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Leadership Under Fire
80 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Optimal Human Performance During the FDNY War Years with DC Joseph DiBernardo (Ret), Capt Louie Andrade (Ret)—Part I
This episode is part one of two, and is a recording of a live event. The “Fireside Chat” has become a staple of Leadership Under Fire leadership development and human performance resident programs. In early 2021, the LUF Team decided to launch a Virtual Fireside Chat series where LUF Senior Man Jim McNamara hosts candid conversations with seasoned leaders and human performance thought leaders. Leadership Under Fire’s second Virtual Fireside Chat featured FDNY retirees Deputy Chief Joseph DiBernardo and Captain Louie Andrade. Captain Andrade entered the ranks of the FDNY in 1957 after having served in the United States Marine Corps. Andrade was a Lieutenant in Engine Co. 82 at the height of the War Years in the South Bronx. He later served as the Captain in Engine 69 in Harlem and Engine 320 in Queens. Deputy Chief Joe DiBernardo was appointed to the FDNY in 1966 following combat service in the US Army. Chief DiBernardo’s career included service in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. He spent the final fifteen years of his career as a deputy chief in the Bronx’s 6th Division. Both leaders have been instrumental in the development of countless firefighters, fire officers and chief fire officers.
60 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
What Science Informs Us About Resilience with Dr. George Bonanno
According to psychologist and emotions expert Dr. George Bonanno, all of us share a surprising ability to be resilient. The interview you will hear in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast featuring Dr. Bonanno was recorded in early 2019 at a Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Summit, in Annapolis, Maryland. The event was devoted to the concept of resilience. Other summit guests have been featured on this podcast including: the co-founders of the Mission Critical Teams Institute, NY Times Bestselling authors Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, as well as James Roussell, USMC (Ret) and Chicago PD (Ret). To help listeners gain context for each summit conversation, LUF Founder Jason Brezler and podcast host Patti Murphy discussed their reflections shortly after the event, which you will hear prior to the interview.
87 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Remembering FDNY Captain Patrick J. ”Paddy” Brown
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. To mark this anniversary on the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast, we are honored to tell the valiant story of Captain Patrick J. "Paddy" Brown, compliments of the insight of his family, closest friends and fellow firefighters who were influenced by his leadership, service, and courage. He was one of 343 members of the FDNY who were killed during the attacks on U.S. soil. Captain Brown’s story of service begins with his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Brown was one of the tens of thousands of Americans who felt compelled to serve their Nation, but returned home feeling conflicted over the Vietnam experience, and one of a considerable number of FDNY members who had served in Vietnam prior to returning home to join the ranks of the FDNY during New York City’s tumultuous “War Years.” Over the course of his career, Capt Brown grew to be known for his enthusiasm and love for going to fires as well as the boldness and decisiveness that were central to his leadership style. Eventually, Brown made the decision to pursue sobriety with the same zest that he pursued all the activities in his life and it was both his fiercest and most triumphant battle. Following 9/11, Mayor Giuliani called Captain Brown "a legend in the life of the Fire Department" during a mass honoring him at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He was one of the best-known, decorated members of the department and served as a role model for many young firefighters. It has been said that men wanted to work for him because he lived his life so well. Never Forget.
44 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Revisiting Perseverance with MLB Hitting Coach Anthony Iapoce
The original broadcast date for this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast was April 4, 2019. In 2016—after a 108-year wait—the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. The Cubs’ journey from being a last place team to one of the most iconic in baseball history is charged with lessons learned on effective leadership, teamwork, culture creation, sacrifice, trust, possibility and character development. So, it seems fitting that in the fall of 2018, the Cubs named Anthony Iapoce as the team’s Hitting Coach. Iapoce began his coaching career in 2006, but prior to that he spent eleven seasons playing in the minor leagues with the Brewers and Marlins organizations. Just as Cubs fans always remained optimistic and steadfast, so has Iapoce. Iapoce, a Queens, NY native, continues to serve as the Cubs’ big league hitting coach.
