She is the New Firefighter?

What is it about female firefighters that sets some firefighters’ wives, well…on fire? Okay, I’m not completely naïve; female firefighters equal competition. Some weeks it is hard enough to stomach the fact that your husband spends more hours...


What is it about female firefighters that sets some firefighters’ wives, well…on fire? Okay, I’m not completely naïve; female firefighters equal competition. Some weeks it is hard enough to stomach the fact that your husband spends more hours bonding with other guys than he spends with you. Add a woman into the mix of firehouse camaraderie and many wives immediately see red. Every commonplace thing around the firehouse now becomes a jealousy-tipped spear aimed at your firefighter.
 
I never thought much about these brave ladies in the past because they were common at the larger departments where we’ve been. I admit that my husband is uniquely smart in that he chooses not to make juvenile comments to trigger jealousy. In turn, I never trap him with the loaded question, “Does this dress make my butt look big?” (Just a hint: women already know the answer. This question is just a test of the Emergency Witchcast System. Anything you do will cause catastrophic failure. So, good luck.)  My husband and I have a high level of mutual respect in these areas because we choose not to set each other up for disaster.
 
Since our current department is in a smaller town than we’ve ever lived before, it is more difficult to find women firefighters. We have one woman who is high-ranking and a strong leader in the department, but she was the lone female until recently. When word traveled through the grapevine that another woman was being hired, I saw hackles rise on some of the wives, quickly followed by the questions, “Which shift?” and, “What station?” and, “Is she pretty?” I started to wonder if I too should be jealous and worried, but I ditched that notion in a hurry because it takes way too much time and effort.
 
When my daughter heard the news though, she said, “Good. I think the department needs more women firefighters as good role models for us.” I was taken aback.  Our daughters cannot wait to meet the new firefighter and see her in action. Rather than just being indifferent toward this change, I think I’ll adopt their refreshing view of things. After all, we’ve never been big on raising our girls to be weak, dependent wall-flowers anyways.