A Blog By PJ Kellam – Firefighter/Photographer

On A Lighter Note: The Sound Of Inspiration From Within

“Till’ the roof comes off, till’ the lights go out, till’ my legs give out…”

These words might just seem like a simple phrase with some rhythm and rhyme thrown in. Some of you may even recognize them as lyrics from the song “Till’ I Collapse” by “Eminem”. In my mind, however, they explain, to a point, my attitude towards getting the job done. As a firefighter, I feel like I can relate to these words in that I see myself working until my legs give out, and then some, in order to help someone else.

Goofy thought? Possibly. But I feel like we can all find some inspiration from the music we enjoy.

There are hundreds of videos on the internet that feature photos and videos of firefighters doing work. As a huge advocate for video recording of training and incidents in order to help ourselves and others, I watch as many of them as I can, and I have noticed something. A good majority of these videos, especially the ones composed of mainly photos, are set to music. While most would simply pass this off as a “good song to break the silence of the slideshow”, I find a deeper meaning.


The music, while adding a catchy tune to a cool collection of photos, can hold the key to the little bit of inspiration and motivation that a fire crew needs to perform better. We’ve all watched a video at some point in our life that we can’t forget. Something that really catches our eye and makes our heart race. For a firefighter, maybe its a video of a good fire, a rescue, or a collection of images from a department that they are proud to be a member of.

I remember the first time I watched the original “Kentland 33” video. The song in the video was “Pride” by “Soil”. The video/photos showed a group of dedicated individuals voluntarily giving their all to help their community. Why did this video, like many others, get my heart racing? Because I could relate to it through the music. The loud lyrics and the up-beat rhythm really sunk in and had me wishing I was on a fire truck racing towards a working fire at that very moment so I too could give my 100%.

The point here is while we are all different individuals, we can all find some inspiration in the music we listen to, and sometimes after tough calls or during a busy shift, we could all use a little motivation. My challenge to firefighters everywhere is to go out, find a good song or two that really pumps you up, listen to it, and save it. Listening to it will help you get motivated right now, and saving it for later might just give you the boost you need next time you’re heading for a working fire. Need some help getting started? Check out the playlist I put together, with the help of some friends, just for this reason (below this post). Your inspiration might be hiding within the lyrics to one of these songs, or another one somewhere out there that we haven’t discovered yet.

A motivated firefighter will work harder than a firefighter who is just there. Being in the right mind frame when the bell sounds will rub off on your crew members like a bright smile in a dull crowd. A motivated crew will work harder together in order to better accomplish tasks on the fireground, and a motivated group of firefighters on a fireground will help ensure that everyone goes home. So go find some motivation and when the going gets tough, remember that song that you chose and keep it in your head as you fight to move forward and do your best!



One response

  1. Thanks for the Good Words. I have given my all in #FF and Hiking. Pushed to the limit of physical endurance and a cadence and motivating tune always makes the pain and anguish seem a little better. Who knows why but we all are encouraged and motivated by Music. “What words cannot express music does the Rest”
    Tim Lasley

    February 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm

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