42 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
Revisiting Career Reflection with FDNY Lt Mickey Conboy
The original broadcast date for this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast was January 10, 2019. In 2018, Lieutenant Conboy was recognized with the FDNY’s highest annual award (James Gordon Bennett) for valor he displayed in the rescue of occupants at a fire in the South Bronx. He recently received the FDNY’s most prestigious award for valor – the Dr. Harry Archer Medal. Lieutenant Conboy has more than 35 years with the FDNY. He is presently assigned to Rescue Co. 3 in the Bronx and previously served as a Lieutenant in Squad Co. 41 and a firefighter in Engine Co. 79, Ladder Co. 37 and Rescue Co. 3. Lieutenant Conboy is an Adjunct Instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy and the FDNY’s Technical Rescue School. He was instrumental in the development of the course curriculum for Advanced Firefighter Victim Removal training for FDNY Special Operations Command firefighters and officers. External recognition aside, he’s also experienced quiet moments of accomplishment and fulfillment in the fire service and in his personal life as a father and grandfather.
88 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Resilience in Mission-Critical Teams with Dr. Preston Cline and Coleman Ruiz
Co-founders of the Mission Critical Team Institute, Dr. Preston Cline and Coleman Ruiz, are our guests in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast. The interview you will hear was recorded in early 2019 at a Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Summit, in Annapolis, Maryland. The event was devoted to the concept of resilience - the ability to navigate adversity and absorb failure and loss in high-risk settings. The summit allowed leaders to explore the concept from the individual, team and organizational level as well as from a physical, mental, emotional and moral perspective. Other Resilience Summit guests included FDNY Black Sunday survivor Firefighter Brendan Cawley and Columbia University’s Dr. George Bonanno. To help listeners gain context for each summit conversation, LUF Founder Jason Brezler and podcast host Patti Murphy discussed their reflections shortly after the event.
65 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
LUF Virtual Fireside Chat Series featuring FDNY Lieutenants Danny Murphy & Dennis Gordon (Ret)--Part II
This is the second and final installment of our first Virtual Fireside Chat. The conversation affords seasoned leaders the opportunity to candidly reflect on leadership lessons and human performance principles resulting from the many wins and losses they’ve experienced. This conversation is hosted by LUF Senior Man Jim McNamara and features FDNY retired lieutenants Danny Murphy and Dennis Gordon. If you haven’t listened to Part I, we strongly suggest you go back and listen to it as this conversation picks up from where we left off.
31 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Freedom with Sebastian Junger
In this episode, we welcome back to the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast American author, journalist, and filmmaker Sebastian Junger to discuss his latest book, Freedom. In three succinct chapters, Junger takes us on a physical and philosophical journey exploring the concept of Freedom—and the disparities that exist at its core in today’s modern society. While the book is rooted in Junger’s 400-mile journey on foot across the northeastern United States, it branches out across history and geography to dissect competing values between our human spirit longing for individuality and our basic need for community. Junger’s earlier work includes the books: Tribe and The Perfect Storm as well as the Academy Award-nominated film: Restrepo.
88 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
LUF Virtual Fireside Chat Series featuring FDNY Lieutenants Danny Murphy & Dennis Gordon (Ret)--Part I
This episode is part one of two. What you’re about to hear is a recording of a live event. The "Fireside Chat" has become a staple of Leadership Under Fire leadership development and human performance resident programs. The conversation affords seasoned leaders the opportunity to candidly reflect on leadership lessons and human performance principles resulting from the many wins and losses they’ve experienced. In 2021, the LUF Team decided to launch a Virtual Fireside Chat series hosted by LUF Senior Man Jim McNamara. LUF’s first Virtual Fireside Chat took place in New York City in early June and featured FDNY retired lieutenants Danny Murphy and Dennis Gordon. Both leaders spent more than three decades serving and leading in the FDNY’s busiest companies. In addition to possessing high levels of tactical expertise, both leaders were highly regarded for their calm demeanor and decisiveness at complex fires and emergencies where members were operating under considerable pressure. Both leaders were instrumental in the development of countless firefighters and young fire officers.
