7 Must Watch Firefighter TED talks

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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.

Check out these TED talks for firefighters and why we think you’ll want to watch these!

Must watch Firefighter Ted Talks

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 opioid crisis is an important reminder.

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.

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!

Timothy Brown- Ordinary People, Extraordinary Heroes

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

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.

Ben Thompson- You can be the hero someone needs

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

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.

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. 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.

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? Let me know in the comments below!

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