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Jan. 10, 2023

If I Could Inspire One Person- Firefighter/EMT Bernard Taylor

If I Could Inspire One Person- Firefighter/EMT Bernard Taylor

Bernard Taylor

Age: 34, from Miami, FL


He is currently working for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue for the past two years. 4 years in the fire service.

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Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's episode event during the VO podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode, so please hit that subscribe button. And while your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or our Apple Podcast. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people.

So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review and just maybe by doing that, it'll push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this. Right. Before we jump into this next episode, I want to talk to you about you. I want to know, do you feel like you're not getting the best out of yourself, that you're struggling in your close and personal relationships?

You have that anxious and overwhelming feeling. Because your home life and your work life balance is out of sorts. Do you feel like maybe you're working on your mental health and it's just not going anywhere? You're not getting the results you really want. I thought that myself before, and I want to help you with that because I don't want you to be stuck in that feeling.

I know how that feels too. So I have an offer for you. You can reach out to me for a free 15 minute discovery call. No. We just jump on the phone chat for about 15. And we try to figure out how to get you back on track and get the life you deserve. You can do that by reaching out to me on my Instagram or on my Facebook page.

And for the Instagram handle, it's Jerry Fire and Fuel, or Enduring the Badge Podcast. Or you just go straight to the website and during the Badge podcast and there's a little coaching tab there, and you can book a call. My very special guest today is Firefighter EMT Bernard Taylor from Florida. He has an infectious personality.

Just wait until you listen. His goal is to inspire one person, and I can see from his Instagram account he's. Doing just that. His accounts on social media are awesome and they are very inspiring. We're gonna talk to Bernard about his journey into the fire service, how he keeps a good work-life balance and what he does to manage the stress of his job.

Now let's jump right into this episode with Bernard. How you doing Bernard? 

I'm doing well, Jerry. How you doing today?

I'm doing well. As I'm doing well as well. 

There you go. That's English education playing off ,

right? Yeah. Bernard, introduce, introduce the audience, to your, you know, to yourself. Wow, I can't even talk today. . 

No worries man. It's Tuesday. You're forgiven . So guys, my name is Bernard Taylor. I am a firefighter here in the great state of Florida,  Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. I've been in the fire service almost four years now.  Down here we are firefighters as well as e ems. So I am currently a firefighter, e n t, hoping to be a medic within the next two weeks. Crossing your fingers, pass my national exam. 

That is awesome. Yeah. That is awesome. Yeah.  In Utah, I'm also a firefighter and paramedic and do, law enforcement, so Yeah. I know how hard that paramedic,  step can be that, during that time, what got you into the fire service?

So, spent my whole twenties really just, doing odd jobs. I worked probably in every industry you could think of,  fast food,  stores,  clothing, hardware, construction, like all that stuff. Eventually I, I got with a, a chiropractor and,  In Vero Beach, Florida. He kind of took me under his wings and, and showed me the ropes as far as being a chiropractic assistant.

So I spent about three years doing that. And during my time as a chiropractic assistant, as you well know, you, you get a lot of firefighters. You know, your body are beat up and you do whatever you can to, to try to feel good and heal. So they would come in, I would work on them, and, you know, over the years they would always just be like, Hey man, you would just, you'd be so great.

You ever thought about the fire? You ever thought about this, this and that? When I first heard about it, I was like, no, I'm not gonna go walk into a burning building. Who does that . But, like I said, over time, you know, they, they explained to me about their career. You know, what it entails, what I'll be doing, how, how, how I can make a positive impact in the community.

And, you know, eventually they kind of just wore me down and I said, you know what? I'm gonna go ahead and give it a shot. It, it gave me an opportunity to. Be active and physical, which is what I love. So it gave me a career that would allow me to be active. It also gives me a career that I would still stay in medicine cause I always wanted to be in healthcare field.

And it also cre gave me a career where I can kind of create that environment I have when I played sports, that whole team teamwork environment. So it was the best of all worlds all in one. So I took a shot and said, here we go. Let's see what happens. 

That's, that's awesome. I mean, I think other firefighters, they, they see people in the community and think, wow, you would be, you would be good at that.

And then we, we try to bring those great people into the fire service like yourself. I mean, if he can't see Bernard, you gotta watch it, him on YouTube. He, he's a very fit dude, and he's got an infectious attitude. He's like, smiley, happy. You know that that's the kind of people you know that we want in a fire service who want that team player.

