And I was like okay done you know so I went did the pack test like 3 weeks after that workshop. I got on with the Southern Nevada BLM Bureau of Land Management and I was on a tight to Interagency Handcrew. 

Jerry D. Lund: You gotta do some work then.

Corey Sierra: Oh yeah

Jerry D. Lund: I mean, but what? Is Southern Nevada have everything to burn other than desert, right? Is there anything you put out?

Corey Sierra: Well you know there's a few tumble needs here and there. Yeah. 

Jerry D. Lund: Great way to break into the fire service, that’s not an easy job.

Corey Sierra: No, you know, I loved it actually. I loved being on the Handcrew man, and I love I love being out. I  do, like I said before man, and I enjoy working hard I enjoy working on my hands I kind of like the labor intensive stuff, I like I challenging myself so because of all that I loved it. However, you know I was married and I had my first daughter that year. So as you know all of the people who have spent time in the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, it's a, the time away from your family is so erratic, it’s spontaneous. So that's what led me to you know really pushed toward getting on into the structure side.

Jerry D. Lund: Right and so you did your, how many years did you do in the in the BLM?

Corey Sierra: I only did one season with that with that Type 2 Handcrew. At that time it was an Inter Agency Handcrew and I was AD, administerly administratively determined so that's where our fires came from so there'd be a big fire would they would call for the handcrew and they would they would call us and we ended up going to Arizona, Utah, ah where else Arizona, Utah. Ahm the Southern,  Southwest I can't remember. In Mexico we had a big fire in the Mexico and you know we seen some real fire man you know that a lot of times yeah a lot of times with the Type 2 crews. You know the kind of thought of as like you know they they come to mop up and stuff but we seen some we've seen so far we're on a fire line it was getting hot. And you know I was still feel, after I was exposed to that I was like man I really love this you know. Can I do it mate man I I I even considered like man I want to do this and I'll just stick with this instead of trying to you know the structure thing but ultimately you know again going back to mark my my core belief in more of a community guy I'm a wanna be in the community a little bit more.

 And of course my family like I talked about you know, it was really tough on my wife and my little daughter. So I focus my energy after that one season into getting on the structuel world and I did about half a season on the engines here in Southern Nevada with the Bureau of Land Management before I got the job at MCLB in Barstow. 

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah that that that was a huge change. Why Barstow of all places you live in Nevada? Everybody has to go question, you know it. 

 Corey Sierra: Everybody does man, and they think I'm crazy too. The easiest answer I say is they hired me.

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah well I mean, that was a good one. But I know you I know you you you really love it there that's why you continue to stay there and we'll get into another reason why you're why you're still there and that area. How long have you been in the structure world?

Corey Sierra: so I've been in the structure world since 2012. So going on 9 years now and I mean you said it for me I love it. You know it's kind of weird I feel like I love I love everything.

Jerry D. Lund: That's not a bad thing, that's not a bad thing. It could be totally worse. So what’s being out your time in the structure world them bar so what's what's that teaching you? I mean, you've had a little bit of a journey I know you're really a community person and you're trying to find your your group. But you know in Barstow,  in the fire service what are you learning out there. 

Corey Sierra: Man, I'm learning a lot. I think one of the biggest things I'm learning is that, you know these rural areas are they don't they don't they're not they don't have the same resources at the metropolitan areas have like out here in Vegas you know or in LA or New York you know on it you know. If we go on a call, you know it's long. It's it's a long transport time to get there and then you're the only resource you know your second resource may not be it will be you know 30 minutes away you know an hour away so that's something I've learned about and my time out there in Barstow you know. Originally when when I got the job out there, I was I was so it's it's so I work on the marine base out there okay so it's it's Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow in MCLB it's a federal firefighting job and originally when I got the job they they hired me so I was like Hey there's no way I'm going to turn down a fire job I was still testing out here in Vegas. 

