Listen to one of Erik Strickland’s podcasts for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and you might never use that freighted term “bureaucrat” again.
His show, “Behind-the-Scene @ NTSB,” highlights—and humanizes—the work of employees at this relatively small federal agency. As an organization that is charged with investigating big transportation accidents and offering important safety recommendations, the NTSB lacks the regulatory authority to put those recommendations into place.
“I like to say we have an amazing bark, a vicious bark, but no bite,” said Strickland, a 2016 graduate of Georgetown’s Emergency & Disaster Management program.
But it does have the power of persuasion, and it’s Strickland’s job, as a Transportation Safety Specialist, to do that persuading, whether it’s educating the public, advising elected officials, or just putting a human face on an agency that has no shortage of workers with a passion for helping others.
For more than 11 years, Strickland served in the Falls Church, Virginia, Volunteer Fire Department. When he and his friends in the department started having families, their new time demands forced them to retire, but they kept up with one another and the public by creating a safety podcast called “Disaster Dads,” which remains active.
When Strickland joined NTSB in 2016, he started working on the “Behind-the-Scene podcast,” which had been in the discussion phase for a long time.
“It’s a good way for people figure out the multiple facets that go into a safety investigation,” Strickland said.
And learn about the people doing that difficult work as well.