Absolutely. So it looks like physical fitness has been a big part of your life. 

Yeah. Like I said, I played sports, I think. Ever since I could walk ,  the first sport I played was a ball I'll never forget.  My mom signed me and my brothers up and like I said, I've been playing sports since the age of five where it was baseball, football, basketball, running track.

 Actually even before five I was, I'll be running around trying to get my aunties, uncles to chase me. So I think I've been like moving around ever since I came outta the loop. , . I love it. I love being active. I love being fitted.  It, it, it provides a great, , just, it gives you a good feeling to know that you, you keeping your body,  in shape and you keep yourself healthy.

Yeah. Kind of stepping back a little bit, like what was the one thing that surprised you when you got into the fire service? 

The, so when I got into the fire service, I'll never forget my first week in the fire academy, we did resiliency training and I thought that I was in shape. I thought that I was an athlete.

I thought that, oh, this is gonna be a piece of cake. Resiliency training was the hardest thing  I ever did in my life. I don't, I don't recommend it for the faint of heart . If you think it might get into the fire service, I don't care what shape you think you in, you're not ready for what. That's that going entail.

So that first week of resiliency training, when, when I made it to the end and I could, you know, I was like, all I can get through this. I know I can, I can make it through the rest of it. But yeah, that definitely,  the actual, physical toll and the physical requirements it takes to do this job and do what we do.

, I gained a tremendous amount of respect that we, for anybody in the fire service cause to be able to keep yourself,  operating at maximum efficiency so that you can perform all the tasks that it would take on the fire ground.  It, it's, it's, it's, it's amazing. So yeah, that, that, that week right there definitely gave me a new respect for what I was about to, the journey I was about to embark on.

And I look forward to it. 

Yeah. What type of stuff did they put you through during that? 

Oh man. So resiliency training. We, I'll never forget the first thing they did. They, we bumped out full gear.  We started on the top of the tower. Each floor was a different, pretty much if you think about like a video game, each floor was a different, assignment.

You had your,  your S b A on halfway through. You had to switch the bottle out. So you were, you were going through every task. So, and every task was,  blind, was,  blindfolded. So that first floor, , it was a maze. So you go through the maze. The second floor was an entrapment, so you had to,  get through a, I wanna say it was about 12 feet long.

And about maybe four feet wide contain corridor full of cables and wires, and you gotta get through the entrapment, moving wires kind of maneuvering yourself,  taking off your scba, sliding through the, , the,  The 16 by 16 walls so you can get through. Cuz obviously I'm a big dude, me and that s ain't going through there without it coming off.

So that was the second floor coming down. You had to change out your SC v a blindfolded so in the dark. So you had to know that thing. In and out. So the first day they pretty much, here's your S scba a I want you to know it like, you know your own children . You need to know everything about it so you could be able to,  put it together in the dark.

So they, you take off your S scba, you get a new bottle and a new S scba. That's completely. 100% dis disconnected. You have to put that thing together from scratch in the middle of this whole drill. Once you put it together, put it back on. Now you on the third floor, you're following the hose line, which you, if you, if you, you've been in the server, that line be all kind spaghetti.

And if you don't follow the correct, correct order, you can end up going in circles for hours so that the hose line was on the third floor. The second floor, we had a, another maze, and then the last floor was a search and rescue where we had to bring the victim out of the,  outside front door. And that was, that was day one,

So we had, that was day one. So the next day we had,  the hundred foot ladder o ,basically at the climb top of the ladder and,  let go pretty much, you know, Jesus take the wheel and that was the thing.  I'm very uncomfortable with heights, so that was an obstacle  that I had to get over. So I got,  I got up there, I let it go.

But I, like I say, that was, that was very, that was very tough. That was very tough for me. But I got through it. And then the, third day was a, confined space pipe. It was about, I wanna say 30 feet of pipe and me and my big self trying to, you know, Crawl through this pipe in the dark and make it out on the other end.

 Basically giving you that, closed space, darkness, that sensory deprivation, kinda seeing how you would react in a certain situation. So, got through that and like I said, that was week one. Then we actually started to learn  what we were about. So it, it was great. But like I said, it definitely, it challenges you, it tests you, it, it makes.