And you know it but in my mind, all roads we're gonna lead back here to Vegas so I was like okay I'll get a job in Barstow get some experience continuously imply in Vegas and transfer here to Vegas you know or you know whatever but there is there is, just like when I joined the navy there is there is a factor that I didn't take into consideration and that was that I would like it so much you know. I had this grand idea of you know getting some experience coming back to they get you know the military, get a fire job, coming back to Vegas and be in firemen in the communities that I grew up in you know I had this like grand idea of that and one thing that just took threw a wrench in the whole plan was the fact that I ended up liking MCLB so much man. It's a good department and you know we're we're not crazy busy but I mean we get some action you know and it's you know it's fun, sometimes it's really hard you know sometimes it's really easy and I I never I didn't even take that in consideration when I had all these things in mind you know.

Jerry D. Lund: Right, let's dive down into those hard those hard times and stuff like that you know for some listeners there in the rural areas and some in the urban areas, what is it like to know that your mutual aid is so far away?

Corey Sierra: You gotta be on point you gotta be on point in mind you most most of our call volume come from mutual aid because we're we're station to the base but we have automatic mutual aid agreements with the surrounding towns and there's a bunch of little towns around Barstow that are smaller than Barstow. And um you know knowing that your second resources is a ways away you just you just have to know that you're you're the person that has to make whatever happens you know whether it's extrication or interior attack of fire war, you know a defensive operation or just a simple you know medical aid you know somebody else or you know her hand or something you know there's a lot of our you know public issues that we gotta do to the surrounding areas and stuff like that.

I think to answer the question that what it's like it's just you gotta be on point. And you know you gotta be on point and you gotta find a way to make it work no matter what no matter what resources you have on scene or what resources you got coming,  you just got to find a way to make it work

Jerry D. Lund: Do you do you train for that? Is that something you can train for just figured out a way to make it work?

Corey Sierra: Yeah yeah you train for by continuously training. We got a little philosophy up there in C. O. B. I call it the art the 90 day theory. Okay so it stems from the EMS idea of Use it or Lose it right? Gosh I know you heard that.

Jerry D. Lund: Heard it and felt it been there done.

Corey Sierra: That as I have on my own it's so you learn a skill whether it's EMS, it's rescue hazmat fire suppression, driver operator you learn a skill. If you don't use it you lose it right? In our calls out there or so, the’re so vary, there's so much variety in the calls that you may not go into your own structure for four months, five months you know what I mean me it but you may get multiple traffic collisions. You know you're always gonna have the medical aids you may not have a hazmat incident for once a year you know you know, you're always going to have the medical aids, you may not have a hazmat incident for a once a year, you know, so what, what we did, and I got this from one of the engineers that used to work at MCLB, he told me, everything we do has a shelf life. Okay. So, with that philosophy, all we did is add a timeline to the use it or lose it, you know, mantra, I guess. And that timeline we said was 90 days. So if you if you learn like like a z rig, right, like a rescue z rig, mechanical advantage, and you learn it in January, if you don't at least do it by March. And you do it in April, you're going to be rusty at it at the very least rest right.

You know, um, so if you and then I mean, the same thing goes for all the other areas. Same thing goes with, you know, anything in EMS, you know. So, that's how you get around. That's how you prepare for being the only resource in a rural area. You have to train consistently. You have to I mean, there's no and and especially if you have one hazmat a year? Well, I mean, yeah, so you're going a lot more than 90 days without using that skill. So the only way to supplement it, especially in our area, is to supplement it with training, you know, realistic training as possible. And, and, you know, of course, you got to tailor it a little bit to your, your region. You know, there we're not going to you know, the the champ Okay, the highest, the highest building in in the Barstow areas three storeys, right, though, you know, we're not we're not dealing with high rises out there, you know what I mean? But we have LCLs, large commercial occupancies horizontal high rises, essentially. So, we focus more on LCL training, the high rise training, you know, so that's how you get around, making it work. You know.

Jerry D. Lund: I like that. I like that philosophy. Do you find it very, like stressful on these calls, just like waiting, you know, half hour, an hour for mutual aid, like, what's going on in your mind during that time, and I know the weather out there has got to play a factor at times, too. The heat and stress and you know the long wait for mutual aid.

