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For more information, visit blackeffect.com slash Nissan. This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show, including yours.
Send them to OurAmericanStories.com for some of our favorites. Today we have author Jason Sautel sharing his story from his book The Rescuer, One Firefighter's Story of Courage, Darkness, and the Relentless Love That Saved Him. Jason was a successful and competent firefighter in Oakland, California. Life for Jason seemed to be perfect on the outside, but he was struggling with a darkness in him that started when he was a boy.
Here's Jason with his story. Growing up was pretty awesome for about the first five to six years of my life. Mom, dad, everything seemed normal. You know, being a young kid, I really didn't know a whole lot of anything that was going on around me. And then I got sent to kindergarten and it's kind of like that's when my life started taking a downward spiral. And it wasn't because of school. It wasn't because I didn't want to go to school. It's just a series of events came into my life at a young age that my parents went through a divorce. My mom moved 500 miles away and I was left to live with my dad, who is a good man. He served in the Vietnam War, but he had a lot of traumas of his past that would come back to haunt him.
And unfortunately, he would take them out on me. So at the age of five, when I was six, somewhere right in that area, when I went to kindergarten, I remember my mom, because my parents were still together then, she dropped me off at school. I didn't want her to leave. And I was like clinging to her leg.
And the teacher said, no, no, he's going to be just fine. So they pulled me off or sent her away. Well, then they took me into the high school, not high school, but the elementary school office. And they cleaned out a janitor's locker and they threw me in there until I stopped crying. And it was horrible because when I was in there, I couldn't figure out why I was being punished. I wanted my mom, what's wrong with that? And these people were punishing me. And finally, I just submitted, but I didn't submit because I wanted out of the closet to go be with all the other kids. Honestly, I would have rather have stayed in there, but I felt something at the time.
I didn't realize what it was. And it was like an evilness was lurking within that closet and that darkness. And that was the first time I ever recognized evilness in this fallen world and being a non-Christian and not going to church in my age at the time, it was really hard to explain. So those were my younger years.
My teen years was, I mean, it was just straight up rebellious. There comes a point where you don't want to put up with abuse anymore. And so you fight back.
Well, when you fight back, you get the exit sign thrown in front of you. And I was basically told to leave my house. So I started doing a lot of couch surfing. I would go up to my mom's house and try to reconnect with her. But her boyfriend's up in San Francisco. They wanted nothing to do with me. She had a one bedroom apartment, so I would sleep on the floor and her boyfriends would purposely kick me when they walked by. I'd laugh because the beatings I took in my life, like, dude, I have some hardened ribs.
A few kicks from a hippie's not going to really hurt me. But emotionally, it still sucked. It was just as bad as when I was growing up in my dad's house, the emotional abuse that I was put through there. So I went back down to Southern California and ended up just staying with my dad. But it wasn't like we lived together.
I would stay there, stay with friends. I was big time into skating and I would start going down to the ocean, go surfing, doing that kind of stuff. So I was like during my teen years, a classic skater outcast guy. I never joined a gang.
I never took on the ideologies of the guys that were part of the group that I hung out with. But if you think about it, the skinheads, the gangsters, that crowd, they were close to me, but they accepted me. And it was because I wasn't getting a love at home that I chased the love outside of my house. And they showed me a worldly love that is not good.
But at the time, it replaced what was really bad at home. And my high school years, I made it up until the 10th grade. It was my first month of 10th grade.
And that's when I dropped out of high school. Because my whole life I had no help in school. My dad would be like, the teachers need to help you. And the teachers in return would be like, your dad needs to help you.
And here I am a kid in the middle going, well, it's not working for me. So I remember that I would go to school, like to do the States project. And I was actually kind of proud with what I created. And my teacher just belittled me, you know, it was like in the fifth grade, she made me feel horrible. She was like, this is all you could do. And she, she yelled at me and she made me go down and sit in the second grade class to finish the project while all my classmates got to go off and celebrate and have a day away from school and go to the park and all that kind of stuff because they did this big history. And it just made me feel so angry because I was like, no adult would listen to me. I would go home and say, dad, I need help. And he'd yell, you know, I'm not going to go what he yelled, but it was basically, gosh darn it, your stupid teachers need to help you. Then I would go to school and the teachers would be like, well, you have libraries. I'm like, listen, lady, the library's on the other side of town. I'm nine or 10 years old.