 Really realize if you wanna be in his career or not. 

Yeah, yeah, definitely. That those are some dr stressful situations that they're putting you through. And you're right, you're a big guy, which is gonna struggle probably in a lot of those situations because, you know, you're just, your, your size right, your size, and getting through those different things is a lot more challenging for you than it is for me.

So were you prepared for this? Um, that honestly that first day, like I say, I, I came in, like I say, I think I've been an athlete my whole life. I say, so this, you know, this is gonna be, it's just working out. And after that first day, I literally, I had sat down. I was like, is this something I really wanna do?

Cause this is, this is going, this is going be something that's going to challenge me in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. So I really sat down and I talked to my wife. I told her about it and she. You know, honey, is this something you really wanna do? And I'm like, well, yeah, yeah, I started it so I I can't quit.

You know what I'm saying? So, um, and I like to be challenged, so I, I really just looked at it as, hey, this is just another challenge in life and if you can get through this, you know, the rewards on the other side are, are, are great and, and the, the impact that you can make on people's. And what you're doing is, is infinitely greater than maybe all the negative that you might think that comes with it.

So I, I, I, like I said, after that first day I got through it and I was like, yeah, I know this is what I wanna do. And I just kept pushing forward, ended up actually being a class leader, not by choice, but, um, it just, you know, naturally happens. People follow you. Uh, once then once I became the leader, I was like, well, I can't quit.

No, I got these people following me . So, uh, that, that says a lot about you, you know, to become the class class leader. That definitely shows that you have the respect of your, your peers and, you know, not just your peers, but the instructors around you. One question is, did you think playing all those sports kind of like helped you with your, like, going at this fire service, like mentally prepared?

Yeah, I would say so. Especially, um, you know, playing ball, um, kind of that, um, that hardnosed coach mentality, um, definitely prepared me for what I was about to endure. Um, the instructors, they're, they're, they're awesome. They're willing to help. They, they wanna do everything. They can help you succeed, but at the same time, it's, it's tough love.

So it's gonna be mentally taxing. They're gonna challenge you mentally. They gonna push you to your. It might even, you know, challenge you emotionally just to see how you feel. And like I said, playing sports, I was already kind of used to that environment and, you know, being challenged physically, mentally, emotionally, um, having coaches, you know, talk to you a certain type of way.

Maybe you can berate you a little bit , you know, just to kind of see, you know, if this's gonna be a tough skin guy or, or maybe this might not be for you. So I would definitely say growing up in that environ. Cause a lot of guys in the class wouldn't use environment. So it's definitely, um, if you haven't been in that environment before, it could, uh, it could be kinda like a culture shock to you as far as like, I I didn't realize people could talk to you.

They can . Yeah. There, there, there's a lot of tough love in the fire service or in the first responder world. I think it's kind of all the same. There's the. Definitely some tough love, uh, given out and it, it's good, you know, to be challenged like that in the academy to see if you really want to, to do this because it's the time to know, right?

You don't want to get through the academy and then be like, nah, this is not the job for me. Well, hundred percent. Like I said, you, if you don't make it through the academy, it's. So, um, I, I'm thankful for the experience cause like I said, it, it helped really shape like, okay, this is something I wanna do. I can do this.

Yeah. So you've gone through the academy, you've been on the department four years. Sounds like you're finishing up, uh, paramedic school. You have a family. So how, how do you balance all. Man. It is, it is been tough. I'm not, not gonna lie to you. Um, when I first started out, like I said, I had, I had to work, so I had to maintain a job.

I had to go to Fire Academy. Uh, throughout the day I did day classes. So that was a Monday through Friday thing, about 10 hours a day, leaving from the academy, going to work overnight at the hospital as emt. Um, and then going back to the academy the next day. It was a sacrifice for my wife, for my family, um, a sacrifice for the greater good, obviously.

Um, we knew what the end goal was gonna be and the, uh, the sacrifices that was required in order for me to maintain, you know, spending time with the family, but also still providing for the family and trying to better my life for the family. So it was, it was challenging. Like I said, man, I have a, a wonderful wife who, who stood by me and, and pushed me and she, she picked up a lot of the slack in those years.

Definitely grateful for her to help, you know, get me to the point where I'm at now, and like I say, even now as I'm in the service, it's, it's, it's, the schedule is conducive to main, make sure that you maintain all three, you just have to manage your time wisely. You know, we work 24 hours on and 48 hours off here.