Corey Sierra: Yeah, well, like I said in MCLB is the mutual aid partner. So, um, you know, we were usually well, I mean, I can't even say that man, sometimes we are the first on scene and waiting for the resource waiting for the airship, you know, to come in. Yeah, pick up somebody off the off the freeway that's been in traffic accident. Um, you know, getting the job done. Just getting the job done. Yeah, just making it work. You know, if if, and sometimes that's just reassuring the patient, you know, or thinking, thinking a few steps ahead, what are we going to do? As soon as Yeah, we got 20 minutes till our airship lands, what are we going to do into that? Okay, until then we can, we can rendezvous with them, so that they're a little bit closer, we can get with, you know, the California Highway Patrol to security freeway, or we can, you know, reassure the patient, what are the interventions can we do to help the patient, you know, while we're waiting this 20 minutes to get them to definitive care, you know, just make it work? Right?

Jerry D. Lund: How does that play, like, on mental health at all, Does any of these just playing you know, having these extended calls? I know for me, sometimes it's it's very hard, you know, reassuring a patient for several minutes, you know, the, the, you know, the transport is going to be here, your, you know, the airships going to be here and you form that really, you know, special bond with that patient, because sometimes the only thing you can offer them, right is just your conversation. There's nothing more intervention wise, you can do it just waiting. There's a waiting period, certain things in your long extended ambulance transports, right? I mean, you could make it awkward as you want in the back is just like, not even talked to the patient. But, you know, a good patient care person knows how to strike up a conversation and talk with them.

Corey Sierra: Yeah, I, you know, for me, personally, I don't think it really plays into my mental a lot, you know, cuz, like, this is the only structure department I've ever been at. So this is all I know, you know, and I don't I don't think it really plays into my mental that much, you know, I'm just always thinking ahead, always thinking how we can shorten, shorten the thing I will say what does and I think anybody who's ever been on this podcast can, can attest to this to anything dealing with, with pediatrics, especially in trauma or, you know, medical responses were were there, they're hurt, they're really hurt. That that's what really messes me up that that's, I can honestly say, when I had my first my first pediatric death, that that that was the one time in my entire career in my entire, you know, journey to be a fireman that I thought I couldn't do this job. I was like, I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if this is for me, you know. And, um, but then I remembered. So the call was it was a call on base actually. And there was a baby, it was it was a SIDS case. So yeah, sudden, infant death syndrome. You know, we tried to revolve by the, the child and rushed to the hospital. And it was no, you know, right. Unfortunately, were unsuccessful. Um, and I, I remember thinking to myself, I was like, I can't do this job, man. I remember sending the ambulance at the hospital afterwards, just like when my head on the steering wheel. And I was like, I can't do this job, man. I don't think this is for me. And then I remembered the parents. I remember the parents, um, you know, you know, hugging each other and saying, you know, help our baby. And I was thinking, Man, imagine how they feel, you know what I mean? Like, right, right? Somebody's got to be there for them. You know what I mean? This time, we weren't successful. But, you know, there may be a time where we are successful, you know, and somebody's got to be there. And if you have to be strong for them, you don't I mean, that's what it's about. But that was the one time that that you know, I can I really thought you know, that it really played into my mental Yeah, so yeah, you know, the long transport times and the, the resources coming in from far and stuff like that, then it hasn't ever really affected my mental personally. And yeah, just thinking ahead, you know?

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah, no, that's good. It's good to have a game plan and stuff like that and not everything. You know, things Like people differently, for sure, especially in, you know, first responders, everything, everybody's different and how things affect them. So you're, you're at this, you're working off the the military base, and you're running into all these smaller towns that have less resources. So let's take us down that road about something you're, you know, you're doing about that, you know, you've responded into these towns, and you see that there's a need, what and why, why is that important for you to find a solve for those departments with, you know, less equipment and less, just less resources in that can be just human resources and right, the physical resources? Why? Why does that even matter to you?

