Season 8 | Wildland Firefighting Professionals | Episode 1

#122 | In wildland fire, once-in-a-lifetime experiences keep happening

July 31, 2019 | Brian Pisarek

Brian Pisarek is the Advanced Wildfire Instructor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and he is also the Fire Chief for the City of Aitkin, Minnesota. Brian has a B.S. in Forestry and has an extensive list of fire qualifications. In today’s episode, Brian shares a little bit about how to keep yourself safe during a wildland fire, how to best manage family expectations when you’ve got to abruptly cancel plans to fight a fire, his lessons in leadership and communication, and so much more!

Key Takeaways:

[1:15] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:50] A quick intro about Brian’s background.

[3:30] How did Brian first get started in his fire career?

[7:15] Be hungry for new opportunities.

[8:00] Firefighting is dangerous work; how does Brian manage the expectations of his friends and family?

[10:00] Brian has had a few close calls when it comes to fighting fire. It’s important to stay up-to-date with safety information and listen closely to your safety officer.

[10:50] What kind of work does Brian do now?

[11:35] What’s unique about the firefighting community?

[12:55] How can young and aspiring professionals get started in this career?

[14:40] Communication is what clogs the system. A good leader needs to know how to communicate clearly and effectively.

[18:35] What’s the difference in the work environment when it comes to wildland fire vs. structured fire?

[20:35] What kinds of mentors has Brian had over the years?

[22:45] How does the fire community manage their work/life balance?

[26:20] What is Brian most proud of about his career?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Statistics and Facts You Need to Know About Wildfires here

Learn more about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources here

Learn more about careers in wildland fire here




Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.