How am I supposed to get there? Can you help me out with that? So a lot of those struggles from my childhood also carried into my adulthood. And I wasn't an atheist, but I grew up just so full of hate that I hated anything that was good. So if I saw some of those happy, like kids that were happy because their projects were completed, well, I was really mad because I was like, well, that sucks.
They have everything I don't. So I would want to push some of my pain on them. And that kind of followed me through my high school years and stuff. And so from the Christian standpoint, my dad taught me that Christians were stupid from day one.
I remember they're stupid. And I remember there was a time in high school when there was this girl who was actually reading her Bible. And as I passed by her, I just stopped. I told her and I looked, I'm like, you're stupid. And everything in that book is stupid.
Everything about you is stupid. And I lit into her. And it was just because it's weird when you think about it. I truly believe it was because I was so rebellious.
But I think that was actually one of the first times God was really calling me to Him. But I was rebelling against, because I see a Bible and I see a girl that's happy. And I'm like, no, I'm going to tear you down because I was of the outcast. Because I always figured all Christians were going to be alike and just tell me I'm going to hell.
So I'd sit over here in the eighth and ninth grade getting drunk on the high school football field while they're all doing preppy stuff. And it was just that rebellion against God coming out early on. And so I was actually very hateful to Christians, even through my early years in the fire department. There's a part of my book where I actually curse a pastor out of our firehouse.
So my nickname in the fire department prior to coming to Christ was actually the demon seed. So it's kind of a crazy story. And you're listening to Jason Sautel talk about the early parts of his life. His book, The Rescuer, one firefighter's story of courage, darkness, and the relentless love that saved him is available on Amazon and the usual suspects.
And when we come back, we're going to hear more from Jason Sautel. His own life story continues here on Our American Story. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of $17.76 is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters. Go to our American stories.com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.
That's our American stories.com. Tis the season of making the perfect wishlist and the perfect playlist. Level up your listening and gift more than just a headphone this holiday with Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Earbuds and headphones. Breakthrough Bose immersive audio uses rich, spatialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life.
World-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not-so-typical silent night. And custom-tuned technology analyzes your ear shape, adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.
Visit bows.com forward slash I heart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present. Football is back and NFL plus has you covered. Get NFL plus and you'll never miss a moment of live football action this season with live local and prime time games on mobile NFL network NFL red zone live game audio and more all in one place. That's right this season get NFL red zone and NFL plus premium so you never miss a touchdown. That's every touchdown from every game every Sunday during the regular season across devices.
Sign up today at plus.nfl.com terms and conditions apply. It's hard to narrow it down to just a few things to love about the holidays. Want to know a little secret? The Home Depot has the holidays covered and that includes bigger and bolder holiday decor at amazing prices. From a perfectly lit tree to a wonderfully designed fireplace to some of the most fun decor ever yard inflatables like the Home Depot's nine foot Grinch stealing Christmas inflatable. Yes nine feet of amazing. How amazing you ask? People will be driving by your house really slowly just to take a picture. That's how amazing. While a nine foot Grinch inflatable is stealing Christmas you'll be stealing the show in your neighborhood and all for an amazing price.
So get to the Home Depot this holiday season. Your go-to place to get holiday ready. And we return to our American stories and to author and former firefighter Jason Sautel sharing the story from his book The Rescuer. We left off with Jason sharing his abuse-filled childhood with us and how that led him to some destructive behaviors.
Let's return to Jason. When I was young and running amuck even though I hung out with those guys I like if we went and stole some beer did something I felt bad inside. If we got in a fight with another group of skaters I didn't want to fight them and I felt bad but it was just like okay I have to fight because everyone's fighting. So I always had this urge inside me to want to be part of something bigger and want to help other people. Well when I was 17 I was getting in a lot of trouble and I finally realized by the way of the police department they said you might want to figure things out here and they told me about the California Conservation Corps and to make a long story short what they are is you know the brochure says you're going to be in the National Forest building trails and doing all this but the reality is you're picking up garbage on the side of the freeway in downtown L.A. But what the good part about it is is they give you a stable job a work ethic that kind of stuff. Well while we were there there were some fires going on in Southern California and our job at the California Conservation Corps was to clean up the fire camp and feed the firemen and do all that kind of stuff.
