Dancing with Fire
In this special “Apex Mindset” episode of the RCN Podcast, Hotshot superintendent Ben Strahan shares the lessons he has learned about life and mental health throughout his 20 year career as a wildland firefighter.
Hotshot firefighters are a dedicated group of highly skilled wildland firefighters who specialize in combating wildfires in some of the most challenging and dangerous conditions. Known for their exceptional expertise and bravery, these elite teams are called upon to handle the most critical and demanding fire suppression operations.
The nature of their work exposes hotshots to traumatic situations, witnessing the destructive power of wildfires and often encountering human tragedies. The constant exposure to danger and the need to make split-second decisions in high-pressure situations can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. The intensity of the job, coupled with the long hours and extended periods away from loved ones can also contribute to feelings of isolation and emotional strain while bearing the weight of responsibility for protecting lives, property, and the environment, can contribute to burnout and mental exhaustion.
Listen to Episode 38 of the RCN Podcast to hear the story of Ben’s personal growth, including how he was able to overcome suicidal thoughts, and how he is now helping others align their lives with their true values.