1. #1
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    Aug 2010

    Default Nonunderstanding Wife

    My wife and I are both in the military and plan on getting out in a couple years when our contracts are up. I told her I have my heart set on becoming a firefighter and she flat out said "No you're not going to do that!" I understand that she's scared of me getting hurt and she had a friend who was a firefighter and got killed, but I still feel like she's being selfish. Should I take my wife's advice or is she being too selfish?

  2. #2
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    No offence to you,But I cant belive you would ask a question like that here.
    Maybe Dear Abby would be a better bet.

  3. #3
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    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Jun 1999


    Quote Originally Posted by Kman87 View Post
    My wife and I are both in the military and plan on getting out in a couple years when our contracts are up. I told her I have my heart set on becoming a firefighter and she flat out said "No you're not going to do that!" I understand that she's scared of me getting hurt and she had a friend who was a firefighter and got killed, but I still feel like she's being selfish. Should I take my wife's advice or is she being too selfish?

    Yes take her advice
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  4. #4
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    Aug 2010


    ok i get the point. i'll take this question somewhere else.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2003
    north of San Francisco


    Even the most supportive wife will have times that they wish their husbands had not been firefighters. When you are gone on holidays, birthdays, 120 hour shifts, they miss you. I have heard from my wife more than once, ďI never signed up to be a single parentĒ.

    Three summers ago two of the best guys and greatest firefighters in the world died in a structure fire trying to save a couple. That only made things worse, because before she was just missing me and worrying a little, now she worries a lot and misses me more.

    If your wife already doesnít like the idea it isnít going to get better, only worse. If something happens, you get hurt, the dog runs away, you get a divorce it will all be your fault and because you became a firefighter and didnít listen to her.

    Having military service makes it a lot easier to get hired as a firefighter, so does being a woman. Maybe she should join the fire service first and then see how it really is and you can follow. My department has a lot of husband and wife firefighters, the two paychecks would be nice. You just want to make sure if you do this you always get promoted before her, you donít want to be outranked at home and at work.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob

  6. #6
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    Theaxemancometh's Avatar
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    May 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Kman87 View Post
    My wife and I are both in the military and plan on getting out in a couple years when our contracts are up. I told her I have my heart set on becoming a firefighter and she flat out said "No you're not going to do that!" I understand that she's scared of me getting hurt and she had a friend who was a firefighter and got killed, but I still feel like she's being selfish. Should I take my wife's advice or is she being too selfish?
    I sent you a PM dude!!
    "The Axeman"

  7. #7
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    Sep 2004


    My wife loves my schedule, can be a pain at times like mentioned but the fact that every three days her and the kids get a day to themselves and the other two days I am home to be with her and the kids. She just blocks out the potential bad parts of the job and goes on with it.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    If mama isn't happy nobody's happy. You could do hard time if you don't listen. There is no winning here. Only degrees of losing.

    A minister for a large city told the new rookies, "76% of the firefighters on this department have been divorced at least once. If you want to get married find someone you hate and buy them a house."

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire ďCaptain BobĒ Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  9. #9
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    Jan 2010


    She doesnt need to worry about you getting hurt on the job..
    That won't be the scary part...

    The scary part is finding a career job first

  10. #10
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    Nov 2007


    Wait, your coming out of the Military, and /now/ she's worried about you getting hurt on the job?

    Seems like you might be a little safer as a FF. Just me.

  11. #11
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    Aug 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by peterbound View Post
    Wait, your coming out of the Military, and /now/ she's worried about you getting hurt on the job?

    Seems like you might be a little safer as a FF. Just me.
    We both have desk jobs in the Air Force.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2010


    Maybe a new wife is in order.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2008


    I've been married for 14 years and I love my wife with all my heart. No job is worth an unhappy spouse.

    Just my opinion. I'd be a garbage man (not that there's anything wrong with that, just sayin', it's not my cup of tea, but I'd still do it) if it meant keeping my wife happy and less stressed out.