Well firemen started talking to me and you know we just started chatting it up and I knew what the fire department did but having that one-on-one with him I was like so what do you do just put out grass fires like no we go to car accidents we help people we go to medical calls help elderly help newborns house fire and just something clicked like that sounds cool number one because you know the adrenaline junkie side of me really enjoyed that but number two I saw that he was so passionate about something that was so much bigger than him and helping so I hopped on board and I asked him I said so bro what do I need to do to become a fireman he's all first you know you have your high school diploma and I was like well that job's out so I went back and I actually got what's called the California high school proficiency exam where you can take a test that proves your you know everything that would have been taught to either high school and they give you an equivalency of a diploma so it's actually higher than a GED well I took that test and I passed it with a 98 percent and I was 17 at the time hadn't been in school for like three years and stuff so it was a total blessing I passed it and I went to a local firehouse which out here in California instead of like the county fire department was the California department of forestry and I applied at that firehouse for the seasonal fire season because they would hire extra guys to help fight the wildland fires we have out here and the captain hired me on the spot and that's how I got on the fire department prior to Oakland fire department was I worked for a smaller county fire department down in southern California and it was the start of it all it was like just the most amazing job on the face here than being able to help and love on people and care for people was just something that I craved more of I started when I just turned 18 because I couldn't do it at age 17 so at 18 in December I joined well that year in uh it was 1993 uh was my year I was supposed to graduate from my class well my firehouse was down the street from my high school so I actually watched my high school graduation because we did outdoor graduations in the hills in this place called the remote bowl so we'd always assign a fire engine you know cops would be there kind of you know plus good for taking pictures type of stuff but I actually watched my class where I was supposed to graduate I watched it from sitting on the top of my fire engine I remember they're going down the names and you know going through the the r's and then also they got in the s's and then you know it's right there I knew that's where they would have said jason slott tell and I sit on a fire truck and people like that's a great story and I said no I was actually humiliated I was hoping no one would recognize me no one see me because up until that point in my life I was still like living in a fishbowl where I could see happiness but I couldn't feel happiness and it was destroying me once again watching these groups of people because we only had one high school or account that I grew up with getting something I didn't get and I was sitting out on the side as an outcast even though you know the world looks this fireman is like oh look at you guys you're glorious you're this and that I never felt it so how it progressed from there we're on a medical call prior to that time and I remember a guy was hit by a car and it was just me and my captain on the fire engine because we didn't have the staffing then and this guy was so severely injured that we needed to bring in a helicopter to fly him down into la to the trauma center while I was 18 years old with nothing more than a first aid certificate and I should have still been in high school where everyone else has taken biology I'm sitting on the side of the road with a guy he's just bad I don't want to get graphic but he's really bad off and my captain left me there with the medical bags to go land the helicopter and I felt so useless because I did not know what to do I was a child trying to keep this man alive and the citizens were looking at me to do it I didn't know what to do so that pushed me to go to EMT school in paramedic school because I never wanted to experience that again how could I serve others when I couldn't serve them that's not okay so I went to paramedic school well the way that I got on the Oakland fire department was we were on a wildland fire and in southern California in 1993 was the year with the Malibu fires and the big fire storms and people don't believe it but California's been burning long a lot longer than just these past few years and I remember my captain look at me he's like hey Jason do you see those city fire departments like yeah it's like man they make like 45 000 years I was like what dude I'm making minimum wage which is 425 an hour I'm gonna go apply for a city department so I started applying for LA city Oakland San Francisco I wanted the big city fire departments after having a taste of it and lo and behold I told all the right fibs and they liked me at the Oakland fire department and I passed their test and they hired me and stuff so that's where my transition happened from being a wildland firefighter and moving up into what I call the big leagues and become a big city fire department firefighter I jokingly say my PTSD has PTSD because coming from the childhood that I have and the reason I I would go in on medicals you know it was part of my job but the reason I love to go on medicals and the fires is because I loved helping people because helping people helped me feel better but here's the kicker without Christ in my life it didn't work it was like putting a band-aid on an arterial bleed or like trying to stop an arterial bleed with just direct pressure the second we would get back to the firehouse after helping those people I would take the I would take the pressure off that arterial bleed and all the sadness and the emptiness that was living inside of me and the darkness that I was living under would come back to get me so it was yes the PTSD yes the living without Christ yes the issues of my past and what people don't realize is in Oakland especially the years that I was there in West Oakland it was the hub of the crack wars it were they had their shows done about it and we