So on those two days that I'm off, I do my best to spend time with my wife, spend time with the kids, um, try to do everything that they wanna do, um, and, and get my little sleep in when I can. And you know, just that I know that those days that I'm going, that my wife has to do everything. So when I'm home I try to do most of everything for her.

So, um, just to let her know I appreciate, you know, you being the, the, the queen of the castle while I'm  while I'm out here working. So and so far so good manage to keep this boat moving so we. Yeah, it's takes a, takes a toll on, on the wife and family, you know, especially Wow. Going through camp and, and working at the same time and going through, you know, working plus going to med school.

That, that says a lot about, you know, that bond that you have with, with your wife. How, how do you keep that relationship? Like working so well, man. Um, she's actually, she's a former athlete as well. She, she played, uh, basketball, uh, in, in high school and college. So she kinda understands, you know, what we go through

Um, we are very similar in the way. Thinking she pushes me to be better than even I think I can be. So, um, I think she wanted this for me more than I even wanted for me. So, um, it's great when you have someone on your side that's like that, um, that, that wants you to be great, that pushes you to be great, and, um, that's willing to sacrifice for you to be great.

So, um, like I said, you gotta have a good partner, man. You don't have a good partner. Things tend to not work out very well for you. So, um, I was fortunate that I was lucky. It was complete luck that me and her ended up together. I don't ever take it for granted, and I'm appreciative everything does for this matter.

So, definitely wanna say, uh, thank you. Shout my way, . Yeah. Well, she must be really proud of you. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Like I say, she, she, she sacrificed, she's worked and, and the. Results are, are everything that she probably, she possibly could have wanted. So, um, I definitely wanna her to know that I'm grateful and wanna make sure that every day I go out and, you know, keep, keep her proud of me.

Here are five tips. If you're feeling stuck in your life still, one, take full responsibility of your life. Don't be that victim anymore. You have to get past that. Number two, praise and enjoy the process. Focus on the journey When things get tough, focus on the end where you're headed and why you're headed there.

If you truly know those little things are not gonna knock you off your track. Number three. Become anti-fragile Once again, don't let those little things knock you down. Learn a breathing process though you can get through them and not get stuck in that moment. Number four, cut out the crappy friends that are sucking the life outta you because you can't excel if you're around a bunch of crappy friends that are not gonna help you excel.

And number five, you need to cultivate grit and perseverance. Knowing your journey and having it written down and having a destination is going to keep you on track and help you with that grit and perseverance on getting you to where you want to be. Now, let's jump up back into this episode. What's your go-to to balance all this, you know, life and stress you're going through?

So my go-to, uh, is, uh, is the gym first and foremost. I gotta, I gotta go to the gym. Gym. The gym for me is that ultimate stress reliever, whatever I might be thinking about, whatever I might be going through, just so I'm getting in there, moving that weight, moving around, sweating, getting grimy and dirty and, and taking out all my frustrations.

It's like, it's the cheapest therapist in the world, man. I. You don't need a strength, man, go to the gym for two hours every day and I promise just a little improvement. Just, just start with there. I'm not saying therapy ain't great, but just start with gym first and then if you need it, you know, go, go to therapy route.

But, um, I said the gym is one. You know, I'm, I maintain my spirituality. I'm a believer in the Lord, a believer in God. So I try to keep that, that relat. As strong as possible with, um, with prayer and a good, um, a good circle of folk that believe the same, that like, I believe, you know, my mother is a, is a minister, so she keeps me grounded.

If I need to talk with her, she'll, she'll talk with me. Sometimes might not tell me things I want hear, but uh, I can always count to keep hundred percent with me. And then, um, like I said, if I do have anything that I'm taught I need to talk to anybody about, I talk to my wife. Um, our department down here does provide us for the therapist if it ever gets to be too, too much.

Um, you know, knock on wood, so far, haven't needed it. And, um, we gonna keep, you know, the things that I have right now, which is my strong, uh, my strong family system, my strong faith, and, uh, moving that weight in the gym kind of help helps keep me even keeled and keeping the ball moving forward. . Yeah. I think having that open communication with your, with your mom and your wife is, is very helpful.