Corey Sierra: Yeah. You know, well, goes back to what I said earlier, in the podcast, I've always been more of a community guy, you know, and I'm, you know, I grew up running the streets out here in Vegas, we have a little bit less than, you know, the average person, you know, and, and I've always been the underdog, you know, my entire life, I've always been the underdog. So I can relate with people who are the underdogs, and have less and have to do more, you know, with less. And, you know, it led me to a crossroads. So, so I told you my original plan was to end up in Vegas, right? Right, I applied a few times, but I really didn't put a lot of effort into it. Because I was having so much fun in Barstow, it was like, oh, they're hiring. Okay, cool, try it out, you know, made some interviews and stuff like that, but never got on. And a round 2018 that was the last time I applied. And, um, I remember talking with one of my captains, and he said, You know, I told him my grand plan, I was like, I want to go out, and I want to go serve in the communities that I grew up in. And there's a lot of people that need help out there, I think I can, you know, do more. And he was like, look around, he's like, there's a lot of people that need help around here, you know, and keeping that in the back of my mind. Um, you know, we started a Mutual Aid Interagency Training Program from the ground up. I asked the fire chief, the fire chief had made the mandate that we that we train on a monthly basis with our volunteer counterparts, not just our volunteer, volunteer, or mutual aid counterparts, and he, you know, I stepped up and said, Hey, you know, if you give me if you give me some authority, I will I'll build something, I'll build something from the ground up. That's that's not too hard on everybody, but everybody can benefit from and that program is first Tuesday training, we call it FTT on the first Tuesday of every month, our mutual aid partners, the ambulance, the air ambulance, our three volunteer counterparts to to pay professionals in the region. We all get together and we do some sort of training and we alternate who's going to lead that training. We have the schedule out for a year, and it went good. It went good for for about about three years until March of 2020. I'll give you a wild guess. Why? Why we had to halt it suddenly. Oh, you give up? It was the pandemic. Yeah. But

Jerry D. Lund: That's weird.

Corey Sierra: Yeah. So so so so I'm doing the first Tuesday training. I didn't get picked up in Vegas and my captain's telling me to look around there's a lot of people that need help. But I think that the straw that broke the camel's back, for me to really propel. FTT, First Tuesday Training was I had a buddy of mine who I work with, who's you know, he's a devout Christian. And I'm a Christian to mind you. I'm the worst Christian you will ever meet your life  cause I don't even want to say

Jerry D. Lund: Oh please, Corey, c’mon now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, we don't have time for that.

Corey Sierra: Um, but he told me something. He was he was talking about Jesus. And he said, Jesus Nazareth was was like the areas around here people thought nothing good can come from Nazareth, you know? And that just merging doubt with my captain told me earlier and my whole philosophy of of, you know, wanting my life to be about helping others and I'm community oriented. I was just at this point, with first two day training was like, This is going good. I want to do more. I don't just want to train for two hours a month. I want to do more than that. What can I do you know, and, you know, I have a degree in business. And so I understand the fundamentals of business. And I considered opening some businesses and stuff, but you know, it, nothing seemed like a business that I can really get behind and truly pour everything into, you know, because I'm really got to believe in a product or a cause in order to, to, to get behind it and put everything to it. And I couldn't really, you know, everything. Yeah, you know. And so once we started doing First Tuesday Training and all these other things, I start saying, you know, what's the difference between our department and our volunteer counterparts? And the big difference is funding and then I started going down that route is okay, how can we get more funding, not just funding more training and more equipment and everything into the Silver Valley, that's, that's the name of the area, this Barstow area where we serve. And the idea that led me to was a nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(3). And that's how the Silver Valley Fire Alliance was formed, you know, with this whole idea that I wanted to do more for the people and the community that I serve. And, and we we officially got our 501(c)(3) status in 2019 at the end of 2019.

Jerry D. Lund: Awesome.

Corey Sierra: And since we're already been doing First Tuesday Training, and I've been meeting with the Volunteer Fire Chiefs on a regular basis, I said, Man, we got a built in board. We got a built in board of directors. So the board of directors are the Volunteer Fire Chiefs of the Silver Valley and I want to give a special special shout out to all of them, man, they are the best Board of Directors, they support. Everything I do they guide me in something. So I want to give a special shout out to Chief Jim Brake Bill, Chief Daphne Lanir and chief Brennan Gorter. That's the fire chiefs of Yermo Fire Department, Newberry Springs Fire Department and Daggett Fire Department. They've been so supportive of this, this s SVFA endeavor. And we've been able to accomplish a lot of good things not not just since we got started with mind you we've we've only been in operating existence, we got our 501(c)(3) status in October of '19. We would do in board meetings and stuff. But we didn't officially start operating until June of 2020. Okay, so right now, right in the middle of the pandemic made it we made it happen, you know, just just like, just like on on calls on emergency incidents, we make it happen, you know, and I'm very proud of the work that that so Valley Fire Alliance has done so far. So, you know, our whole the whole goal of the Silver Valley Fire Alliance is to get training equipment and recruitment to the volunteer fire departments in the Silver Valley. I also want to give you know, I gotta I gotta mention the other mutual aid partners who are so supportive including MCLB, my department, Fort Irwin Fire Department, which is the other professional area. Mercier 66, and desert ambulance and the local businesses. I mean, the the our main support is have come from people within the fire industry, because they understand.

