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Stories from

behind the badge



'The Call' is a storytelling podcast that brings you tales from behind the badge. Join us as we immerse ourselves in stories told by the men and women who have answered the call to public service.


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by The Call

Stories from behind the badge.

about the episodes


EPISODE 6: Collapse

Steve, a retired Phoenix Firefighter, shares the story of a call that will stay with him forever.

It’s circa 1990. 2AM. A three-story nightclub on Mill Avenue in Tempe catches fire. The building is old and has been renovated time and time again. Hidden spaces behind walls and beneath floors conceal fire and smoke. Electricity in the building remains on due to crews being unable to gain access to secure power to the building. These elements create a false sense of security- an illusion that the fire is not as advanced as it truly is. While Steve is conducting search and rescue on the second floor, the ceiling above collapses around him.

Episode 5: Officer down - Phoenix


Many first responders face the harsh realities of traumatic emotional and physical experiences throughout their career. In May of 2016, Officer Mark Valenzuela responded to a call that would forever change his life. Join us as we dive into Mark's tale of trauma, strength, and forgiveness.

episode 4: There is no routine call

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Our law enforcement officers and firefighters put themselves in danger every shift. A "typical" call can turn sideways in an instant. Detective Austin of Phoenix Police Department joins us to tell his story of a "run of the mill" Civil Standby that took an unexpectedly violent turn. 

Episode 3: Make a difference


Autumn's late husband, Tim Barber (a Detective with Tempe Police Department), passed away in 2011 after fighting a long battle with prostate cancer. Following Tim's death, Autumn was faced with the terrible reality of birthing and raising their unborn twins without her husband at her side. 

Autumn joins us to share her story of love, loss, and courage in the face of tragedy. 

Episode 2: Call Your Wife

In April of 2016, Peoria Fire Department Engineer Stephen Gunn and 70 other firefighters were dispatched to a house fire near 75th Avenue and Thunderbird. A home was engulfed in flames following an invasion that ended in arson and an elderly man was trapped inside. Gunn charged into the burning building through a window that had blown out from the heat of the fire. What happened next would earn the firefighter a nomination for the Presidential Medal of Valor and a trip to Maricopa County Burn Center.

The video below shares this story from the perspective of the MCSO officer who first pulled Gunn aside at the fire. 


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episode 1: be kind

While on night patrol in 2014, Officer Sheffert and his partner came across a Young man sprinting down a busy roadway. The Teen’s behavior was strange for the neighborhood and the officers stopped him. The young man, Anthony Shultz, explained that he was out for a run because he was training for a wrestling match; Anthony was 16 years old. After talking for a few minutes, the three parted ways. 

Their paths would cross again when Sheffert responded to a domestic altercation call at a small apartment about a month later. The one-bedroom was home to Anthony and his seven family members. Following that call, Sheffert checked on Anthony frequently, talking with him for almost an hour each day. 

One day, Sheffert received a call from Anthony’s mother; she was kicking Anthony out of the house. The Sheffert family saved Anthony from homelessness and took him in as one of their own. Brandon Sheffert’s kindness changed Anthony’s life forever; Anthony became the first of his family to graduate high school in nearly 30 years and is entering the military this year. 

Our Podcast is officially live! We aren't on iTunes quite yet, but that should be coming within the next week. In the meantime, you can stream 'The Call' on Sound Cloud at Please also be sure to follow The Call's Facebook page at The Call!



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