would go out the door on in our district alone our area of town 100 shootings per year where people died well only one out of every five person shot would die so think about all the people that weren't dying and the traumas we were seeing plus we were one of the busiest and still are one of the busiest firefighting cities in all the United States because being out here on the west coast our city was built in the 1800s early 1900s and it didn't burn down in the big earthquakes like San Francisco did and have a no economy high crime rate no jobs you know we would just go out like you could imagine we would even have the military would send their medics to ride with us to learn how to shoot or how to deal with gunshot victims because that's how many we went to because in wars yes major things are going on but we would consistently go back firehouse another shooting back firehouse another shooting back firehouse another shooting those guys you know they're fighting badly and I'm not taking away from what they do it's and what they've seen and the traumas they've gone through but because we did it so much it would they would send them to us to learn about it but the traumas that you take on the way I explain it is every time you go out the door of the firehouse to someone else's emergency you're becoming part of their story that you wouldn't have if you've just been sitting home chilling or anything but then you're also part of their story is someone they're looking to to help them and make it better and when you can't it crushes you especially when you don't understand god's will and you're the rescuer because I was like a guy who was trying to rescue people without even knowing how to rescue myself so I was dying inside well when you're doing that each scene you go to you're picking up a piece of that scene and you're putting it in your bag and you're putting your bag and eventually that bag gets so worn down that's finally going to drag you down and I was at a point in my life where I was actually 10 seconds out from killing myself because of it and um San Francisco firefighter who's a friend of mine intervened and you're listening to Jason Sawtell and by the way the story you're hearing is not entirely different from a lot of first responders cops and firemen and soldiers who especially those who've had early life trauma bury the trauma and then continue to bury future trauma until sooner or later they can't take it particularly men who suffer from these machismo cultures which don't exactly reward this kind of confessional or this sign of so-called weakness when we come back more of Jason Sawtell's story here on Our American Stories. Tis the season of making the perfect wishlist and the perfect playlist. Level up your listening and gift more than just a headphone this holiday with Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and headphones. Breakthrough Bose immersive audio uses rich spatialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life. World-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not so typical silent night and custom tune technology analyzes your ear shape adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.
Visit Bose.com forward slash iHeart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present. Football is back and NFL Plus has you covered. Get NFL Plus and you'll never miss a moment of live football action this season with live local and prime time games on mobile, NFL network, NFL red zone, live game audio and more all in one place. That's right this season get NFL red zone and NFL Plus premium so you never miss a touchdown. That's every touchdown from every game every Sunday during the regular season across devices.
Sign up today at plus.nfl.com terms and conditions apply. It's hard to narrow it down to just a few things to love about the holidays. Want to know a little secret? The Home Depot has the holidays covered and that includes bigger and bolder holiday decor at amazing prices. From a perfectly lit tree to a wonderfully designed fireplace to some of the most fun decor ever yard inflatables like the Home Depot's nine foot Grinch stealing Christmas inflatable. Yes nine feet of amazing. How amazing you ask? People will be driving by your house really slowly just to take a picture. That's how amazing. While a nine foot Grinch inflatable is stealing Christmas you'll be stealing the show in your neighborhood and all for an amazing price. So get to the Home Depot this holiday season.
Your go-to place to get holiday ready. And we continue with our American stories and we return to the story of former firefighter Jason Sautel. We left off with Jason talking about the traumas that firefighters carry with them from all that they've seen. Let's get back to Jason and hear how he dealt with or didn't deal with these burdens.
I'd respond to fires and we would get there while people were still alive but they burned to death as we're trying to get to them. Well that made me feel like the big failure. I failed. So I took on the weight of the world on my shoulders and what I've always done I've actually shielded myself from that. Like people ask me oh what was the outcome of that call? I don't know.
I have never once followed up on a victim. When we pulled people out of fires obviously I know if they survived or not but like one time we pulled this family out of a fire and they lived. Seriously like it's very rare that that happens. Usually you'll get them out and most people who are truly trapped there they're really young, really old or they have some sort of disability because folks that are quote able-bodied and I'm using the physical term on that you know when a fire and smoke is up we bounce out windows we jump we leave you know but people with decreased senses you know because of something going on with them unfortunately we get there they've been you know in trap for so long they don't survive but this family they wanted to come have dinner with us in the firehouse and this may sound wrong but it's how we protect ourselves. We put another crew in there that pretended they were us because I wouldn't show up I refused to show up and I know that can be kind of wrong saying well you need to let people give you grace but I also have to protect myself because as a firefighter you're a stone cold lifesaver.
