June 12, 2024

WTCHH – Episode 3

Navigating Childhood with a Firefighter Parent

In the latest episode of “When The Call Hits Home,” hosts Jennifer and Ashlee interview Josh, the son of a retired paramedic firefighter and a navy veteran. The discussion highlights the experiences and lessons that have shaped Josh’s life, particularly focusing on the values of resilience, family, and service. 

Growing Up in the Shadow of Firefighting


Josh’s childhood was marked by his father’s demanding career as a firefighter. His father transitioned from working at a cable company to joining the fire department when Josh was just two years old. This change brought significant shifts in the family’s dynamics, especially with the 24-hour shifts his father regularly undertook.


Josh vividly remembers his visits to the firehouse, where he found a sense of family and camaraderie. Despite the fascination, the risks of the job instilled anxiety and fear in Josh, especially around 5th grade. He often worried about his father’s safety as he faced dangerous situations involving gang activities and fires in tall buildings.


Building Resilience Through Sports and Family Activities


Despite these challenges, family bonding, particularly through sports, played a crucial role in Josh’s upbringing. Basketball was a priority for the family, serving as a vital activity that helped Josh and his father connect and build resilience. It allowed Josh to manage his fears positively and develop a strong work ethic.


Jennifer draws parallels between Josh’s father’s dedication as a firefighter and Josh’s own service in the navy. Both roles reflect a mentality of serving the community and highlight values of discipline, teamwork, and perseverance that are crucial in various forms of service.


Lessons in Safety and Responsibility


Josh’s upbringing in a firefighter household instilled essential lessons about safety and responsibility. His father emphasized fire safety measures, such as the importance of smoke detectors and careful use of candles, making safety second nature to Josh. These early lessons shaped Josh’s conscientious approach to everyday tasks and his work ethic. 


Josh admired his father’s organizational skills and cleanliness, adopting habits like making his bed and handling chores diligently. These aspects made his transition to military life smoother, as the discipline and teamwork required in the firehouse mirrored those in the navy.


The Power of Connection and Shared Interests


A recurring theme in the episode is the importance of building connections based on shared interests. Playing basketball with his father was more than a pastime for Josh; it was a way to bond, discuss life, and navigate various challenges together. The hosts highlight how such activities are essential in building resilience and a strong family connection.


Jennifer and Ashlee also discuss how encouraging children to engage in activities they are passionate about—be it sports, music, or nature—prepares them for adulthood. They emphasize the critical role parents play in fostering these connections by understanding and participating in their children’s interests.


A Life Shaped by Service


Josh’s reflections show how his father’s career significantly influenced his own life choices. Despite his mother’s reservations, Josh felt compelled towards service, inspired by his father’s dedication. His father’s strong work ethic and commitment to helping others served as a model for Josh’s career in the navy.


Throughout the episode, Josh shares humorous and memorable anecdotes from his time around the firehouse, illustrating that even amidst danger and uncertainty, there is room for camaraderie and family values. These moments helped build his character and resilience, preparing him for life’s challenges.




The episode concludes with the hosts expressing gratitude to Josh for sharing his experiences. They highlight the importance of building resilience within families and reassure the audience that future episodes will continue to provide insights and tools for this purpose. Josh’s story underscores the strength found in family bonds, the impact of parental influence, and the importance of resilience in navigating life’s challenges.

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