Video: Firefighters in Fire Trucks Getting Ice Cream – Chase Sargent

Sargent talks military comparisons, personnel issues and the lost art of fire service storytelling

In this installment of Firefighters in Fire Trucks Getting Ice Cream, we are riding along with the Buddy and the Boss, Chase Sargent.

Sargent retired as a division chief with the Virginia Beach Fire Department and later went to work for Diplomatic Security and a few other federal agencies, serving in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other “garden spots,” as he called them. He is also the author of “Confined Space Rescue” and “From Buddy to Boss.” Today he works as a physician assistant in the emergency setting in hospitals throughout Virginia.

In Part 1, I pull up in front of the Virginia Beach Convention Center in a 1981 Mack CF611 to pick up Sargent, otherwise known as “Bad Panda” if you are using his call sign.

As we cruise down Pacific Avenue through Virginia Beach, we discuss his class on “Battlefield Firefighting” in which he compares firefighting strategy to military concepts with tacticians and leaders, such as USMC General A.M. Gray, former Secretary of Defense and USMC General Jim Mattis and Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. We smoothly transition into “Buddy to Boss” and, naturally, how well it links to my class “Managing Employee Fires.” We also tackle a variety of personnel issues and how to best mitigate them.


In part 2, Sargent reflects on the art of storytelling in the fire service, relating it to how we used to spend time to teach through stories.

He shares stories about his time at the Night Operations USAR Branch at both the Oklahoma City Bombing and the World Trade Center. And we discuss mentors in the fire service and how we need to continue their legacy by continuing to tell their stories.


There’s more great conversation in an exclusive Part 3 that we recorded on the way back from ice cream. Part 3 is available to those who subscribe to

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