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How are firefighters supposed to juggle EVERYTHING?

Firefighters are reporting crushing staffing challenges and increased stress

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In this episode of FireRescue1’s “What’s YOUR Problem?” – part of our What Firefighters Want special coverage series – Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder answers this reader question:

I’ve been on the job for 20 years and it’s nothing like when I first started. We are called out to everything now. I get it, it’s part of the job, but the call volume is ramped up and now the OT feels endless. When am I supposed to find time to do anything other than just sleep on my days off? My mental health and family life are struggling.

Check out Chief Goldfeder’s response, which includes these stats from the What Firefighters Want survey:

  • 94% of respondents said their FD has experienced staffing challenges in the past 3 years
  • 52% said their department does NOT have a strong recruitment plan in place
  • 87% said the scope of the job has increased since they began working in the fire service
  • 46% of respondents are considering leaving their current FD
  • 42% are considering leaving the fire service all together due to their stress

Visit the What Firefighters Want resource center for some additional content about what other firefighters have to say about stress and staffing challenges.

Chief Billy Goldfeder, EFO, a firefighter since 1973, serves as deputy fire chief of the Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department. He also serves as Lexipol’s senior fire advisor and is a member of the Fire Chief/FireRescue1 Editorial Advisory Board. Goldfeder is a member of the Board of Directors for several organizations: the IAFC, the September 11th Families Association and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). He also provides expert review assistance to the CDC NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. Goldfeder is the recipient of numerous operational and administrative awards, appointments and recognitions. He has served on several NFPA and IAFC committees, has authored numerous articles and books, and presented several sessions at industry events. Chief Goldfeder co-hosts the website