You have to shut you off and you have to go out the door and like there's a scene in my book where I'm holding a six-year-old girl and all I'm trying to do is keep her head covered so the mom didn't see the traumas I'm sitting in the street with her because I didn't want her mom's last memories to be of seeing her daughters just messed up from being hit by a car at 70 miles per hour out in front of our firehouse and when you do that you have to be stone cold you really do but you still have to be a human being how do you do that well my safety mechanism is I make patients a system of steps and I know again that sounds heartless but they're airways they're breathing they're circulation I need to keep you okay they've died now I gotta slide over here and protect the family and give them the care and the comfort they need so where I work in Oakland people like did you pray with every patient like dude that's like a movie scene when you have someone with with trying to stop lungs from doing this and putting an airway through their throat all that stuff you really don't have a lot of time to pray it's like I tell people that's why we read the bible we fill ourselves full scripture so what we are encountered with these situations we know how to deal with them well it's the same thing on the fire ground and as a firefighter paramedic in a busy west coast fire department you got to be ready to serve the patient so what I do doesn't work for some people and that's why sometimes there's difference between big cities small cities doing it it all hurts but where I worked we don't get called out to a cancer patient that's in life because that is part of someone who has gone through the end of life care and all that kind of stuff we just deal with emergency care so everyone I've responded to when they died in front of me they didn't expect to die that day but everything I've been involved on I've had seconds and that's it and so again that's why I've just had an urgency to preach the gospel to to anyone who will listen or won't listen in all honesty day that we got you know we're first due of the bay on the bay bridge which is a bridge between San Francisco and Oakland and so it's not the the golden gate bridge the big glamorous one and stuff but this one people jump off of it too not as many as the golden gate and this one day we were called out and it was the first time anyone ever killed themselves in front of me every time we respond to a scene of a suicidal person I can either talk them back we get them back or lovingly tackle them because sometimes that's what they need and then get them to the help they need and stuff because we don't want them to hurt themselves but no one had ever killed themselves in front of me and I was talking to this dude and when I was looking into his eyes this guy was not evil let me clear on that but it was like there was something in him and I'm like hey bro come on back over the railing and I'm like maybe a foot and a half away from him because I had a good bond with him and he snapped his head up he looked at me he's all I'm sorry and he stepped back and our eyes locked as he's taking the eternal plunge you know down on the 300 foot fall into the bay and when I witnessed that my whole life just changed when I got back on the fire engine all the darkness I had from you know the kindergarten story of you know feeling something evil in the closet all that stuff it came real then because that evilness that I never knew what it was it became real and I knew it was going to take me down too so when I got back on the fire engine that evilness hopped back on the fire engine with me we got back to the firehouse it was there when I went home to my beautiful house 60 miles outside the city limits that I kept perfect because I wanted it as my nice little place away from the firehouse that evilness was there and that all stemmed from the recognition I had from that call and don't get it wrong I've been to countless suicides with much more worse ways that people have died but I'd never witnessed that evil that took them down take them down in front of me and so that was one of the roughest calls that I had ever been on and that's where the series of events of uh Christ started calling me through um different calls I responded to and stuff but I'd have to say that's the most significant one so during that point of being a fireman I was self-medicating with the job I never took on drugs alcohol anything like that and I'm not saying I'm above anyone and if anyone's struggling with that reach out and get the help you need especially firefighters and EMS because you know we're told not to find out but we get you know because we're so strong go get the help but what had happened was I finally got to a point in my life after that call where I felt something bigger and stupid church people stopped being stupid church people there's something that popped to me one night as I was being attacked laying in bed and the attacks were coming to my childhood and sweatiness and nightmares and true I mean the devil is attacking when I something popped in my head there's a little church down the street from my house and I said you know what I want to go in there and see what these people are finding what's what the goodness is you know I mean I knew I'm not an idiot I knew Jesus the bible and all that I just never read it you know the class yeah Jesus was a dude but it's not what all these Christians say he is you know type thing so I go and I put on you know and I'm a certain that's why off duty I would serve quite a bit so I was wearing my best you know surf shorts t-shirt and put on a nice pair of vans and I'm gonna go to church with these people and as I walked up there were these two greeters and all of a sudden they looked me they put their hand up like you can't come in here dressed like that dude my childhood came back because my whole life as a child I was told I wasn't good enough I stunk I had