Battalion Chief John Salka (ret.) is a 40-plus year veteran of the fire service. He served with the FDNY for over 33 years, the last 15 years a battalion chief in the 18th Battalion in the Bronx.
Chief Salka received the FDIC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. He has presented and lectured at FDIC International where he received the 2001 FDIC Training Achievement Award for his "Get Out Alive" firefighter survival training program. He is a New York State certified fire instructor and lectures nationally.
He served as the co-lead instructor for the H.O.T. Firefighter Safety and Survival program at FDIC for over ten years and is the co-host for the podcasts “The Command Post” heard on FireEngineering.com and “Old School” heard on iTunes.
He is the author of the best-selling books First In-Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department, The Engine Company, and co-author of Five Alarm Leadership, published by Fire Engineering Books & Videos. He has served as a volunteer firefighter throughout his entire fire service career.
Chief Salka writes a monthly back page column "The Fire Scene" in Firehouse magazine, which much of this book reflects. He has also written for Fire Engineering, Size-Up and the FDNY training magazine WNYF.