Chief Reggie Freeman: ‘I refused to be the weakest link’

The Oakland fire chief talks lifelong learning, the biggest challenge of his career, plus ‘calculated aggression,’ future book titles and pet peeves

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On this episode of the Better Every Shift podcast, Oakland Fire Chief Reggie Freeman joins Zam to talk:

  • The unspoken battle – or war – between new and older members;
  • Changing how we define competence;
  • Why diversity is a choice for fire departments;
  • Chiefs who have forgotten where they came from;
  • The motivation of injustice; and
  • His kids’ future in the fire service (??).


  • Hot seat sneak peek: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
  • Don’t miss: His advice to his 18-year-old self.
  • Episode power-quote: “Family inspires me, injustice motivates me.”


Listen to the next show: Chief Josh Waldo: ‘You’re only going to grow when you get uncomfortable’

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