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Forging Your Team – The Johnny Torgeson Story – 408


The fire service is struggling with recruiting and retention. It’s also challenged by a mental health crisis and a growing apathy within the profession. The good news is, we have the power to fix it. Working in a team environment provides job satisfaction, psychological safety, and a feeling of community. Fire service leaders have the responsibility of developing teams; so, Dr. JT wrote a book on how to Forge Your Team.


Dr. JT started his career in 2000 as a U.S. Army Firefighter. He’s worked for several fire departments around the world.  Currently, he works at MCLB Barstow Fire & Emergency Service as an Assistant Chief of Operations.

He’s led as an Army Sergeant, CEO and Fire Officer. At the age of 25, he opened a 24-hour health club and became a top 100 grossing franchisee.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing, a master’s degree in leadership and a doctorate in strategic leadership. Dr. JT is credentialed through CPSE and works as an instructor for two colleges. He has achieved multiple life-saving awards and service distinctions throughout his career. Moreover, he has authored a book titled, Forging Your Team: Demystifying Team Development in the Fire Service and writes for multiple publications. He’s also a mentor for transitioning veterans through American Corporate Partners. Dr. JT has a passion for serving people and developing teams. Throughout his career he has developed award winning teams and transformed organizations through his distinct strategies.

About the Host


Richard B. Gasaway, PhD, CSP is widely considered a trusted authority on human factors, situational awareness and the high-risk decision making processes used in high-stress, high consequence work environments. He served 33 years on the front lines as a firefighter, EMT-Paramedic, company officer, training officer, fire chief and emergency incident commander.  His doctoral research included the study of cognitive neuroscience to understand how human factors flaw situational awareness and impact high-risk decision making.

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Episode length: 66 minutes


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