7 Must Watch Firefighter TED talks

Save it, Share it, Send it!

Everyone needs some encouragement (or a good kick in the ass) every now and then- and Firefighters are no different!

TED talks provide a great way for people to get the inspiration they need- in an easy to swallow video format. It’s awesome because TED talks are free… and they are available 24/7

That’s right Firefighter Fam- no excuses for self-improvement. The internet is your oyster. Find some great videos to watch below that can help you be your best self.

Matthew O’Reilly- Am I dying?

In this short, but important, TED talk, O’reilly covers that all important question that firefighters get asked.

“Am I dying?”

His take on the question, and how he has lived it with the patients he has treated is a fresh take on a very sensitive topic. This is great for new and seasoned First Responders- but should be a must watch for anyone considering the field.

You can check out the accompanying article here.

Jan Rader- In the Opioid Crisis, Here’s what it takes to save a life.

Jan Rader is a Fire Chief, and her honesty about the severity of the abuse crisis is an important reminder.

And I mean… really honest. This is something that Firefighters need to watch AND something every city councel and city manager should watch before reviewing the budget for Firefighters and Medics.

Yes, it’s THAT important to share.

Firefighters aren’t just there for fires, they run medical calls- and many of those calls could be preventable.

Rader presents a story of hope, and how her band of first responders are changing the conditions in their community for the better.

Shelli Rae Varela- Hacking Possibility

In this Motivational Speech, Varela covers how she went from someone who never considered firefighting, to “hacking” her way into her dream career.

The Sky is the limit and Varela shares her heart about how it happened for her!

Especially important for those minorities and women who feel like they could never make the cut to become an equal and welcomed Firefighter.

A great reminder for those that have been on the job for a while, but a must watch for anyone who has less than a few years- it gives you the perspective you need to appreciate how great this job really is!

And that’s essential! Watch this for the Firefighter perspective and apply it to your LIFE. you can have the world- if you know how.

Timothy Brown- Ordinary People, Extraordinary Heroes

The events surrounding 9/11 have effected us all- even if we don’t realize it.

Seriously, you can have secondary PTSD from this day even if you were states away. We have ALL been impacted by 9/11, even those too young to remember it (crazy that it’s been that long! But it has!)

In this true story of a firefighter who was there on 9/11, we hear the gripping testimony of a man, a firefighter, who lived through one of the worst events in our lifetime.

WOW. Every Probie NEEDS to watch this RIGHT now.

Ben Thompson- You can be the hero someone needs

Thompson gets really honest about something we all experience as Firefighters- disregard of the 911 system.

And anyone that has been a firefighter, medic or first responder (hell, even the families of those that serve our communities) know that some people don’t understand how important and valuable the 911 system is.

He talks about how it changed him and what he did in his community to lessen the burden of those who depend on EMS for non emergencies.

This is an important watch for those that need help with their communities. Especially as the world really hates firefighters sometimes without reason.

Anthony Guerne- The Effects of the Suck it up Culture- PTSD in EMS

A Paramedic and Volunteer Firefighter, Guerne talks about how PTSD has effected him.

Firefighters- this is one of the ones that you should watch and discuss at the station AND AT HOME.

PTSD and mental wellness when it comes to close calls and losses and saves isn’t talked about enough. Some people still think it’s scary to be upset that you lost a life when that’s a perfectly valid reason to be upset.

It’s time to pull back the curtain, and a great place to start is with this video. It is PG 13, with some minor trigger warnings, but I promise you it’s well worth the watch.

The “ambulance Driver” who is talking out the trauma that he has experienced and how the culture doesn’t help with what they’ve lived.


Stewart McMillian- Lessons learned by Becoming a Leader by Circumstance

Stewart McMillian talks honestly about life in the early stages of firefighting.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to be a good father and a good firefighter. I’m proud of stewart for realizing that his dad tried his best, and explaining the type of legacy his father left for him as a firefighter.

From his father who was a Chief, to their company they developed, Stewart addresses how he was thrust into a leadership role he wasn’t quite prepared to take.


As we move into more video formats, TED talks and the like will be very important for Firefighters to learn from others.

Do you have a favorite video that you use for inspiration or maybe to help fellow firefighters? Maybe some instagram accounts that are spitting the truth? Drop their handle in the comments!

Recommended Posts

Are you the perfect Firefighter?

Actionable steps for Work Life Balance for Firefighters

The Planner for Firefighters

Save it, Share it, Send it!