Episode 233 - Steffen Schwarz

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About me:

- born: September 25th, 1980

- growing up in a village called „Ellhofen“ in South Germany as the oldest son

- Father: master mason/builder (⬅️hope this is the correct english word😅), owner of a family business construction company

- Mum: kindergarten-teacher/stay at home-Mum

- 2 younger sisters

- After (junior-)high school I got a advanced technical college entrance qualification and finished my apprenticeship as a mason/bricklayer

- Started my fire career in 2003 with the City of Stuttgart Fire Department in Germany (6 month basic training, followed by EMT and probation on all 5 full-time Fire Stations = finished after 20 month with final exams and tests in December 2004)

- I became a christian in 2003

- went to a 6 month bibleschool in September 2005 after probation and only several months into my first station assignment

- Got married in 2008

- Daughter was born in November 2009

- I got a 5yr. detachment to the European Union to work for the CERN-Fire Brigade(multinational Fire Brigade with Firefighters from all over Europe) in Geneva. (CERN = the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the worlds largest center for scientific research https://home.cern )

- wife started to suffer from depressions and after an several month long odyssey through several specialist clinics, she took the chance to leave the hospital unnoticed and committed suicide in 2010

- since then a single Dad

- Starting my Chapter 2 soon and get married again this year

Sports:

- growing up I was a competitive swimmer (2x state champion)

- started running, besides working construction, in preparation for fire service entry level tests

- normal „Bodybuilding routines“ at the fire Station

- Did my first CrossFit-WOD in 2009 at a firestation in Belfast, Northern Ireland during a Ride-a-Long when a Watch Commander wrote it down and lead the whole team, including me, doing the workout

- Until this moment I thought I am fit.😂

- In 2009 no CrossFit-Box in Germany

- downloaded a pdf with all the CF-Benchmarks from the CF-Mainsite and started to do the Bodyweight-workouts on the Fire station

- Was the first Firefighter outside the U.S. doing „Fran on Air“ 😄

- Now I am a CF-Level 1-Coach, Functional Fitness Trainer,...

- Working out became a whole new perspective after my wife died

- It was one of the main tools to put my life slowly back into balance

- after doing a 25k Obstacle Course Race wearing a military CBRN-mask in honor of the first german special forces soldier killed in action(which hit close to home), I felt „alive“ for the first time after my wife’s death.

Fire Service (general)

- assigned to Fire station 3 (build in 1906, rebuild in 1938) https://feuerwehr-stuttgart.de/index.php?article_id=62

- Specialized in Heavy Rescue and Water Rescue

- 10 Appliances

- 18 guys on duty each day at my station

- First due to the soccer stadium, concert halls, museums,... as well as a gas plant, living areas, or some of the Mercedes Benz factories

- busiest „Rescue Pump“/Engine in the city

- Running medicals/CPR-Support for the ambulance/„emergency door-openings“/„medical transport support“/...

- working 24h-Shifts in a 3 week shift-rhythm from 7:00 in the morning to 7:00 in the morning.

Week 1= Monday & Friday &Sunday

Week 2 = Wednesday & Saturday

Week 3 = Tuesday & Thursday

Then it starts from the beginning with

Week1, Wk2, Wk3, Wk1, Wk2, Wk3,...🔄

- 24h-Shift is split up in „working time“ and „standby time“

- Working time = daytime = training, appliance checks, station duties, 1h workout, ....

- „Standby time“ = during the night = you can keep working out, cooking dinner, watching TV, take a nap,...

- Retirement right now at age 60 (politics always tries to raise the age up to 65!)

- I was involved in starting a „Mentoringprogram“ in our FD for the Probationary FF‘s (teaching them 1:1, being a „PeerSupport“ for them after difficult calls, guiding them through their time at the specific station)

- I initiated to start the Swiftwater Rescue-Team in our FD after

- I love Heavy Rescue and I love to teach😍😅

Steffen on Instagram: @thefirefighterway

Recommended Books:

The Bible

God's Smuggler - Andrew van der Bijl, Elizabeth Sherrill, and John Sherrill

Beyond Band of Brothers - Richard Winters

Recommended Movies:

Band of Brothers

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead