When Dan and I started dating, he had been a volunteer firefighter for four years and was working part time at the station on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I think in a way, having started off our relationship with him working weekends really prepared me for his long-term schedule. After we had been dating about a year, Dan started paramedic school. He was still working part time at the station and I was working and going to school full time, so we barely saw each other. Any spouse who has gone through having their significant other in paramedic school will probably agree that that year or 18-months couldn’t end soon enough! Dan was really blessed and was offered a full-time position as a firefighter paramedic just days after he finished the last of his paramedic program. He has been lucky enough to volunteer, work part time, and now work full time for the department he has always wanted to be a part of. He has now been there for almost 12 years and we feel lucky to have the fire department family we do.
Being the wife of a firefighter isn’t always easy. Right now Dan has worked 6 days out of the last 8. And those aren’t just 8-hour days, those are 24-hour days. I was reading somewhere once that a firefighter’s wife has to be able to do everything on their own, because we are on our own a lot. You get used to having to know how to do all the things around the house and how to cook for one. There are nights that it’s really lonely to not hear from him before bed or not have him home to talk to at night, but I am also thankful for the days he has off that others don’t. It’s always easy to look at the struggles or the things that you wish were different, but in order to be happy, you have to count your blessings. I have an extended fire department family than I know I could count on to help in any situation. I am thankful for all the time we get together. And I am so blessed to have married to my best friend. It isn’t easy and there are days where it’s really hard, but I know that it means the world to him to have my support and that makes it all worth it!
You Know You're A Firefighters Wife When...
You may be on the phone with your FF (firefighter) for 10 minutess but actually only got to talk for about 5 because you have to stop talking mid-sentence so he can listen to the dispatcher.
You secretly love the way smoke smells. You kinda have to learn to love it cause you know a good house fire can stay in his skin and hair for days!!
You're learning you can’t be as 'traditional' as you would like. There will be some years where he will work every single holiday. Just gotta go with the flow.
When people hear that your husband is a FF they will automatically assume you know all the FF's they know.
You think its funny when people think all your FF does is fight fires. They do so much more than the public realizes. They respond to every 911 call: broken bones, burns, wrecks, nosebleeds, headaches, shootings, crazy people who took too many drugs... While they aren't running calls they are doing all the lawn maintenance, clean the fire station, the trucks, drive around painting the fire hydrants, go to schools to teach fire safety to the kids, grocery shop, cook, go do training and take classes.
Weekends mean nothing to you. You're looking forward to 4-day break!
You can bet on it, if anything will go wrong, it’s going to happen when he's on shift! (Which means he wont be home until tomorrow morning). Dogs or kids out of control, getting a cut and needing stitches (that happened to us the first year of marriage), car troubles, getting really sick, it will all happen while he’s gone.
You brag about your FF a lot! If there's one thing I know about my husband, its that he is VERY humble when it comes to his job. He will not be the one to tell people about how last night he had to do CPR on someone, or how he pulled a dog out of a house fire and put oxygen on him, or how his crew went to a call just to put out a little fire.
You wish someone would make one firefighter movie- JUST ONE- in which no firefighters die. I literally can't watch Ladder 49 without balling my eyes out!
You have ever had a heated debate over the color of firetrucks.
You know the difference between a police siren and a fire siren, or the difference between an ambulance and a engine.
Your single friends are always asking "are there any single firemen at your Hubby's work?”
You've had some of the best holiday meals at the fire station.
You've lost all sense of what a "weekend" really is due to your husband's crazy schedule.
You wouldn’t trade who your husband is and what he does for anything in the world- and you are so proud to be a firefighter’s wife.