    Take care,

  14. #14
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    Nov 2009


    she's being selfish.

    my wife knows and understands what this job means to me. she knows the sacrifices she and i will have to make for it. she knows i will move to wherever i need to get it.

    ive always told my wife, i rather you make less money doing something you love than many big bucks doing something you hate.

    if you're not happy, then she won't be.

  15. #15
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by legos.8ty7 View Post
    she's being selfish.

    my wife knows and understands what this job means to me. she knows the sacrifices she and i will have to make for it. she knows i will move to wherever i need to get it.

    ive always told my wife, i rather you make less money doing something you love than many big bucks doing something you hate.

    if you're not happy, then she won't be.
    Man, sounds like you've been eavesdropping on conversations between my wife and I. Couldn't have written that better myself.

    To the OP: Who the hell wants to go to a job they hate everyday? What effect is that going to have on the marriage in the long run?

    Why doesn't she want you to be a firefighter? Nights away from home? The danger? Something else?

    I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true: Still the best damn job on earth.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  16. #16
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    Mar 2003


    Your marriage is much more important than ANY job. You do not want to reach your goal of becoming a firefighter only to find that you are alone. it's just not worth it.

    Here is a great article that my wife wrote about being married to a firefighter. You may want to share it with your wife. It may alleviate some of her concerns about being married to a firefighter. Good luck to both of you!

    Firefighting: A Wifeís Perspective
    By Marian Lepore
    From the beginning of our relationship, I knew this would be different. We
    could only see each other on red and green days and I could only call him at
    work after 9 a.m. or before 9 p.m. and never at mealtime. No one warned me
    what it would be like to date a firefighter.

    After I met his family, I was introduced to his firefighter family Ė the three
    crewmembers he spent ten 24-hour shifts with each month. They knew
    everything about me. I came to realize that I would have to be willing to share
    him with his coworkers, both on and off duty.

    It didnít take long for me to learn the peculiarities of fire department
    etiquette. When I visited the fire station for the first time, I had to bring a pie.
    In fact, whenever a firefighter does something for the first time, whether itís
    buying a house, being mentioned in the news, or having a child, he or she
    must bring ice cream for the crew.

    On birthdays, firefighters bring in their own cake. When they get promoted
    or reassigned to a new station, they cook their own farewell meal for their
    coworkers. It became evident to me that firefighters are more comfortable
    serving others than being served.

    When we became more serious in our relationship and eventually married,
    the church and reception hall were filled with firefighters and their families.
    The happiness of one was celebrated joyously with the rest (of course, after
    all the jokes of bringing running shoes for the groom). The birth of children,
    purchase of a home, or completion of a college degree is all celebrated as if
    it were close family members achieving these successes.

    I could see that firefighters are bonded in a special way. They spend 24
    hours at a time together, which is much more time than most family members
    spend with each other. They work together for a single purpose, whether itís
    to save a life, put out the flames in a burning building, or educate children
    in fire safety. They must be willing to risk their lives for each other without

    Firefighters take care of each other. If one is going through a divorce, tives
    he or she is counseled, supported and encouraged. If another is having
    difficulties with a rebellious teenager, many others can offer advice from their
    own experiences as parents. When a firefighter is trying to promote, he or
    she may carefully choose the next station assignment knowing that a certain
    crewmember will help with oral interviews or fire simulator problems.

    When I first started dating my husband, I couldnít believe that a 23-year-old
    could own a home. He later explained that when he first started on the fire
    department, an older firefighter sat down with him and educated him on the
    importance of saving for and purchasing a home. He also taught him about
    deferred compensation and how important it is to maximize his contributions
    from the very beginning. Thanks to the wisdom and caring of this older
    firefighter and the magic of compounded interest for investments, my husband
    and I both maximized our retirement savings (his deferred comp, my 401K)
    and we will retire comfortably.

    My husband has carried on this tradition of helping new recruits by educating
    them on financial investments and deferred compensation. Firefighters look
    out for each other in every way.

    Everything in the fire service is done in a big way. The Long Beach Fire
    Department has the biggest grill I have ever seen. It is built on wheels and is
    towed behind a truck. I would have thought it was ridiculous if I hadnít seen
    that every spot on the grill was being used. This grill is used for graduation
    ceremonies, department picnics, fund-raisers and all types of community
    events. Only a firefighter could have dreamed up that grill!

