Station Pride Articles

Soap Opera


Growing up, I got to see what the fire service is really like. I can remember my first ride in a fire truck with my dad when he was a Lieutenant. I remember the adrenaline rush that I felt as my dad would blast the Federal Q, and drive me around the block. The Soap Opera 1feeling that I can’t wait till I’m older, and I get to sit backwards and go to a fire one day. I will never forget that awesome feeling that I had inside of me that day.

As I grew older, I joined the Fire Explorers when I was 14.  My love for the fire service grew tremendously. I always looked forward to going to every Thursday night meeting and getting to learn about the fire service, and how it began. I didn’t only learn how to operate the tools, flow water, do a search, or run EMS calls. I learned about the brotherhood. What an awesome feeling it was to know that I have a second family that is always there to support me.  A family you can come talk to when there are problems at home. A family you can have fun with and spend time with each other’s families and kids. And most importantly, a family that will always have your back at your worst moment in life. Growing up with my father in the fire service and being an Explorer with the same department he was at, I was able to see how a brotherhood was really supposed to be.

As I graduated high school and moved onto fire school, I was able to establish a greater brotherhood with my classmates of Class 1102. Sharing memories together, constantly studying, and going through the toughest parts that fire school had to offer. After graduating fire school and getting hired on the job, I started noticing a change. The brotherhood didn’t seem to all be there. I noticed that some people only want this job for the money, and not for the love of the job and helping others in their community. I also noticed that some of our own brothers and sisters don’t even care about each other. It’s sad to think where the fire service Soap Opera 2started and where it’s at today, when it comes to the fraternity of the fire service. It’s like we are one giant soap opera, just one
issue after the other. People always complaining about policy and procedures, brothers and sisters talking about other brothers and sisters, and even going behind each other’s back’s and back-stabbing one another. I started to become sick to my stomach when I started seeing what was really going on and it saddens me to see that it has come this far.

Brothers and Sisters,

It’s time to wake up and realize what this career is really about. This isn’t just some job you come to because of the money and the benefits. This isn’t a job where you can come to work and cause mischief and turmoil amongst each other and tear each other down. This is a LIFESTYLE, a CAREER, that is much bigger than some “soap opera”, or some job that you think you’re getting great benefits from. When you choose this profession you better be all in, or nothing. This is a career, a lifestyle, that you live day-in and day-out and devote a third of your life too. Come into work and love to be where you’re at. Love this job and train to become the best at your profession. If professional athletes can train every day to become good at what they do and love their job at the same time, then so can we. We have to train like a professional athlete and become better every single day and not just sit around on a recliner and hope you’ll do it right when the public really needs you. Ignore the Soap Opera, ignore the negativity, ignore the ignorance that people have towards this career and become the 1% who will go out and make a difference in the fire service and show others how great this career really is. Join the movement and take pride back in your station and your career.  Show the weak and broken that this is the best job in the WORLD!

– Christopher Intartaglio

About Christopher Intartaglio (3 Articles)
Christopher Intartaglio is a 2nd generation firefighter with 3 years on the job. Chris started at Bayshore Fire and Rescue in 2011 as a volunteer firefighter and was there for year. In 2012, Chris was hired with Estero Fire and Rescue in Estero, Florida as a firefighter/paramedic. Chris also has a part-time job in the ER as a paramedic technician. Chris has his A.S. degree in Emergency Medicine, is currently obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Fire administration. Chris is a Paramedic, Live Fire Adjunct Instructor, Driver-Operator, and is a Rescue/Search specialist on USAR Task Force 6 team in Southwest Florida. Chris is a proud member of the Florida Gulf Coast F.O.O.L.S and IAFF Local 1826. Chris loves his job with a passion and loves to better his knowledge and become the best that he can be at his craft. Chris attends training classes from big names in the fire service by going to FDIC, and learning from his father who put in 33 years on the job, retiring as an assistant chief with South Trail Fire Department in Fort Myers, Florida.

3 Comments on Soap Opera

  1. The people you are trying to reach are not firemen-women. They took a test for the position of firefighter and passed. Your plea to the firefighters is a waste of your breath.


  2. Chris Gillespie // July 1, 2015 at 1:42 pm // Reply

    Being a firefighter for the new guys being hired, sporting fire tattoos, and seem to know it all already. Its a lot more involved than they think they know. Yes they are bright but we all paid our dues with experience. So get involved in your community join teams to coach, boards to sit on, raise money for causes. You want change, you want to complain about poor quality or lack of training. Take it upon yourself to know your job inside out. Just don’t start whining about the job, and the people, every job has bad aspects that go with it. Grow up and be positive we all know who we can depend on, its a melting pot every firefighter has something to offer. Like a standing army the front line snipers are only good as the cooks bringing up the rear. Your first in can only go so far without someone pulling hose and the pump operator. Team effort


  3. Keep up the positive attitude Tag and set an example. Do what you can to improve the fire service in whatever position you hold, that’s all you can do. Be a leader and lead by example. The fire service is made up of all types and don’t let it get you down because all don’t live up to your expectations. Don’t let others actions, or inaction dictate your happiness. After all, the fire service is like a big family, a big dysfunctional family.


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