Jerry D. Lund: A community right, you're back to the community, the fire community and the community that you're working in.

Corey Sierra: Yes. Yeah. Community man driven. I'm a community dude, you know, and we just got our first grant actually, man, big shout out to 555 Fitness, man, they get

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah, good. Good people.\

Corey Sierra: Yeah, absolutely. Man, I love what they're doing and trying to trying to promote health and wellness within the fire service. And they showed us so much love, we applied a few times for their, their strength is our foundation grant. So I want to give them a big shout out and thank you for get behind us. But yeah, there's so that's that's how the Silver Valley Fire Alliance started with the whole idea of doing more and trying to help out in the community, you know?

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah. So is that kind of when your slogans is Do More do you use that in other areas of your life?

Corey Sierra: Yes, sir. Absolutely. Man, I it's something that gets in the back of my mind every single day even today. I was like, man, I got to work. What can I do more? You know, what, what else can I do? You know, and I'm, I think about it all the time. Not not just in the fire service. I think about it with my family, as a husband as a father. I think about it in every aspect of life as a friend you know, as a as a colleague, everything man, I want to always want to push to do more on the positive side, you know, of course, right? Right. And so yeah, that's our hashtag is Do More.

Jerry D. Lund: I like it, I like it have something similar. I'm like, I feel like a lot of people go 99% of the way 99% of the way and all the things, but, you know, it's just that 1% is the difference that makes that difference, right? Just do that. 1% more and all the things you do, just think about that each, each and every day, and how much accumulation that is. Just do 1% more 1% better each day. And it really drives me crazy. When I see people do like 99% of something. I'm like, dude, you're just so close, just do that  1% more and put it this thing over the top or complete, you know, the project or whatever. It's just, man. I don't know. I know. That's just that's my do more. That's my that's my thing that goes through my mind all day long, you know, drives my wife crazy. I'm sure of it. I know. She calls that OCD or something.

Corey Sierra: It could very well be a medical thing. Jerry? No, honestly, I'm with you 100%. I think that's a that's right. In line with with with do more. I think, you know, our community, our fire community. That's that's how we think you know that we want to push the limits. We want to challenge ourselves. We want to do more, we want to go 110% not 99 you know, yeah, so I agree with you 100%.

Jerry D. Lund: So what are things are going on in the SVFA? The Silver Valley Fire Alliance?

Corey Sierra: I'm so glad you asked. So So our staple program is FTT, First Tuesday Training, right. That's how that's where there's all originated and started. So we do that once a month. We just started back up in March. We do the First Tuesday Training every month. And then we also implemented another program called StaFit, Station Fitness little play on words right there. Yeah, yeah. I that that that came from one of the firefighters that our department Steve Hall, and he's a he's a force recon marine. Just a solid dude. And he brought he brought that that kind of thing to MCLB. So I asked him with permission. I said, Hey, man, I love that, that slogan that saying can we can I bring that to SVFA? And he was like, Yeah, absolutely. You know, so StaFit. So what that is, is I work out with this. This is really just for the volunteers, but anybody can join, you know, any of the mutual aid partners can join. Well, we work out once a month, okay. And every single time we work out, it's in turnouts. That's, that's what StaFit is all about. It's about getting acclimated in the turnouts. It's about camaraderie between all of the mutual aid partners. It's about fitness. You know, it's about pushing ourselves to do a little bit more, you know, yeah. And, um, you know, we got a lot of other things in the world, too. So, yeah, like I said, firefighter fitness. very gracious and linking us up with some $15,000 and fitness. Wow, there's Yeah, yeah, they hooked it up. They, I mean, there's the list is insane of all the cool stuff that's that they're giving us with our their strength is our Foundation Grant. But, um, we're also working on some fundraisers, you know, to go outside of, you know, the area to bring some funding and, you know, we got a couple things working. I don't know if I should, if I should, if I should announce it right now.

