Episode 5: Dena Ali
Dena Ali Bio Photo.jpg

"If you're making it about you, then you're doing it wrong."

Dena Ali is our guest on Episode 5 of Refined By Fire . Dena is a 10 year veteran of the fire service -- having previously spent several years in law enforcement -- and serves as a Captain with Raleigh Fire Department. She's a board member for the incredible benevolence organization, the Carolina Brotherhood. She's an avid fitness junkie and an advocate with 5-5-5 Fitness. Dena is a prolific author and researcher, with over a dozen articles in national publications. Dena's writing niche comes in the form of conducting and/or studying academic research and then applying it to the fire service. Some great articles Dena has written that are discussed in the show:

Understanding Fire Service Suicide, the Key to Prevention

Awareness Level Firefighter Suicide Prevention

Also check out the November 2017 hard copy issue of Fire Engineering (Firefighter Wellness Supplement) for Dena's excellent article titled, Can Peer Support Prevent Firefighter Suicide? In this piece, Dena presents research by Dr. Thomas Joiner of Florida State University, including this theory:


PEER SUPPORT RESOURCES: Create, join, or receive peer support.

IAFF Behavioral Health Programs

Illinois Firefighter Peer Support

Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative

North Carolina Peer Support

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, PLEASE CALL (24/7):

Safe Call Now: 206-459-3020

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Seriously, these resources save lives. Please consider getting involved as a Peer Supporter in your department or region. 

Books discussed:

The Last Men Out by Tom Downey

Podcast Referral:

Behind the Shield Podcast: Episode 39, Dustin Hawkins


This podcast features the song “Spray Paint it Gold”, by Little Glass Men, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. 



Stephen Tyler
Episode 4: Rob Fisher
Rob's head shot.jpeg

"Excellence is established by example."

Rob Fisher is our distinguished guest for Episode 4 of Refined By Fire. Rob is a Lieutenant and Training Officer for Snohomish County District #7 FD and a 29 year veteran of the fire service. Rob is one of those passionate individuals who seems to be involved with everything. He serves as the Education Trustee for the F.O.O.L.S. International, has been involved with the Puget Sound F.O.O.L.S. for over fifteen years, is an FDIC presenter (check out his class, Quint Considerations for the Single-Truck Suburban Department), and serves as an instructor for the Washington State Fire Academy and Brothers in Battle.  

We cover a lot of ground in our talk. We move from talking about his experiences in NYC post-9/11, the Oso Mudslide, overcoming disappointment during our careers, the LAFD Leadership Academy, and the importance of humility as an instructor. Oh, and wine. When you talk with Robbie, you better believe wine is going to come up at some point. 

Books and articles discussed:

Followership by Barbara Kellerman

Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction by James Braidwood

Onward by Howard Shultz

So You Want To Be a Fireman? by Chad Berg 


This podcast features the song “Spray Paint it Gold”, by Little Glass Menavailable under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Stephen Tyler
Episode 3: Brian Yonkin
Brian Yonkin Bio Photo.JPG


“You can do your job here, and it’s f-ing awesome.”

Brian Yonkin is a third-generation firefighter working in Harrisburg, Pa, where he’s currently the driver of Tower 2. Brian is a part of the team which created and continues to run the Art of Firemanship Days training conference, and serves on the editorial board of the excellent Art of Firemanship Journal.

In our talk with Brian, we covered a lot of ground. We discuss fitness for firefighters (5/3/1), the idiosyncrasies of fighting fires in rowhomes, how his time as a kitchen manager prepared him for life in the fire service, The Lessons are in the Ring, and the Four Pillars of his life and how he manages them to achieve balance and success.

Books mentioned by Brian:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

As a Man Thinketh

Third Circle Theory: Purpose Through Observation

The Dip

Books mentioned by Stephen:




This podcast features the song “Spray Paint it Gold”, by Little Glass Men, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Stephen Tyler
Episode 2: Ted Corporandy


“You know what I wanted to do when I was in the business? I wanted to survive.”

Ted Corporandy is our guest on Episode 2 of Refined By Fire. A thirty-six year veteran of the fire service, Chief Corporandy spent the majority of his career in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, fighting fire out of some of America’s busiest firehouses. Ted is the the co-founder of the visionary web magazine FireNuggets, the first of its kind for the fire service.  Retiring from SFFD in 2006 as a Battalion Chief, Ted remains a highly influential figure in the fire service, both through his own direct contributions and through those who have been influenced by him.

In this talk, we touch on Chief Corporandy’s experiences as a young wildland firefighter, navigating fire service traditions, the Gorter Nozzle, fighting fire in the Tenderloin, the importance of empathy, the value of social media for the 21st Century firefighter, and lots more. Chief Corporandy was extremely gracious to spend the time with us and we’re excited to the share it with you!

Chief Corporandy's article on tradition:

Tradition: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Books mentioned by Chief Corporandy:

Fire Officer’s Handbook of Tactics

Building Construction for the Fire Service

Random Thoughts

Stephen Tyler
Episode 1: Gary Lane


“And I think sometimes in the fire service, maybe we need reminded that the job is really nasty when you truly go to work.”

Refined by Fire kicks off Episode 1 with the indomitable Gary Lane. Gary is a twenty-year backseat fireman, now doing the job in Northeast Ohio. He is the owner of Rogue Fire, LLC, and an alumnus of the Fire Service Warrior movement. Gary is renowned as a no-BS instructor with an insistence on keeping training as realistic as possible. Gary has presented at many of America’s premiere fire conferences: The Art of Firemanship Days, Andy Fredericks Training Days, Firemanship Conference, and FDIC.

We dive into Gary’s first life as an aspiring skateboarder, how junior members can have an impact on the fireground, working harder not smarter (“We already have enough smart people”), the importance of simplicity, The Book of Five Rings, and much more.  


The Book of Andy

Art of Firemanship Journal, Winter 2017

Art of Firemanship Journal, Summer 2016

Art of Firemanship Journal, Winter 2016

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This podcast features the song “Spray Paint it Gold”, by Little Glass Men available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Stephen Tyler
Episode 0: Coming Soon

"Stories are the incarnation of truth."

Welcome to Refined By Fire, a living history of America's fire service. Coming soon from Brothers in Battle Media, hosted by Stephen Tyler. 

Stephen Tyler