37 minutes | Sep 11, 2019

152: Your Weakest Link Is Your Strongest Point

Kristel Johnson is the Support Services Program Leader for the USDA Forest Service. Kristel started her career in 1990 as a temporary firefighter and, later, she attended the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Academy. Over her career, Kristel has worked in wildland firefighting, fire training, district management, employee relations, human resources, critical instant stress management, and more. In 2006, Kristel served as a family liaison for a fallen colleague and it opened her eyes to how the agency manages tragedy. Find out more in this week’s episode.   Key Takeaways: [1:15] A message from Leadership Nature. [2:00] A quick intro about Kristel’s background. [3:25] How did Kristel first get interested in firefighting? [5:15] What does Kristel currently do for the USDA? [7:30] The agency has never really had a program to support colleagues and families of the fallen men and women in this field. [9:50] Kristel shares how the loss of colleagues and tragedies have affected her over the years. [12:10] Kristel realized that the agency had a lot more to do in terms of training and education and preparing for tragic incidents. [17:25] Kristel developed the course, ‘You Will Not Stand Alone’ to help agency members feel more connected to one another and supportive during tragic events that have happened in their community. [19:55] What’s it like being a wildland firefighter? [21:25] How can someone get into wildland fire? [24:00] How can someone specialize or find a specialty in this field? [24:55] Kristel shares some of the mentors she’s had over the years. [33:05] What advice does Kristel have for people who are just getting started in their career? [35:15] What is Kristel most proud of?   Mentioned in This Episode: Fs.fed.us Srs.fs.usda.gov
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