Jerry D. Lund: We’ll do it, we’ll put it in our show notes. We’ll keep it.

Corey Sierra: Okay. Yeah. Okay, so you do want me to announce it or no?

Jerry D. Lund: It's up to you, Man, It's your announcement.

Corey Sierra: Well, we'll wait a little bit cuz they're still in the works, though. But we do have, we do have some fundraisers planned, not just, you know, of course to to raise money for our volunteer fire departments, but also to just have a presence in the community have some fun things going on, you know, in the community. But if anybody wants to see what we're doing, you can go to silvervalleyfirealliance.org. We're also on Instagram at silvervalleyfirealliance_, and you can always check us out on Facebook, too. So yeah.

Jerry D. Lund: What about YouTube. Do you have something going on YouTube?

Corey Sierra: Yep. Yeah, we do have a YouTube channel. It's funny. Our first official fundraiser was it was a Instagram fundraiser, called the 4x4x48. Have you heard of that?

Jerry D. Lund: Only from you. But yeah, yeah.

Corey Sierra: Yeah. The retired Navy Seal David Goggins put out a challenge to anybody who is trying to raise money for charity. Well, you run four miles every four hours for 48 hours, or you work out every four hours for 48 hours. I did a mix. I did. I did 24 miles of running over the two days. I did some circuits. I climbed the stratosphere out here in Vegas in gear and I did a little bit more by putting a 48 pound vest on. It killed me, you know, I was hurting and and that was like my third event. So I still have like, nine more events to go man. I was like, Oh man, I should I should have did this.

Jerry D. Lund: David Goggins style. If anybody knows anything about him, he can Yes, brutalize his body. Do you know and, uh, no other human that I know of can do what he's done and, and still be alive?

Corey Sierra: Yeah, it was crazy just just trying to complete his challenge. I completed it, by the way, with pride. But, you know, we were able to raise some funds for the Silver Valley Fire Alliance. And we got a YouTube summary of it on our YouTube channel at Silver Valley Fire Alliance YouTube channel. So if anybody wants to check that out, there's a, you'll see the video of me like waking up first thing in the morning and rubbing my eyes. You know?

Jerry D. Lund: Is this something that he does once a year? Or just threw that out? The one time thing?

Corey Sierra: No, I believe it's going to be an annual thing. I know, the first the inaugural one was last year. And then I think this year was the second one. I'm planning on doing it. Next year, he already put out after this one that you don't need to do it next year. So um, yeah, it's ah you know, and it's all for your favorite charity, you know, and, you know, I'm the I'm the founder of a charity. So I did it for the silver Valley Fire Alliance, you know, and we raised some funds, and we're able to reimburse some, some volunteers out in the silver Valley who would go into a driver operator class, so it's just just a beautiful thing. But yeah, we do have we do have a YouTube channel, you can check us out on YouTube, we have a few promotional videos explaining what the Silver Valley Fire Alliance is and how people can help, you know, so

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah, I want to I want to go back to one thing before I let you go, actually, I got two things for you. What, let's go back to the firefighter fitness ground. And that's a huge grant. They're great people. They're doing amazing things and throughout the fire service, and so props to them got nothing but good things to say about them. Why? Why getting this $15,000 grant? Like, what's that going to change? If you're working out once a month in your gear? Why is that so important?

