"My career in public safety spans 15 years and I can confidently say that 'Chaos Credentials' is one of the best training courses I have ever had. As a Sergeant Paramedic in a busy Metro Atlanta department, I can confidently attribute some positive changes in my own station to this class. As an adjunct instructor at our state fire academy, I took what I had learned in this course and immediately changed the way I taught the students entrusted to me. All of the changes were subtle things I had never given any thought to [before], but they changed the students' experiences substantially for the better. It helped rekindle my passion.
"'What is it?' isn't easy to explain, but here's what it's not: It's not death by PowerPoint. It's not 'here's all the cool stuff I've done.' It's not 'I'm smarter than everyone, trust me.' It's not an average, run-of-the-mill, stuff-I-already-know class. It takes the passion and the drive that first responders have and builds on that. It puts the student in the seat of intense, stress inducing, life-or-death calls and uses that stress response for good. It teaches students that an adrenaline dump can be a tool in the proverbial toolbox. I think all firefighters would agree that what you do in training becomes how you perform on scenes, so why would anyone NOT put their people in the highest stress situations possible (in a training environment) and help them see that they can use that to their advantage? So many people like to assume that they will 'rise to the occasion' in the most dire emergencies, but the reality is that you revert back to how you were trained. This is vital training for every firefighter."
– A. Rice, Sergeant Paramedic
Cherokee County Fire (Metro Atlanta, GA)
"Thank you for the amazing class yesterday. The material was eye opening and at the same time inspiring. You brought out something inside of me that I didn't know was there. After hearing you speak, it changed how I now look at things. You are right, what we do is not a job; it is a Calling. Thank you again, it was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to the next opportunity to be a part of the Asylum."
– Nick B., Chesapeake Fire Dept., VA
"Recently [I] had an opportunity or should I say a pleasure to attend Chaos Credentials. I was not fully aware of the class content prior to attending, all I knew is that it would be an unconventional style of thinking. The class brought a new perspective to the way we (all those in emergency services or high stress careers) should think about stress. It was helpful to identify certain aspects of why some calls effect us more than others, why we enjoy doing what we do and ways to help adjust ourselves to better handle the less than desirable things we see. I would suggest everyone to attend and for some, they will need to keep an open mind to this.
The Instructors were top notch, they didn't just lecture or interject pointless war stories that weren't relatable to the material being taught. You, yourself should be willing to discuss some of the hard calls you've been on, be able to listen to your peers stories, and overall participate in class. The pace of the class is dependent on those attending, our class had a lot of critical thinking and open dialogue that deemed necessary for our particular class but also moved fluently. I've made wonderful friends from this and [it] really has brought new perspectives to my life."
– Travis Praker, Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer FD, Texas
"What has changed for me, since the class? First, a huge confidence boost in doing my job. I know how to get through bigger challenges now. I actually enjoyed learning how to push through complications that would have confused or frustrated me. It's okay to just stop for two seconds to come up with a new plan to get past it. I learned how to trust that, so there’s a lot more confidence now. Even things like working out have changed. When I get that “hit the wall” feeling, I can find the extra effort to finish.
"Also, I have a different outlook on my job, definitely. It’s a deeper commitment. I understood a good work ethic before this class, but now that has changed. This class showed me a new standard. I expect even more of myself now. Hardly a day goes by, definitely hardly a week goes by, that I don’t use some part of what I learned at The Fire Asylum.
"The class is legit. He brings in awesome instructors. The classroom part is short, and more discussion than slide show. I was super apprehensive about going to this class. Now—I would definitely go. I was fortunate that my department paid for me to attend this unique training but would have paid for it myself anyways. It was worth every penny."
– Mario Makris, FF/EMT
Cumberland Trail Fire District, OH
"Chaos Credentials is one of if not the best class[es] I have ever taken. As senior FF and most of the time 1st on scene, my demeanor sets the tempo for incoming units. Chaos Credentials has helped me learn to control my stress level and embrace the chaos around me. Then use it a fuel to work hard to get the job done."
– FF Zeke Garrett
East Providence Volunteer Fire Dept
"I've been in the fire service for well over 30 years as a paid and volunteer firefighter. I've attended hundreds of classes through the years and I can honestly say I've never attended anything quite like Chaos Credentials. I'm very fortunate that I've always been able to handle the stress of our job better than most, but like many of us, there are always a handful of calls that are hard to forget. Chaos Credentials was an eye-opening experience -- not only has it helped me to help myself, but more importantly it has helped me to better understand what some of our brothers and sisters are dealing with and how I can help them.
"For those of you that don't know Marty let me tell you this, I've always said "there is no doubt that some people are here for a reason," and if you get the chance to meet Marty Mayes and learn his background and all he's gone through, you'll see that very clearly."
– Barry Stephens
GA Smoke Diver #341
Coweta County (GA) Fire Rescue
"Marty, Chief, you have done one hell of a job organizing and presenting a class that I feel everyone in our line of work needs to attend. ... The ideals that you brought to the forefront are things I’ve never thought of.
"With my job as a shift commander,... If I become stressed, it can extend down into my men. Learning how your body handles stress and how your brain reacts is essential to survival. I can’t possibly write down everything I took away from your class but know that I am surely going to attend another. I would say one of the best parts was watching yourself and another student, witness to another one of our brothers. You took time to talk with him and help him through his thoughts and problems he might be having.... The class had an open dialogue which promoted activity and really gets the students involved. I know that your class will not just help me in the fire service, but in my daily life as well."
– Ethan M. Smith, Shift 2 Commander
"Believe it or not I've really not been able to put words together to express my gratitude to Marty Mayes of The Fire Asylum for bringing CHAOS Credentials to us at Mt Olive. The training was informative and very eye-opening for myself and my crew. Rarely does a training get such discussion afterwards as this one did."
– Tracy Sanders, Fire Chief
Mt. Olive Fire Department (Ohatchee Alabama)
“[The] Chaos Credentials was very eye opening. The class gave me many valuable tools to assist me in doing my job as a firefighter. I have had some bad calls as a firefighter and I was able to obtain information how to handle some issues with the calls. Before taking the class I had absolutely no clue what stress based training was, but having completed the training made me realize how valuable this training truly is. I am truly now a strong believer in how important stress based training is especially for someone like myself that maybe only trains a couple of times a month. I now look at all training syllabus to acquire if any stress is introduced into the class. Being able understand what my limits are under stress in training will allow me to know if I can truly handle the scene both physically and mentally.”
– Bill Lay
Poteet Volunteer Fire Department, Texas
“What a class. It was very good – it will make you think [about] how you look at things. Thanks Marty for your time and your class, it has helped me more [than] you will know.”
– Walter Kern
Coffee City Volunteer Fire Department, Texas
"What an awesome training day we had with The Fire Asylum. Thanks for showing us ways to improve ourselves to better serve the community."
– Chief Officer Michelle Pittman,
Rhome Fire Rescue, Texas
"I would like to say, hands down, The Fire Asylum training is training that every member and rank of almost any fire service in the US or world should participate in. As a RIT team leader, I can say, the style and concept of the Fire Asylum training is one that WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE. This is the developmental type of training needed to create a higher level of situational awareness which we all should strive for on the fire ground.This is the training to teach you to get out of the dark places in your head, and operate with the training, skills and tactics taught to all firefighters. I do personally recommend this training to everyone in the fire service...Volley or Career....Chief or Rookie. Thank you."
– Jason A. Myer
Career Fire Medic, Victoria Fire Department, TX
Volunteer Engineer/Operator - EMTP, Wharton FD, TX