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Life as a Tall Firefighter: Adam Russell

by Alex Sinanan |

Meet one of our Navas Ambassadors!

Adam Russell is a 6'7'' firefighter who stands tall for respect, honour and courtesy! He's situated in Newfoundland, Canada and here's what he has to say.

What made you want to be become a firefighter? 

I decided to choose firefighting basically through first volunteering. I was a member of a local search and rescue volunteer group and my friend had started at the fire hall. He called me up one day and asked if I would be interested. Since that day the passion I have for it is crazy! I love everything about it right from making those critical split second decisions in a major accident or fire, to back at the fire hall cleaning the floors and the trucks to make them good and shinny.

How tall are you?

6’7”

Being tall, do you experience any tall problems while doing firefighter duties?

Being a tall firefighter has so many difficulties. I could make a huge list but I’ll just name a couple:

  • Finding bunker gear and boots to fit me.
  • Fitting in the truck sometimes itself can be a challenge depending on which unit we take. I could be in the back trying to get on BA (breathing apparatus) and there isn’t much wiggle room whatsoever.
In saying all that, as with a lot of things, when there's  negative problems, positive things aren't far behind and being tall can help me too sometimes.

 

What are some uncommon duties or facts about firefighters that most people don’t know?

would say a lot of people don’t realize that firefighters are professional cleaners. Haha! We do just as much cleaning as we do helping... I think.

What is the diet and training like for firefighters?

Ahh, well... the diet and training really depends on the person. Yes, we are all in decent shape, unlike some other first responder jobs. There are always some people who don’t really watch what they eat, but they typically aren't on the front line. Myself, I just try to eat healthy. I always found it annoying when people say, “like I don’t know how to eat healthy." I mean, everyone knows it’s healthier to eat an apple over a bag of chips. So I don’t follow a strict diet, I just try to keep a balanced one. 

In regards to training, I love to work out ...I truly do! I have been working out for 13 years now. For firefighting, I have really had to up my cardio game so I do a lot of hiking and stair master. To be strong is great, but to be able to breath when you need to is every bit better.

What are your hours like?

So the hours are usually 24 hours on 72 hours off. I also work on the oil field a month at a time and go offshore. I have one month at the fire hall then back offshore for a month.

What is something you feel the public is most unaware of about fire prevention? Any tips?

The most underrated fire prevention tip is..... common sense! They say common sense isn’t so common anymore and it's true. The things we come across in people’s homes is unreal. Simple things like cleaning your chimney, changing batteries in smoke detectors, even having a smoke detector, having a carbon monoxide detector, to simply knowing your local emergency numbers. If it’s isn’t already 911.

What do firefighters do that most people aren't unaware of?

Talk. Firefighters talk a lot with each other about everything. You name it they talk about it. Somethings they can only talk to another firefighter about because sometimes the public just doesn’t understand it. And from my experience, everyone has someone on their crew who they can talk to about anything. Sometimes, after a bad call, you just wanna come home and try to forget about it. But sometimes, it’s just not that easy, so it’s nice to get it off your chest.

Do you guys really have dalmatians and where did that trend come from.

Ahhh... well I’m not sure where that trend came from until I just googled it. It’s worth a read I’ll leave the link. As for my firehouse, no we don’t have any dalmatians around our place lol!

Who are your mentors?

My mentors are all the older guys at the hall. Listening to all their stories and wisdom can really hit home and you learn a lot!

How can we find out more about you? 
Adam Russell is wearing the Navas Mac Long Sleeve Crew. It's manufactured in Canada... even the fabric!
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