    When a firefighter cooks, he or she cooks in a big way. It doesnít seem
    to matter if it is a large station with several engine companies and rigs, or a
    station with a single engine company and a crew of four. There are always at
    least two refrigerators at the station to hold all the leftovers. When my husband
    is at home, he carries on the tradition and cooks enough to feed an army. I
    also have two refrigerators in my home.

    Maybe firefighters are just trained to think in a big way. But along with big
    ladders and big trucks come big responsibilities. When I was dating my future husband, I was a student in the physical therapy program at California State University, Long Beach. I was taking anatomy and physiology classes and was interested in the medical side of his job. He was still a paramedic at that time and had not yet promoted to captain. He suggested that I ride along with him to see what he did. The television
    show ER didnít hold a candle to the real life drama I witnessed.

    It was pretty slow (he thought) and I accompanied him on calls responding
    to SOB (shortness of breath) and a drug overdose. We were just sitting down
    to an elaborate Mexican dinner, when another call came in. It was reported as
    a man down, gunshots heard. The crew responded immediately to the call.
    When the paramedic rig and the fire engine arrived, there was a large,
    angry crowd gathered. The police had not yet arrived, so it was not known
    whether the assailant was still present in the crowd or had left. The victim was
    not even visible through the crowd. The captain, who always looks out for his
    crew, ensured that the police arrived to control the crowd and clear the area.
    The victim was a teenage boy with a gunshot wound to the chest.
    He was hooked up to an EKG machine, given an IV for fluid and other
    medications and the bleeding controlled as well as possible in the field. They
    kept in constant communication with doctors in the ER, so the medical staff
    could give further instructions and was fully prepared for him when he arrived.
    Every crewmember was needed, whether it was to take vital signs, control
    bleeding, administer medication, fetch equipment, use the radio, or interview
    family members. I was in awe of how efficiently this team could work, with a
    critical victim in the field, poor lighting, a large, noisy crowd and possibly an
    assailant who did not want this victim to survive.

    The victim was rapidly transported to the ER, where the paramedic team
    was integrated into the hospitalís response and they worked together to try
    to save this boyís life. Within minutes his chest was cracked open and there
    was the largest pool of blood I could imagine beneath the gurney. Even with
    CPR, repeated administration of cardiac medications, defibrillation, IV fluids,
    intubation and other intensive efforts, they could not save his life. The bullet
    had nicked his aorta and he had lost too much blood.

    His family was in the waiting room. His mother became hysterical and his
    brother vowed revenge for this gang-related shooting. The crew returned to the
    station to finish dinner and prepare for the next call. This experience will remain
    vivid in my memory for the rest of my life. For the crew, it was just another day
    on the job. They felt compassion for the victim and his family, but they could
    not be overwhelmed by it, or they would not be able to continue working.
    Along with the intensity of responding to critical emergencies and the
    danger of entering burning buildings, there can be unexpected dangers. In
    1992, after the verdict in the Rodney King beating was announced, Los Angeles
    County went crazy. There was rioting throughout the streets. People were
    burning down buildings, beating total strangers and looting stores. It was out
    of control.

    People were so angry that they were shooting at anyone in authority,
    including firefighters. As if the job were not dangerous enough! There was
    one incident that my husband only told me about years later and it was only
    after a coworker casually referred to it. A call came into the station that a strip
    mall was on fire. Due to reports of firefighters being shot at and threatened by
    crowds, they were supposed to wait for the police to show up and accompany
    them to the scene. The police were busy elsewhere, as you can imagine, so
    the fire department responded anyway. Just as they were finishing, they were
    shot at and had to take cover behind the fire truck. They managed to get into
    the truck safely and quickly left the scene. As they left, they could see the
    arsonists leaving their hiding place to prepare to burn the buildings again.
    The Los Angeles riots put the fire service to the test.
    Sure enough, shortly after returning to the station they were called out
    again to the strip mall. This time they put on their flak jackets and waited for
    the police to accompany them on the call. They put out the fire in what was
    left of the mall. That was the longest night of my life and I didnít even know
    how truly bad it was until later.
    Spouses of firefighters also support each other. Whether it is by getting
    together for Bunco monthly, taking care of each otherís kids, or just chatting
    over a cup of coffee, it is important to share any concerns with others who
    understand. Marriage can be challenging enough for couples who work
    Monday through Friday from nine to five. Add the stress of dealing with an
    always changing work schedule, a dangerous environment and the need to
    be completely self-sufficient, and it can be disastrous for a marriage. The best
    way to cope is to maintain your sense of humor.