Corey Sierra: Oh, yeah. You know, that's very, that's that's a very good point. Okay. So that's kind of a deceptive. So you got to understand that. So Valley Fire Alliance is a nonprofit organization working on behalf of the volunteer fire departments, right? These volunteer fire departments are doing their own thing on top of that, so so it's the Silver Valley Fire Alliance is just a way, what I tell people is the Silver Valley Fire Alliance fills in the gaps, okay? these departments are still working out on their own every shift, they're still training on their own every shift, they're still running calls on their own, even when, you know, there is no mutual aid available, or they may not need a mutual aid and maybe a callback, you know, no mutual aid is required. So these volunteer departments are still working their butts off on their own. SVFA is just filling in the gaps. We're trying to find creative and unique ways of bringing funds, equipment training, and, you know, additional camaraderie to Silver Valley. So I got to distinguish that to that Daggett, Yermo and Newberry Springs volunteer fire departments are doing amazing job on their own alone. I'm just filling in the gaps, the Silver Valley Fire Alliance just fill in the gaps and getting a little bit creative as well.

Jerry D. Lund: So that's awesome that you're that mean, someone needs to do that and right and all the organizations is filling the gaps. That's great that SVFA a man's kind of a play on words we were talking about earlier. Is is great that they're filling in the gaps, but Koryoma throw out a little challenge for you.

Corey Sierra: Send it all. I'm always ready, man.

Jerry D. Lund: All right, well, who's joining next year? Who's going to join you next year to do your charity thing? You gotta gotta round up some peeps.

Corey Sierra: Oh, man. Okay, well, you know what? what are you talking? What are you talking about? Who's going to join? What do you mean?

Jerry D. Lund: I think you just need to organize it a little more and get some people like you gather up some people and do this together and 48 hours.

Corey Sierra: Oh, absolutely.

Jerry D. Lund: Get a crowd to do this with you.

Corey Sierra: Yeah, absolutely. If anybody out there wants to do this here. I did it on my own. I kind of got wind of the of the challenge late. So you know, I didn't have a lot of time to organize it, but it's supposed to be going on sometime in March of next year. So when the dates become official, I'm inviting anybody in our region or outside of our region to come out and and do the 4x4x48 with me I'm doing it for sure. So if I'm out there by myself again, I'll do it by myself don't matter to me. But I would love to have people and and anybody out there willing to come out and support, support it. Be on the lookout because once it gets official, the days are official and everything I'll be I'll be blasting on our Instagram, Facebook and website for people to come and do it with me, you know, but not just that our other fundraisers to man that that, you know, once they come set in stone, you know, I don't want to throw out. I don't want to throw out a bunch of invites when we don't have the dates, you know? Set and everything.

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah. I'll see if I can make that. I'm not sure what my schedule like is, you know, not that far out. But I think that'd be fun to do something like that.

Corey Sierra: Oh, all right. You don't did it now. Hey, so everybody out there, Jerry Dean Lund and Corey Sierra are doing the 4x4x48 next year, come out and join us. Yeah, yeah. Where are we sleeping? Are we sleeping in just in the desert on the dirt? Oh, we will sleep in my home gym. That's why I slept this talk. I got a cotton and I just freakin got up, did my workouts and then went back to sleep for a few hours and then got up and ran and went back sleep for a few hours. So. Oh, it's nice. You don't messed up Jerry. I'm actually putting it in the schedule right now.

Jerry D. Lund: I like challenges too. It sounds like it sounds like a sounds like a great, great challenge. Definitely be something I would enjoy doing. Especially you know, a great guy. Like you and that'd be fun. Dood motivation.

Corey Sierra: Oh, yeah. Thank you, man. That means a lot. I'm gonna get to it right. I'm gonna I'm saying I'm saving this and then I'm gonna replay it. I'm just gonna

Jerry D. Lund: Mock me with it. Yeah. Corey before we before I let you go. What impact do you want to make on the world?

Corey Sierra: Oh, man, you hit me with a hit me with a deep one real quick. Oh, yeah. Deep one.

Jerry D. Lund: By the way, what Corey is thinking about this question. I'll fill in a little blank here. Corey is also working on a book. Can I tell people that?

