I’m a Mormon, LA Firefighter, and Heart-Attack Survivor

I’m a Mormon, LA Firefighter, and Heart-Attack Survivor


I’m a paramedic firefighter for
the city of Los Angeles. I really love being a
firefighter paramedic; I love being in the thick
of things, where everything’s chaotic and
you kind of bring some order to that chaos
in your training. And I really love doing it. It’s what I trained for. It’s 106 fire stations. It doesn’t seem like it’s
enough. It seems like there should be
maybe 500 fire stations. But 3,000 employees to handle
over 4.5 million people per day. It’s a good day, too. Sadly, though, one day that
all changed for me. I suffered a heart attack. Actually I’ve had two heart
attacks from ’07 to now. December of ’07 is when I
had a second one. I was removed from the field,
which is to say, no more firefighting or paramedic
work for me. Gosh, I miss this (laughs). I miss being out there working
with paramedic work. I miss that a whole lot. It looks pretty crazy to be
doing a job like that, but you know, we love doing it. We lost our home due to
that difficulty and due to that loss of wages
at that time. To see that go away was a
tough, tough deal. At this point I changed my
whole focus. It changed our family’s life;
it changed a lot of things. The job I have now,
it’s quite different. It involves working with the
media and the public. Before, I was out there in the
thick of things, and now I’m behind the scenes.
I’m heard but never seen. Los Angeles Fire Department,
Devin Gales speaking. How may I help you? I get to see everything that’s
going on in the city, from stabbings to shootings
to fires to car accidents to deliveries
of babies—I get to see ’em all. And that can be overwhelming
sometimes. So it’s a different workload
you take home with you or try to leave at work. So on the drive home, I love
listening to the scriptures. That’s decompression for me. It puts me in the right mind-
set to focus on the spiritual things on the drive home so that when I see my kids, I’m
appreciative not only of what others lost today—a life,
or a house in a fire— I can focus on those things and be happy that I have my
family, health, and happiness. I’m a Los Angeles City
firefighter paramedic. My name is Devin Gales, and
I’m a Mormon.