Flow and Vent: From Talking Shop to a Running a Podcast and Training
For those that may not have heard of you yet, who is involved and where are you guys from?
Flow and Vent is a concept, it’s a podcast, it’s a social media page, it’s a training forum, it's whatever you want it to be. The main guys on the podcast are Rob, Mike, and Mike; you’ll often also hear Matt, Chad, and others. We are primarily from Northern New Jersey and all of our backgrounds are unique. All of us are volunteer firefighters however, each of us are also career firefighters, EMTs, dispatchers, sprinkler tech, etc. Many of us have been through the ranks and are able to relate to several points of things we discuss. It's great to be able to discuss something from different points and get different points of view. It helps cultivate a well rounded discussion.
How did it start? What came first and what prompted you guys to do something?
Flow and Vent started out as a group of firefighters that just wanted to talk shop and bounce ideas off one another. If someone was going through something or training in a certain manner, we wanted to see if we were on track or completely off. It was extremely beneficial because it helped foster a good conversation between guys that may have never worked together. It allowed for training, concepts, and ideas to spread among several departments. As we all rose through the ranks respectively you could see many of our departments were on point and able to be interoperable with each other. Now, there are plenty of things that we all disagree on, as you can listen to any of the episodes. We don’t have to like everything, but we have to at least respect what we’re all saying. It's an open forum to try and fix or improve things we all deal with.
What's been the best part of the entire experience? Connecting with listeners? Cool stories? Meeting people in person?
This entire ride has been great. Again, Flow and Vent was started for fun, just to create camaraderie amongst like minded people. Today, it seems to be a household name at the kitchen table and at the back steps of firehouses around the world. In no way are we close to the Fire Engineering or Firehouse world level type, but it does seem people know about Flow and Vent. The simple three worded blue circular logo pops up every so often.
Our first experience teaching was at a conference in Ohio and the feedback was atrocious. But we kept going, re-molding, redefining what we wanted to share and how we wanted to share ideas and today… I mean, people support it. We’ve all always said this, if you have been a supporter, a like, a comment, a message, a ‘you should look at this again’, everyone who has been a part of this ride is part of Flow and Vent.
We’ve had the opportunity to have conversations with people in this field that were both big deals and just undiscovered at the time. New Jersey is a stronghold for firefighting talent that can be displayed within our group of brothers. Guys like Farrell, Paglione, Eckert, Woodhead, Donch, Dewan, Meyer, Melillo, Tremer, the list goes on. Imagine a weekend or fire conference including all of the firematic social media training pages and personalities, now there’s an idea.
We’ve had listeners reach out while they were going through issues and it's been humbly rewarding to help guys get through operational and leadership problems. We’ve had guys send notes of appreciation with patches and pics of their crews saying you’ve helped create a convo that made us better. The same goes on the product side of things, the trip to Vengeant Apparatus was a blast. Those guys were great and soon after people were asking for reviews and quick training videos. The world is changing and people are starting to learn more and more visually; so why not bridge that gap? When you see a problem or a gap, fix it and create something good.
Is there a fire related podcast other than your own that you would highly recommend people check out?
I like to recommend everything. Whether it’s training, reading, listening, whatever you’re doing. Try everything. You can learn so much from both popular and unpopular/or undiscovered podcasts. Some other ones that I listen to include Gettin’ Salty, National Fire Radio, FDNY Pro, The Weekly Scrap, Jocko Podcast, FMBA Nation, Barstool’s Spittin Chicklets.
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