54 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Optimal Performance at Wildfires, Off-road and in the Backcountry
Our guest in this episode is Battalion Chief Thomas Smith from CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit and the Placer County Fire Department. Smith started his career in 2005 as a Firefighter with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. In 2006, he was hired with CAL FIRE NEU as a Firefighter I and promoted through the ranks of FFII and Engineer working in Battalions 12, 17, and 18 as well as the Grass Valley Air Attack Base. In 2014, Smith promoted to Fire Captain B in the Lassen-Modoc Unit and was assigned as a Fire Crew Captain running Inmate Hand Crews at both Intermountain and Antelope Camps. In 2018, he promoted to Battalion Chief in the San Benito-Monterey Unit assigned as a Field Battalion Chief in the Bear Valley Battalion. He then transferred back to the Nevada Yuba Placer Unit in his current position as a field Battalion Chief in the cooperative fire agreement with Placer County Fire. Chief Smith is a qualified Air Operations Branch Director and is currently assigned to Incident Management Team 1. He has served on numerous Regional and Statewide teaching cadres including S-212, C-234, Air Tanker Base Manager and AOBD/ASGS. Smith graduated from California State University, Chico, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and holds an Associate of Science degree from Sierra College in Fire Technology. Smith is a resident of Truckee, California, where he lives with his wife and two children.
82 minutes | May 20, 2021
From Renegade to Reformer with Capt Gabe Angemi, Camden NJ FD
Gabe Angemi is a second-generation member of the Camden NJ Fire Department. He presently serves as a Captain and is assigned to Squad Company 7. Gabe has spent many years serving in Camden’s Special Operations companies and is a member of NJ-TF1 FEMA USAR since 2008. He completed undergraduate study in Public Safety Administration from Neumann University and holds a master’s degree in Emergency & Disaster Management from Georgetown University. Gabe serves as a tactical leadership advisor for Leadership Under Fire.
80 minutes | May 6, 2021
Exploring the Complexities of the FDNY War Years with Joe Flood
Journalist Joe Flood is the founder of n2 Communications and the author of the book The Fires, which examines New York City’s 1970s fire epidemic and fiscal crisis. In The Fires, Flood provides an X-ray of the inner workings of NYC during the ‘70s using the dramatic story of a pair of mayors, an ambitious Fire Commissioner, and an even more ambitious think tank to illuminate the patterns and formulas that are now inextricably woven into the very fabric of the modern urban experience. Joe won the Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts for this work.
51 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Leading as a Performance Pioneer in Professional Baseball with Rachel Balkovec
Rachel Balkovec is making history this 2021 season as the first woman hired by a major league baseball team to work as a full-time hitting coach. Balkovec currently serves as a minor league hitting coach for the New York Yankees and has worked in professional baseball for seven years. Breaking through in 2014, she was hired as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals—the first woman to hold that position in professional baseball. A year later she became the Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator for the Houston Astros. Balkovec is a former NCAA Division 1 softball catcher who earned two master’s degrees in sports performance and human movement and has completed five baseball internships.
57 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Battle-Tested: Service and Sacrifice with FDNY Lt Josh Wiener, USMC (Ret)
Josh Wiener is a Lieutenant in the FDNY and is currently assigned to the Rescue Battalion. His previous assignments were to Division 7 as a covering Lieutenant, Squad 252 and Ladder 133 as a firefighter. Josh also spent 20 years in the United States Marine Corps as an Infantry Unit Leader and retired at the rank of Master Sergeant. He is a combat veteran of the war in Iraq. Josh serves as a leadership and human performance advisor for Leadership Under Fire and is a LUF plank owner.