the wrong clothes I couldn't even play PE because if I asked my dad for a PE uniform he would beat me so I just say no I don't have one so the coach would give me a d-minus and make me stand up against the wall all uh PE time so so all that came back and I have a badge on my wall and I've even pulled people out of fires I was given a medal of valor but I don't want to throw that in their face like I'm not good enough to come in to your church so I walked away and the next morning I had my suicide plan and my whole suicide plan was I wanted to take care of other people I was gonna paddle out on my surfboard about two miles out in the ocean take my life but I also had bricks wrapped around me so take me to the bottom so no I didn't want to be another firefighter's worst nightmare sitting at Thanksgiving eating dinner and thinking about me who he found on the beach you know so so I had it all planned out and a San Francisco fireman actually swung by my house and he's still an atheist to this day and he invited me to go have pancakes and he doesn't even know why he came over he just felt that he needed to come over and you've been listening to Jason Sautel tell his story and his book is The Rescuer one firefighter's story of courage darkness and the relentless love that saved him and you can get that at amazon.com or the usual suspects and you are hearing the compelling story of him watching a person take his life jump off the bay bridge and if you've ever been on the bay bridge or the golden gate bridge this is a drop that'll kill you and to watch something like that well it's got to take the breath out of you and it's got to force some kind of change and for Jason to pushed him to church only to be met by Christians who judged him by the way he dressed and pushed him back away Jason now on the edge of doubt and even deep self-doubt when we come back more of Jason Sautel's story and his journey and by the way this is the story of many men and women around you who are serving as cops and firemen ex-soldiers too and know that these folks many of them are struggling with the same exact problems we welcome stories from first responders send them to our american stories.com the more these voices are heard the better when we come back more with Jason Sautel's story here on Our American Stories. Tis the season of making the perfect wish list and the perfect playlist. Level up your listening and gift more than just a headphone this holiday with Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and headphones. Breakthrough Bose immersive audio uses rich spatialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life world-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not so typical silent night and custom tune technology analyzes your ear shape adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last it's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs it's more than just a present and it gifts like a party so turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound visit bows.com forward slash iheart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present football is back and NFL plus has you covered get NFL plus and you'll never miss a moment of live football action this season with live local and prime time games on mobile NFL network NFL red zone live game audio and more all in one place that's right this season get NFL red zone and NFL plus premium so you never miss a touchdown that's every touchdown from every game every sunday during the regular season across devices sign up today at plus.nfl.com terms and conditions apply it's hard to narrow it down to just a few things to love about the holidays want to know a little secret the home depot has the holidays covered and that includes bigger and bolder holiday decor at amazing prices from a perfectly lit tree to a wonderfully designed fireplace to some of the most fun decor ever yard inflatables like the home depot's nine foot grinch stealing christmas inflatable yes nine feet of amazing how amazing you ask people will be driving by your house really slowly just to take a picture that's how amazing while a nine foot grinch inflatable is stealing christmas you'll be stealing the show in your neighborhood and all for an amazing price so get to the home depot this holiday season your go-to place to get holiday ready and we continue with our american stories and to the final part a former firefighter and author jason sautel he's been telling us the story from his book the rescuer we left off with jason talking about his urge to commit suicide which was stopped by a fellow firefighter let's return to jason and his story after that things in my life started changing as opposed to seeing everything is horrible i started seeing the good even in the bad and it would always have a bible involved or something like that well then one day my niece flew out from north carolina was visiting she'd come be with her cool uncle jason and stay you know like a week and so i take vacation she's only like 10 11 years old and so well she wanted to go have dinner at the popular restaurant which is right by the college and so i was like yeah let's go down there and as we're there all sudden this girl walks by and i tell you what she is the hottest chick i've ever seen in my life and i'm nothing to look at don't get me wrong but as a fireman let's be honest you know a young fireman i would use it you know and stuff but did she she was so unimpressed with me being a fireman she's like oh yeah okay whatever but she had this glow and she had this love and she had this light coming out of her and dude i i was like as you can see here i have no problem talking but when she came up and i tried your number like and so finally i got her number and the reason she gave me her number and she never does it is she said she liked the way i was treating my daughter like that's not my daughter she goes oh thank goodness i didn't want to date a man with a kid you know