Probably could be one of the leading contributors, you know, to not needing therapy because people tend to bottle that up and stuff it down instead of having, you know, those, those people to, to go to. No, absolutely. 100% is you gotta have a strong support. In this, in this field, especially some of the things that we see and some of the things that we experience this, um, it's important to be able to talk those things out and not just let 'em bottle up.

Cause it could definitely have a negative impact. Yeah. Yeah, right. We've, we've seen that, um, throughout the history as first responders. The, you know, the, the toll that it takes on their, on their mental health. You know, not being able to share their emotions and afraid to share their emotions. Is, is your mom a nice, comfortable landing spot to talk to?

Oh, 100%. Man, that lady, she's, she's tough. Like I say, I, I have so much respect from my mother. She's, she's one of the toughest people in the world I know. So I can always count on her to, uh, to set me straight voice of reason, and to be ear. Um, I just need tot real quick, she'll listen to the whole and say two words that get me calm and it'll be that

My mom is definitely my soundboard. If, uh, if ever I get to be too, um, too stressed out. Yeah, that's probably a little bit of a unique relationship, you know, uh, having your mom being a minister, and so she's probably got some great words of wisdom. That's probably why she can only say two words to you and they're like, set you in the spot.

Absolutely, 100%. What future goals do you have for yourself and the fire service? My goal is to be an e EMS captain. So on our department, our ranks are, uh, you got firefighter, e m t, fire medic, uh, driver engineer, lieutenant on the rescue, captain on the engine, the e m s, captain Battalion Chiefs, and then everything at headquarters.

I don't have to be headquarters fully, I'm done. So definitely goal. Um, I've said field, we in field as healthcare and 90 calls run healthcare related. So it, um, like I said, gives me opportunity to do something that I've always wanted to do, which is worth the healthcare. And, um, being that, that, Being that guy that everybody can go to, you know, when they have questions and um, you know, kind of taking over, taking control of a scene if it gets to be too outta control.

And, and, uh, I think that's, that's just where I, I see myself at that time. I, I could be, I could on,

well that's, that's a unique position that's not out there for a lot of, uh, different agencies that don't have that big. Systems set up for that. How many people are on your department? So, whew, my gosh. I wanna say we almost had close to 2000. Oh wow. In the field, um, got about 49, 52 stations with more stations coming on board.

Like I say, it's Palm Beach County, probably one of the bigger departments, second or second or third biggest department in the state. So it's, uh, it's, it's a lot, it's a lot of people, a lot of room for growth. Uh, a lot of, lot of room for. You know, whatever you desire, whatever your goals are, there's really not a reason that you can't hit the goal in this department.

Whatever rank that might be that you, that you would want, especially with a lot of guys retiring out, um, you know, It's been, it's been 25, 30 years, fly by real quick. So a lot of guys retiring out, a lot of guys promoting, so there's very much a lot of opportunity in, in this department. So just put head, keep, grind do to be required I that truck, get to that pickup truck,

That's definitely sounds exciting. How do you think you're making, uh, you know, a positive impact in the community? Oh man, it's just, um, The, the biggest thing is just patient care, just on being able to, um, see these people. Most of our, most of the people, most of the time, people call 9 1 1 just when they're at their, one of their lowest points.

They're in distress. They, they need help and. Positive light, a positive face, a smile face for them to see. You know, sometimes you show up to a scene and you know, someone may be, you know, having, uh, anxiety or some stomach pain, abdominal pain, back pain. Um, any, any kind of, um, You know, medical emergency sometimes just that, that call and reassuring like, everything's gonna be ok.

It's, it's, it's gonna be alright, we're gonna get you the help that you need. Um, that can go a long way. And, um, you know, a, a positive patient outcome and, um, just keeping those positive, um, relations with the people in the community, with, with patients, with, uh, with kids, with, um, with, uh, other people, you know, with people that just, you know, look up to us.

It's, it's, it's important. You know, you just be a guiding light, a positive influence, and you kind of let your positive energy radiate through you so that you know, it can be positive for other people as well. And even with your crew, man, it's, it's hard to be, you know, negative when you got this, this, this bubbly personality in the back  just so keeping every, everybody, you know, lighthearted and on keeping everything, you know, moving forward and keeping it smooth and, you know, making the shift be as smooth as.