66 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
A Historic Human Performance Episode of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, tragically killing 146 workers. It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, spurred the creation of the FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Prevention, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers. But what has been curiously absent or understated from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire narrative is a closer examination of firefighting efforts that took place that day, lessons regarding rescue of people who were trapped, a more detailed understanding of the leadership demonstrated in the wake of the event and the legacy of the fire today—just to name a few topics. In this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast, we hope to contribute more broadly to the historical narrative of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The depth of this conversation is made possible by the extensive research efforts employed by our guest in this episode, FDNY Lieutenant Matt Connor.
50 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Better Great Than Never with Olympic Rower and Performance Coach Lindsay Shoop
This episode features Lindsay Dare Shoop. Lindsay is a lifelong athlete turned coach, author, and speaker. She is an Olympic gold medalist, a three-time World Champion, and a National Rowing Hall of Fame inductee. With a focus on performance optimization and longevity throughout sport and life, Lindsay coaches and hosts clinics and workshops for coaches, athletes, and teams of all ages and skill levels. She is a speaker for events at major universities and corporations, presents on various topics across the spectrum of her expertise as an elite athlete, coach, exercise physiologist, and author, and is a commentator for USRowing. Lindsay lives in Florida, where she seeks to motivate and mentor to improve the lives of others by sharing her journey of self-discovery from ultimate defeat, to Olympic gold.
54 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Tactical Leadership with a Midtown (Manhattan) Mentality with FDNY Lt Dan Saalfrank
Dan Saalfrank is our guest in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast. Dan is a FDNY Lieutenant assigned to Ladder Co. 4 in Midtown Manhattan. He previously served with Ladder Companies 169 and 176, both in the borough of Brooklyn. Within the FDNY, Dan is a Battalion Delegate for the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, a member of the FDNY Pipes and Drums and serves as a Performance Leader for the FDNY’s Mental Performance Initiative (MPI). Dan served as a Crash/Rescue Firefighter with the 111th Fighter Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He has a Master of Public Administration from John Jay College in New York City. Dan also serves as a Tactical Leadership Advisor for Leadership Under Fire.
53 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Living, Leading and Loving in a Messy World with Officer Jon Matthews
Jon Matthews was a police officer in Greensboro, North Carolina, for more than a decade, from 2008 to 2019, before leaving the policing profession to enter ministry with a local church. After a year and a half in ministry, he returned to police work during one of the most challenging times in his department's history in late 2020. He is currently assigned to a Community Resource Team, which is a street-level crimes team tasked with reducing gun violence in the city. During his first run with policing, he spent five years as a detective with the department's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, a team that utilizes partnerships with local and federal agencies to locate and arrest violent fugitives. During this time, he was also assigned as a Task Force Agent with the Secret Service for three years. In 2017, Jon was promoted to corporal, where he was then assigned to the patrol division before serving as a Corporal Detective on the Family Victims Unit, a team that investigates child victim and sexual assault investigations, among others. In addition to these roles, Jon was also assigned to his department's Special Response Team for seven years, a call-out based team that performs high risk search warrants, as well as responds to barricaded subjects and hostage situations. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, is married to his high-school sweetheart, and keeps busy in his off-time by coaching and raising his nine year old twins and one year old daughter.
68 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Jim McNamara's Senior Man Feature Episode with Chief Pat Maloney, CFD (Ret)
Pat Maloney is a retired 39-year member of the Chicago Fire Department, who rose through the ranks to become the Chief of Special Operations. Pat entered the ranks of the Chicago Fire Department in 1981. Prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief, Pat served as the Captain of Squad 2 for eleven years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Management from Southern Illinois University. Pat served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Pat also serves as a Tactical Leadership Advisor for Leadership Under Fire.
59 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
"With You" - Combat Leadership with Capt Nick Kalt, USMC (Ret)
Nick Kalt is our guest in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast. Nick serves as a Captain with the Long Beach, California Fire Department. Prior to entering the professional fire service, Nick was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He was seriously wounded in the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004 while serving with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and subsequently medically retired from the USMC. Nick is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and was a collegiate All-American for the Midshipmen rugby team. He also serves as a Tactical Leadership Advisor for Leadership Under Fire.
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