David Eckermann

Houston Firefighter, Lonestar Tactical Buildings, Southwest Inn S

Though we might not have believed there could be another lone survivor story, we bring David Eckermann of the Houston Fire Department into the TNQ Podcast Studio. David survived one of the largest, most unpredictable fires in HFD history. The Southwest Inn fire in Houston, Texas on May 31, 2013, was a fire in a restaurant that spread to an adjoining hotel. The fire claimed the biggest casualty loss for the Houston Fire Department since its inception.

David speaks publicly about this harrowing day for the first time to discuss the stigmas around mental health in the first responder community and to honor the lives of his fellow firefighters.

His experience that day sparked the development of his company, Lone Star Tactical Buildings, providing fire and police training facilities nationwide.
 
In this episode you will hear:
 
  • I had no idea I wanted to be a firefighter, but thankfully it was supposed to happen. It was meant to be.
  • If you’re gonna be a fireman, you’re never gonna be rich.
  • Besides getting married, graduating from the fire academy was the best day of my life.
  • I’ve always been a faithful guy, but after my friend’s suicide, I questioned it.
  • When we went into the building, the smoke didn’t match what I was expecting.
  • The building collapse was totally unexpected. It catapulted us out the front.
  • I was the only one alive from the first companies.
  • Those firefighters went out like heroes.
This episode is in memory of Robert Bebee, Robert Garner, Matthew Renaud, Anne Sullivan, and Captain Bill Dowling.

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