Chief John Salka: ‘Spend more time at home’

The retired FDNY battalion chief underscores that while being into the job is great, finding balance in your life ultimately makes you a better firefighter

The man, the myth, the legend, FDNY Battalion Chief (ret.) John Salka joins the Better Every Shift podcast to share lessons that apply to all firefighters, on or off the fireground.

Chief Salka and Zam formed an unlikely friendship years ago, bonding over health and wellness, as the chief made it a goal to get back in shape later in his career. Beyond sharing his motivations related to his renewed health focus, the chief reflects on why it’s so important to prioritize personal time. It’s great to be into the job – to really love the job – he says, but no one is ever going to wish they spent more time at work at the expense of family and friends.

The chief, author of “The Fire Scene,” also recalls some of the biggest calls of his career and shares some great perspective on what it’s like working with the newest generation of members joining the ranks.  

What else

  • Don’t miss: The story of the urinal quote
  • Episode power quote: “The most important decisions, the most important action that a fire chief takes is to hire the right people.”
  • Hot seat sneak peek: The tactical operation he enjoyed the most when he was a new firefighter

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