and stuff like that um but she just saw something in there and so her and i started dating and she was a nursing student at sonoma state university and a christian and she's the first person that i could ever tell the truth i didn't lie to try to get stuff but if people would ask me what was your childhood like oh it's good i just grew up surfing playing sports right i wouldn't let anyone in because the second i did the evilness and emptiness inside of me would eat it up and destroy every relationship i ever had i had some long-term relationships but you know they got eaten alive because they didn't have a foundation so one day in particular i was talking to christy because we had a lunch date and i just got off duty off my 24 shift and she's like how was your day and that's a rough question to ask a west oakland fireman right like oh it's good you know but it sucks i was holding this little girl that had been hit by a car and she died and you know was dead and so i was trying to keep her mom from seeing all the body trauma and stuff and i just hold her mom and crying with her mom and it just kind of sucked and i look over and christy's crying and also i thought ah dude jason you idiot you let the filter come off you told the story that you never and she's gonna walk with me and she looks at me she goes but at least that little girl's with jesus right and my eyes are like you know and it's the first time i was ever honest again i said i don't know what to believe i was truly at that point in my life like i i don't know maybe she is maybe she isn't but right now i don't know what to say and i saw something in christy's eyes and she's like oh snap and i think oh great i'm gonna get dumped so she goes back to school and says i want to see you tonight and she worked three different shifts at restaurants because she she grew up really poor kind of like me so to to eat her way through college she worked at restaurants and she paid her own way through college no help from her family and stuff which was also excuse my language super sexy okay guys are you hearing this that's hot okay but anyways um so that night we're gonna meet up and i knew she's gonna dump me so i go to barnes and nobles and dude i bought the biggest king james bible you ever thought and i'm sitting there this old lady's like oh son i love to see young christian buying bibles and i'm just thinking dude i just want out of here before god smites me lightning's gonna hit i'm gonna be done i'm the last guy to care about so i get home i get that bible home and i start flipping through it i think i got somewhere around deuteronomy and i'm like i got gypped i got a bible with no jesus in it this sucks okay so and mind you i'm not a christian i've never been to church okay so i'm like well forget it do i uh want to dump christy or let her dump me but something he said just go meet with her and so as i met with her it was like 10 o'clock at night at a barnes and noble which is kind of crazy too in their coffee shop next to her uh restroom she comes in she sits down and she says i love you i mean we're two weeks in and i'm like why don't you like i love you but i'm not going to continue to date you unless you come to church with me she never once said you have to be a christianity after this after the fact i said like why did you invite me to church and she's like you're a train wreck she's like i was just me i needed to get you to church because i i couldn't even talk to you about christianity because i i didn't know how to someone like you which she knew she needed to bring me the body of christ so to speed up the story i go to church and no joke the pastor i talk with him and we had a few talks he's like come join my small group like yo no i'm not joining a christian small group what are we gonna do if we can cut the heads off chickens and candles and he just laughs like i love your sense of humor i'm like i was trying i was trying to push him away to be honest with you you know so i went and he gave me the unedited full version of the gospel message over time not right away he saw that i wasn't someone that's like okay let's just go for right now he saw it'd be some pushback but what hit me was he said jason there's no goodness in this world and even though you're going out and doing good things where does it come from like dude i'm good i'm a fireman i've almost died in fires he's like yeah but where's that goodness coming from he's like it comes down into you and through you and you want to serve something great or god and that's part of what you do so the goodness thing plus hearing about the sinner thing well that reminded me of the fire department of we do something for something greater right you and everything so after that period we had a uh a fire and almost died in the fire i got trapped i got cut off from the crew i had no way out we're in a 20-story brick building built in early 1920s and it was well involved and i thought i was going to die and being in that darkness in that exact room and the extreme heat and the pain and we're talking you know a room that's pushing eight 900 degrees and i have a pocket of air and i'm trying to survive and i'm screaming mayday for help all of a sudden the gospel message became real sin everything we've gone through became real the darkness that i recognized was around me the emptiness that was in me became real i thought to myself laying in that fire i'm like i don't want to die separated from god i don't want to die eternally in eternal pain this is not good right here and so when i came out of that fire it was like over a period of a few hours like it just made sense it was like the light bulb clicked on you know it's like come back up to to home after i got off shift i'm telling christy about the fire you know of course she's looking at the blisters on me like oh this is no big deal i'm gonna fire i'm gonna get blistered all the time and i said guess what i'm i'm totally in on this jesus