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Episode 27: Preparing for your climb down the ladder: Retirement

Situational Awareness MattersOn this episode, I interview Jeff Dill from the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance and Fire Chief (ret.) Les Karpluk who operates Genesis 2020 Solutions, a leadership teaching and consulting company located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. This interview focuses on a topic we are all going to face one day – leaving the fire service. We talk about the emotional challenges and opportunities we face when leaving the fire service. Jeff is retiring in January, 2015. Les retired in 2014. This podcast topic was inspired by my own journey and struggles and I climbed down the career ladder and the subsequent program that I created to help others prepare for their life after the fire service.

Length: 49 Minutes
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Situational Awareness MattersThis episode is being recorded from the vendor floor at the Southern Alberta Fire Department conference where Jeff Dill was presenting on Firefighter Behavioral Health, Les Karpluk was presenting on Leadership, and where I presented three programs, one on situational awareness, one on firefighter safety, and a keynote on how we are training firefighters to fail. Because we are on the show floor, there is some background noise and for that I apologize. The good thing about having a high quality microphone is it provides wonderful sound quality. The bad thing about having a high quality microphone is it can pick up a lot of sound. Stick with us and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the interview. We start with me asking Jeff and Les what are some of the concerns fire service members should have as they prepare to script their exit from the fire service.

Jeff Dill from the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance and Les Karpluk, retired fire chief and owner of Genesis 2020 Solutions, a leadership teaching and consulting firm located in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. During the interview we talk about:

  • Advice about how to prepare for our climb down the ladder of success (preparing for retirement).
  • Advice on how we maintain your identity and find our new passion and purpose after retirement.
  • Discussion on how we can suffer from loss of identity when we retire and (for some) go from “Hero to Zero” all in one day.
  • Jeff talks about the 531 reported firefighter suicides, including the 120 that have followed retirement.

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Contact information for our guests

Situational Awareness MattersJeff Dill
Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance


Jeff climbs down the fire service ladder of success and will retire in January 2015.





Situational Awareness MattersLes Karpluk
Genesis 2020 Solutions


Les climbed down the fire service ladder of success and retired in February 2014.



The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to prevent bad outcomes.

Safety begins with SA! 

Share your comments on this article in the “Leave a Reply” box below. If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.



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