Yeah. Have, have you always had this personality just kind of like being bubbly and happy for the most part, . Um, it, it took a while to get to this point. Um, lots of trials and tribulations over life. Um, lots of learning experiences, but, you know, I'm grateful for where I am right now. I'm grateful for the outcome I have now, knowing the outcome that could have been.

So, it's, it's, I take it upon. Myself to be positive. Cause I'm, I'm very fortunate, very grateful to be in the position that I'm, so there's no, there's really not a reason to be, you know, negative or be, you know, down, you know, I, I know what could have been. So, I'm always grateful every day when I wake up in the morning and I'm able to do what I do, able to see, you know, all the growth that's been taking place in my life, man.

So I just, I just walk every day, try to. Try to have that energy flowing and, and people tell me all the time, just so you know, you just, just so happy all the time. Ok. Life's great. . That's awesome. How do you feel about kids looking up to you? Man, you know, growing up you always, um, you always have your role models, uh, especially growing up in, um, in gardens where I did.

Oh, oh, here we go. So, yeah, especially growing up in um, Miami Gardens where I did, you know, there were always, you know, people you could look up to in the community where there was athletes that, uh, would come back and, and, uh, give, um, people who have become successful out of the community and always wanted to be one of those people.

Cause I knew. The positive impact it had on me and the positive impact it had on others around me. And I always told myself, you know, if I can just be a positive impact on one person, you know, I think that'd be, that'd be a, a great achievement in life if one, if I could just have one person that saved my life, changed cause of you, even if I never met you.

Just from by my example in the things that I've done and the, the positive example that I. That I give off if one person just says, Hey, you know, I've been watching you. I I love what you do. I love what you stand for. It, you know, it really made an impact on my life. I think life, life would be good, you know, that would be very fulfilling.

And it's all I need, just, it's only one. And you know, over the past year it's become way more than, um, with, with the growth of my, uh, These platforms that I've been on, whether it's Instagram and TikTok, you know, just being, getting those messages, those are the best messages. Mans people from all over. Just like, Hey man, I love what you do and you know, you inspire me.

Whether it's to to go work out, go to the gym or, or create their own content. If they were a little bit shy about getting out there, putting stuff on the internet and. You know, I have young, young people that you know, are interested in the fire service. They'll send me a message, ask me how it is, what the steps are, and I try to answer all those questions.

You know, anytime somebody sends me a question, I try to be, I try to answer. I'll never, never get to, uh, on, on a high horse man. I'm still the same humble dude that I've always been. If you generally have a question for 'em, if I can help you, I'm gonna help. Cause at the end of the day, somebody helped me.

So how could I be, you know, how, how would that look if I didn't, you know, pay it forward, you know, help others even with simple questions that they might have. Yeah. Yeah, I totally understand that. That's how I found you on social media. Was, was, was the, was the impact that you were making on, on social media?

Yeah. Like I say, it's, it is crazy. Like I said, this literally just been a crazy year for me. I like around February, I, I wanna say I had like 10. 10,000 followers and I've had that number for years. Just never really like got on social media like that. You, I post the workout videos every now again, but I see, you know, , my kids obviously, cause that's more their generation, they would show me all these videos and, you know, send me videos and tag me and stuff.

And I'm like, you know, this stuff's pretty, I could do this. And, uh, it kind of just, it kind of started with just like, well, let me see what happened. And then it went. Thanks. Got rocket. Got to what it's today. Um, like I said, it still, it still amazes me every time I, I log on or I pull something in, uh, just to see the reactions from all the, uh, engagement that I get.

It's crazy. I never, um, you see a bunch of other people that do it just like, uh, Maybe, maybe it could be me, maybe not. We'll, we'll see how it goes. And then, you know, like you say, you just be positive. You do things that you love to do. And I've always liked, uh, even when I was in elementary school, I like doing like little acting things.

I would be in all play drama club and all that other stuff. So just another outlet, another, um, stress reliever if you will, another. To kind of manage, you know, the stress and anxiety of the, of the job. That's what it really became, became, it started out as a hobby, just something to do, to keep my mind off things and, and do something positive and then it kinda just took off from there.

So , I'm grateful for the impact I'm having and I'm just, you know, hoping and praying for continued growth and success. Well, I'm sure, I'm sure you will, right? You continue being the person you are today, that that impact is just gonna keep, you know, snowballing and, and being more and more, you know? So I'm sure you have some pretty tough calls in your career already and just being four years in, you want, do you mind sharing anything about that?