Corey Sierra: Yeah, you can tell people that bad? Yeah. I don't tell a lot of people that man writing is a is a hobby of mine. I'm a fiction writer. And I am working on a what I like to call a breakout novel. You know, it's just in the works though, Man, I'm working on my manuscript. I got it back from the editor. And I am you know, revising her suggestions and sending them out to some betas which I'm hoping you will be one of my betas. My second round betas, I had a first round betas. If you'd be so kind. Yeah, um, but you know, to be honest, so to you know, that's, that's, that's something that's like a, like a second passion of mine. You know, when it comes to the mark want to leave in the world, man. The first thing that comes to mind is is my family, you know, it's my, it's my wife, Jackie, my daughters Ava and Cali. You know, if I can, if I can, because they they're number one. I know, we've been talking a lot about the Silver Valley Fire Alliance and our fire careers and being first responders. But number one on that list is always my family. I know sometimes that goes without saying. But when you when you say what type of impact I want to leave is definitely if I can be a good father, good husband, and  raised them to where they're happy and productive members of society and pursuing their passions and, you know, excelling. That's, that's, that's the biggest impact I think I you know, I can leave, you know, and then you know, who knows, you know, me may go down as one of the most prolific writers of our time. You know, build build a nonprofit organization that will sustain in the Silver Valley for centuries, you know,

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah, that's awesome. Love, love those answers. Yeah. That's a great, right. You can't beat being you know, just trying to be the best person you can be with involving your family. I think that's really, really the key. That's a daily struggle for me every single day to try to keep that in check and do better and do more. Well, thank you for so much Corey, for being on the podcast today.

Corey Sierra: Right on brother, thank you so much for having me and if anybody listening is interested and seen what the Silver Valley Fire Alliance is all about where we are on Facebook, we're on Instagram, you could check out the website and our YouTube channel as well. And next year, you could see me and Jerry doing the 4x4x48 as well.

Jerry D. Lund: Yeah, we need someone to come in, you know, film this for us, you know, make a little biography about this little event. All right. Thank you, Corey so much.

Corey Sierra: Thank you.

Outro: Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcasts. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our hosts, Jerry Dean Lund, do the Instagram handles at jerryfireandfuel or at enduringthebadgepodcast. Also by visiting the show's website, enduringthebadgepodcast.com. For additional methods of contact, and up to date information regarding the show. Remember the views and opinions expressed during the show. So we represent those of our hosts and the current episodes guests.



Corey SierraProfile Photo

Corey Sierra

Executive Director/Founder

Originally from SoCal, Corey Sierra grew up in Las Vegas where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He served 6-years on active duty with the United States Navy. He chose to pursue firefighting as a post-military career. After obtaining his NREMT certification, he worked with the BLM on a Type-2 crew. As a national resource, the Southern Nevada interagency hand crew fought fire on large-scale incidents in the Southwest region. During the off-season, he worked part-time with the ambulance in Vegas and went to college to obtain his IFSAC firefighting certifications.
In 2012 he left the BLM to accept the job at MCLB Barstow Fire & Emergency Services and has been there ever since. He has advanced certifications as a Hazmat & Rescue Technician, Fire Instructor I, Fire Inspector I, & Fire Officer I & II. He is also a Driver/Operator for the Department. He has a passion for training and enjoys mentoring probationary firefighters.
In 2018, he started First Tuesday Training (FTT). A multi-agency training initiative aimed toward improving mutual aid emergency operations & relationships in the North Hi-Desert of SoCal. The initiative has partners from the surrounding area participating in the FTT program. Partners include, paid and volunteer Fire Departments, private ambulance, air transportation service, sheriff, and local businesses. Agencies meet on the First Tuesday of every month to work on an area of training relative to the calls ran together. Each agency alternates as a lead instructor so relative knowledge can be dispersed.
Propelled by a strong desire to "Do More", FF Sierra founded the Silver Valley Fire Alliance (SVFA) to assist the volunteer fire departments in the region obtain training, equipment, and recruitment. Still, in its first year of operating existence, SVFA has become a pillar of improvement for the Daggett, Yermo, and Newberry Springs Volunteer Fire Departments. With donations from local businesses and generous individuals, SVFA has been able to provide new hand tools, gloves, various hose fittings, uniforms, badges, helmet shields, assorted PPE, Boots, bottled water, bedding, and tuition/book reimbursements for the hardworking and well-deserving departments.
The Silver Valley Fire Alliance is very grateful and proud of the impact it has had in the North Hi-Desert thus far. There is still much work to be done, we can “Do More”