thing and i'm a believer and she looks like she's like well i already knew that you idiot i mean so there's no glorious thing about she's like oh i know you're coming to christ there's nothing big about and that's what i love about my wife is even to this day she's that hardcore loving feminine in a christian way helping be my partner were to become one but she's still tough on me to this day and that's the story how i came to christ man was just growing up in in hell living in hell being a fire department if you were looking out or looking into me from the outside all you were going to see was awesome he had the truck he had the boat he had the house he had all that stuff right you can have all that stuff give me a smelly one bedroom apartment with cockroaches that's full of love in christ and i'm all in okay because all that stuff's just gonna go nowhere it's gonna become dust and in so that's kind of my salvation story wrapped up in a in a nutshell there a few years ago i broke my back and my hip on a fire and um the day the doctor walked into my hospital room said i couldn't be a fireman anymore it's one of the worst days of my life ever seriously but it's become one of the best days because look how god's using it now so so what happened was i started facebooking some of my feelings and thoughts because when i left the fire department there was an emptiness in me because it's a good thing because i did idolize the fire department but when i left i realized god left me there and he gave me over like 100 000 stories that he sent me to think about it most of us live our lives of responding in the world around us i actually got to go be part of other people's stories well i believe when god sends you places and he gives you something he wants you to use them to glorify him and bless others so i started writing about my experiences i put on what i call my scriptural goggles i'd look in my bible i'd read messages then i would look back at the responses i went to and say how can i bless people by tying this message all together and my facebook page started growing and growing and growing next thing i'm like three four five hundred thousand people like what okay and it's not about the likes or anything it was just that people liked what i had to say you know because i'm writing at the the freaking ninth or tenth grade level as a blue-colored fireman but i'm bringing the truth to people and they liked it so i was speaking at men's retreats and i'm blessed to speak at churches and they said have you ever thought about writing a book where you put your whole story together because as you can see is our time here together we could spend eight hours talking about things that i've experienced and so i said yeah but i i have all the stories i write in more like blog form they said no problem you know what we we can help you with a writer that doesn't change a story but he'll help pull it out like i'll say yeah we're gonna fire with dark and hot he's like hey jason explain it to me and bring the arcs to it and that kind of stuff and so here i am this dumb fireman from west oakland i've never even completed reading a book in my entire life as an author because i had a story to tell but it's not my story it's a story god me and i know god gave me and i know god wants it out there there's no reason someone that's come from my background that has never i mean i don't even have a high school diploma gets to write a book and the stories are real they just got cleaned up in editorial processes and stuff that's a straight up god thing right there and that's how the book came together and it's just seeing the way it's blessing people firefighters and non-firefighters alike it's all god he pulled it all together and a great work as always by madison and faith putting that story together and a special thanks to joy neil kidney for bringing the story to us and of course a special thanks to jason sautel for telling and sharing his story with us and the book is the rescuer one firefighter's story of courage darkness and the relentless love that saved him by the way go to rescuerbook.com to learn more about jason and his book go to amazon.com order the book the rescuer jason sautel's story here on our american stories tis the season of making the perfect wish list and the perfect playlist with bows quiet comfort ultra earbuds and headphones breakthrough immersive audio uses specialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life and world-class noise cancellation ensures a not so typical silent night and an epic holiday party of warmth it's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs visit bows.com forward slash iheart this holiday season and shop sound that's more than just a present congratulations to the walt disney studios technology team first place award winner for innovation in employee enablement at the 2023 unconventional awards presented by t-mobile for business disney's studio lab and production technology teams are constantly searching for innovative ways to help studio creatives solve production challenges through dynamic collaboration by discovering and leveraging t-mobile's 5g solutions the walt disney studios technology teams streamline production and collaboration in real time avoiding costly delays and enabling creativity t-mobile for business congratulates the teams for their innovation and unconventional thinking football is back and nfl plus has you covered get nfl plus and you'll never miss a moment of live football action this season with live local and prime time games on mobile nfl network nfl red zone live game audio and more all in one place that's right this season get nfl red zone and nfl plus premium so you never miss a touchdown that's every touchdown from every game every sunday during the regular season across devices sign up today at plus dot nfl.com terms and conditions apply
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-29 04:44:30 / 2023-11-29 05:04:42 / 20