So my toughest call to call that I will always remember, uh, was my first, uh, pediatric cardiac arrest. Um, it was my, I wanna say in my rookie year in my first department, uh, we showed up. Um, first thing when I get there, uh, this cup comes out and they hands, they just throw their baby in my hands and it's, you know, I'm here with a baby in my hands, cold to thetic.

Uh, gurgling, kind of respirations. Um, I could tell the baby's struggling to breathe. And again, I'm, uh, my rookie year, the lead medic on the truck probably got two or three years on the engines on way. And like I said, this couple just, it's frantic and I had the baby in my hands. So, um, we go take the baby to the back of the rescue.

We start the cardiac arrest procedure. We're heading to the hospital and me being the, you know, e M T, I'm driving, um, my medics in the back doing what we, the two medics are in the back doing what they can for the baby. And all I hear is pull over, you know, pull over. Cause they need another third pair of hands.

So we pull over, um, get in the back of the truck. While the, uh, cardiac arrest scenarios going and, um, they're preparing to intubate this baby. And I'm just you the whole time. I'm just thinking about my own kid. The young, uh, youngest was probably over at. And just the whole time I'm working on this kid, I'm thinking about my own kid and you know, I'm hoping that this kid pulls through cause I can just see my son's face on his face and I'm like, we gotta, we gotta get, we gotta get this kid going.

We gotta gotta do what? Weed him got back in the front. We drove to the hospital. Uh, they got the, uh, to the emergency room. Um, all the doctors, everybody came in and I'm, I'm sitting there just watching and, you know, hoping that everything's okay. Um, about 20 minutes into the, into the, uh, Uh, cardiac arrest.

They ended up getting, getting pulses back. They started crying and, uh, I lit, I had tear. Just,

yeah, that was probably toughest. Um, like I said, it, it hit close the home and you just don. I just don't realize sometimes, um, you run so many calls, you just don't realize sometimes that when that one call might touch a nerve or might trigger something in you and you, you still have to maintain your professionalism.

You still have to know that you know what you're doing. You know how to, you know, how to, how to respond in this situation and do everything you can to, you know, do everything you can to make sure the best scenario comes. So it was. Was great. Like I say, they got 'em back as far as I know. Cause that was, that was a few years ago.

Babies, you know, still growing. Good, good, good to grow. Um, I guess some, the story, I think they, they had the baby in the bed with them, which anybody listen to the podcast, don't put your babies in bed with . Right? Put em in the cri. Um, so yeah, I guess the baby was in the bed, got rolled over on bottom off, but, uh, everything worked out okay.

So, uh, Not all calls have positive outcomes, but I'm glad that one did. So that's probably the one that will always stick with me, just like I say, cause it hit so personal, it was so close to home. Um, but yeah, other than that, um, nothing really, uh, sticks out as much as that one does. Yeah. It, it's funny how you have certain calls that that stick out to you, and I think it's like you said, right?

There's different things that are happening in your life that make that call stand out more than others. And, you know, relating to one of your children, you know, and seeing it as this, this child and, and working incredibly hard to save this child and having that, that positive outcome I is great. Right?

It gives you Right, it's emotional and gives you the desire right, to prepare yourself to. To do more, to be more empathetic and to, to take those calls and give your very best. And I know all the listeners that, you know, work on the front lines doing this type of stuff. I mean, they're, yeah, some of 'em don't turn out this way.

And, and that's, that's very difficult, uh, as well. And, you know, some people in their careers be cuz of these very difficult calls. 100% thanks Savings. It's not something that's talked about a lot, but it's a lot of, um, you know, ptsd, even in the fire service, a lot of guys, you know, had long careers. You just, you don't, you don't realize what somebody's going throughs

and the, uh, the trauma that they might be going through internally, and it's important that. It's important that you, you know, that there's people out there that you can talk to. There's people out there, there's support groups there, um, peer-to-peer groups that you can talk to, um, as even in, you know, certain, certain areas around here.

You know, I've, I've heard stories, you know, about firefighters taking their own lives and it's, it's unfortunate. Um, Because you, you know that, you know that there could have been a different outcome, so you definitely wanna make sure that you're taking care of your, your, your mental wellbeing. And, and don't be afraid you're not too tough.

