Ever since meeting Dan and starting to date him one of the most common topics that seems to come up is about his career. Whether it's friends, family, bloggers or strangers people always seem really interested in what he does and how it affects our life together. So I decided I would answer a few questions I get most commonly on the blog.
Dan started in the fire service when he was in his senior year of high school. He volunteered with the department for four years. He then got a job working part-time there once he had gotten his EMT certification. And two years later after finishing his Paramedic degree he was hired full-time. So overall he has been with the same department in the fire service for 13 years.
How do you deal with his schedule?
Honestly it was tricky at first. Being together through paramedic school which included long class days, crazy clinical rotation hours and working his part-time job on top of being on an internship at another department we barely saw each other. He was lucky enough to get a job just days after finishing his internship so we went from crazy hours to a very different schedule than I was used to. He works 24 hour shifts and so he will work one full day and then have two full days off. This schedule is nice when you want to take vacations or if you have kids at home because he is home 2/3 of the time. It gets difficult when he works overtime shifts and is gone 48-72 hours at a time. It took some getting used to at first, but while it is difficult since our schedules are so opposite, it has just become the norm and something we are fairly used to.
Don't you worry all the time when he goes on a fire?
Honestly, I used to. Dan has always been really great about trying to text or call when he can to let me know if he is on a fire and that he's alright. When we first started dating, it was tough to have a date night all planned and then not hear from him for hours hoping he was alright. Fire calls can be anywhere from a short scene check to hours and hours away from the station. After being together 9 years, I definitely still get worried when I know he's on a fire, but he's really great about contacting me if he can and letting me know where he's at or how long he will hopefully be. You just sort of get to the point where you can't worry all day every day that he's gone or you would go crazy. I always make it a point to tell him to be safe before he leaves for shift in the morning, and if he's working an extra shift I make sure to tell him that on the phone in the beginning of the day.
What do they do all day waiting for fire calls?
His department does more than just fire calls, they also run an ambulance service so they respond to all fire and medical calls in their district. Between and average of 8-12 calls a day and the normal station duties, most of them have their own tasks and jobs they are responsible for at the station so they keep very busy. Most nights when I am getting ready for bed, Dan's still working on miscellaneous projects he is in charge of, including their Pancake Breakfast fundraiser in May.
How could you marry a firefighter? I could never do it.
I honestly hear this comment a lot, even from people who are around the fire service and I just find it strange. I'm sure wives in the military or police family get the same sorts of remarks, but I didn't choose the person I fell in love with based on their career. Is it nerve wracking to have your spouse in dangerous situations? Yes. Is it tough to not have every holiday together? Yes. Does it make me worry when he tells me he's on a house fire? Of course. Would I change who I married to not have to deal with those things? Never. I married Dan because I love him, and I would love him no matter his career choice. (Well maybe not a bank robber or something). Yes having a spouse who's in the fire service creates a different schedule and lifestyle, but it's also a blessing. Most of our closest friends are somehow tied to the fire service, and knowing that we have a second family to turn to in times of need is amazing.
Does he have any single friends?
Between people wanting to know if I can set them up with any single fire fighter to people assuming that all firemen know each other it's funny how interested people are in firefighters, yet at the same time wonder how I could be married to one.