Tips from a Firefighter and Experienced Saver

Caucasian man sitting at a chair wearing a firefighter uniform

Bryan Stretch has a lot of cool things to talk about. From fighting fires to coaching wrestling while also developing his personal skills in finance, Bryan is knowledgeable in many facets of life.

While slowly moving up the ranks in his career, he has coached his wrestling teams to championships at many different levels, including the national stage, and managed to figure out his personal finances through trial and error.

Bryan joined us to share some of his insights on being a Firefighter and to share what he’s learned through his financial experiences.

What exactly is your role at the Surrey Fire Department?

I work for Surrey Fire and Rescue for the City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada. I am currently a Firefighter and an Acting Captain.

What training or experience was required to become a firefighter?

    I was required to complete NFPA 1001 courses at the Justice Institute of BC, to get a Class 3 with air brakes endorsement driver’s license, and a First Responder Level 3 certification. I was then a paid-on-call (volunteer) with the city of Surrey for 3 years.

    How do you move up in your career at the fire department?

    Everyone starts as a Probationary Firefighter and then, because we are a union, we have what is called lock-step seniority, so when it is your turn because you are the most senior person you are permitted to take the Officer course, if you wish, and then again when you are the most senior applicant you will be promoted to Captain.

    What would you say is a highlight of working at a fire hall?

    The Firefighter culture and job have endless stories of pranks and funny human situations. Some of the best are things like fake lottery ticket winnings.

    firefighter spraying down a fighter with half the image with the firefighter named Bryan Stretch posing

    What would say is the outlook for future Firefighters?

    We are currently experiencing great growth in our city and will continue to do so for many years as the city is constantly growing. This is also the case in many of the cities in BC and across Canada. There are jobs available in many places.

    Do you have any personal finance concepts that have helped you along your journey?

    As for personal finance, it is so important to feed your mind with knowledge of money, finance, and investing.

    My top 3 concepts that have helped me are:

    1) Understanding the Rule of 72, how interest works for you or against you

    2) The Smith Maneuver, how to convert your personal mortgage from non-tax deductible to tax deductible and tap into the equity for investments

    3) Infinite banking to protect your family and create generational wealth

    If you could go back and change anything about your finances from your youth, what would it be?

    If I could go back and do it again I would have saved more money and learned more about finance earlier, as time is our greatest asset for growing massive wealth.

    What advice would you give to teenagers and young adults today?

    Educate yourself and act. Don’t get too hung up on “the best,” just start now and keep going. Time is on your side so take advantage of that and take advantage of the concepts and lessons you are learning from this site and others like it.

    As we wrap up, do you have any last advice for our readers?

    Money does not equal or buy happiness but rather it is a resource to fund the things that make you happy and free you up to live your true passions in life. Knowledge is nothing without action so learn, act, celebrate, and evaluate (L.A.C.E).

    Make it happen!!

    By: Robert Puharich | September 25, 2023 |