To talk to anybody. You're not too tough to express your emotions and feelings, you know? Um, it's, it's okay. Even as guys, you know, don't, don't let that tough man persona get you from getting the help that you need and, and talking to, to people that you need to talk to. So that'd be, um, if, if you don't get nothing else from this, you know, don't be afraid to, to talk to people, man.

It's, it's, there's nothing wrong with. Yeah, that's, that's great advice. And a lot of times you can build that with the crew that you're with, you know, the build the, that bond, you know, that where you can share, share your feelings with, with without judge judgment. I, I feel like that with, with my crew, like, I'm willing to share a lot of, a lot of things because if, like you said, if we're not sharing them and talking about 'em, then how, how are any of us gonna learn from.

Right, 100%. So definitely, um, get comfortable with some, get, get a good support group. You know, your, your crew can be that. Your family can be that. If you gotta seek outside help, get outside help. Um, the wonderful thing about my department as well, they have anonymous, uh, they have an anonymous program where you feel like you need to go talk to somebody.

You can get the help that you need, no questions asked. There won't be any. Any, any, um, negative consequences to you seeking help, which is, uh, which is, which is important. Cause you don't wanna, you don't wanna not seek help. Fear in that something might happen. You might not be able to work or, you know, they put you out on leave.

Anything like that. So definitely seek help, definitely talk to people. Definitely. Keep your mental wellbeing just as well as your physical wellbeing, but especially your mental wellbeing. Keep it tip top. Yeah. Excuse me. And it sounds like, you know, you've got your, your system in place. And for those listeners that don't have a system in place like Bernard, you know, he, he's got like his family he can talk to.

He goes and works out at the gym. He's got, you know, a system in place to sound like, to help control that stress. If you're listening and you don't have one, I mean, Definitely reach out to people because there's a lot of different ways to, to build a system around you to not get, you know, let yourself get into that dark place where you feel like you can't get out of.

Yeah, 100%. Go get the help that you need. Please, Bernard. So you're such an inspiring person. What you got, any inspiring words for the, the listeners here before I let you? Listen man, you can do whatever you put your mind to do not limit yourself, your mind and your body are extraordinary. Whatever you decide that you want to do, whatever you've been, uh, putting off whatever you've been shy or timid about doing, jump off the deep end.

Go do it. Do it to the best of your ability and live with the results. You don't wanna go through life wondering what. If I can tell you anything, if I can give you, that's my best piece of advice. Don't go through life wondering what if, if it's a business, you wanna start, start that business. If it's, you know, goal workout goals, getting to the gym, if it's a career goal you have.

Find out what you need to do to achieve it, but go ahead and start, jump head first and get it done. Cause before you know it, you're 40 or 50 , you're 40, 50 years old, and you got half your light. So if you got something that you've been putting off, start it today. Yeah, that is some awesome advice. I, that would be some advice I would give people too.

That's, that's perfect. You nailed it, Bernard. Where can people follow? Up, man. I'm on all platforms. My name underscore Bernard Taylor. You can go on Instagram, you can go on TikTok, Facebook, uh, the YouTube channels under my name. I got all my content on all the platforms, so definitely if you can just type my name in, follow, like, share, subscribe, all that good stuff.

And as well, make sure you follow and enduring the badge, this podcast. Make sure you following those on all social media platforms as well. Love what you're doing brother, man, you keep up the good work. Ah, thank you. I've enjoyed our, uh, Episode today. I think you have some great wisdom and definitely gonna inspire some people to take those steps that maybe they've been lacking.

Um, you know, this is the new year starting and so there's no better time than to start now. 100%, man. New Year's goal, new Year's resolutions. Whatever you put down, make sure you achieve them. Don't quit after a month. . That's right. Right. It's cause the gym is busy from January to February and then it starts to die off.

Might not even make it to February . Right. Thanks you. Thank you so much, Bernard, for being on the podcast today. Really appreciate. Not a problem. Jerry, man, thank you again for having me. Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcast. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get ahold of our host, Jerry Dean Lund.

Through the Instagram handles at Jerry Fire and Fuel, or at Enduring The Badge Podcast also by visiting the show's website, enduring the badge podcast.com for additional methods of contact and up to date information regarding show. The views and opinions expressed during the show solely represent those of our host and the current episodes guests.

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