    Humor and laughter is an integral part of fire station life. My husband brings
    home stories of outrageous deeds and unbelievable wit nearly every shift. If
    late night talk show hosts need new material or writers, they could do no better
    than some of the creative minds on the fire department. Especially funny
    stories of practical jokes or extreme composure after being water-dropped
    become urban legends.

    When I was dating my husband and planning to visit him at the fire station
    for the first time, he warned me to look up before I entered the station. He
    said that sometimes first-time visitors were water-dropped when they entered
    the station house. I had no idea what he was talking about. These were
    adults. He must be joking. Well, I was lucky that my ignorance did not get me
    into trouble. I remained dry throughout that first visit. It was only later that I
    realized he was not joking.

    I realized immediately that it is not only the firefighters who have to have a
    good sense of humor. During our wedding ceremony, our exchange of vows
    was delayed by several minutes as the blaring of a siren just outside the church
    doors drowned out the ministerís words. Later at the reception, one of the
    layers of cake looked odd to me. When I investigated, I found the inside of
    the cake had been hollowed out, filled with paper towels and then recovered
    with frosting. When I turned to my new husband in shock, he just shrugged
    as if to say, ďOf course they cored the cake.Ē
    The practical jokes continued at home. Our children learned the hard way
    that they had to learn to laugh in the face of disaster. Of course, a childís idea
    of disaster is not exactly the same as an adultís. When our oldest daughter
    was in elementary school, she worked hard to complete a Ďbook float,í which
    is a visual book report built on the top of a shoebox. Her book float was
    elaborate, with trees made of broccoli tops glued to the shoebox. When she
    was getting ready to go to school the next morning, she found that all of her
    Ďtreesí had been chopped down! Her father had eaten the tops of the broccoli
    that morning before he left for work. He thought it was a hilarious joke. She
    did not feel that way. After many tears and an emergency session with a glue
    gun, she finally began to see the humor in the situation.

    Our youngest daughter found that she had to be on guard at all times. One
    day when she was watching her favorite TV show, she became frantic because
    the TV kept changing channels all by itself. Her father finally confessed that
    he was using the master remote control from a distance. Now I find that I
    am the one who needs to stay on her toes in our house. Our children have
    learned the hard way to give as well as they got.

    Without a sense of humor, a ready joke and the ability to see the bright side
    of things, the tragedy firefighters encounter every shift would soon overwhelm
    them. It is a coping mechanism to help deal with the seriousness of the job.
    If a firefighter candidate cannot laugh easily and often at him or herself, the
    candidate will either not succeed, or will not be happy on the job. He or she
    will never understand the culture of the fire service.

    After my husband was in a terrible head-on collision between the engine
    he was on and a police cruiser, he was out of work for several months. He
    fought to return to work full duty. I think the fire service must be one of the
    only professions in which its members enjoy the job so much they will not
    consider an alternative.

    My husband shows up at the station 45 minutes before the start of his
    shift, just in case he can take a call for the captain coming off duty and allow
    him to leave work on time. When my husband is going off duty, he stays to
    share a cup of coffee and some laughs with the oncoming crew. I know of no
    other profession in which its members are not in a hurry to leave after their
    shift is over.
    So why do so many people dream of becoming firefighters?
    The fire department schedule is one of the biggest draws to the job. There
    is no other job in which you can work only ten days a month, with either six or
    four days off at a time. The problem is that when my husband wants to go on
    vacation, he doesnít understand that I canít match his schedule and just take off
    four or six days at a time. At least I know his schedule a year in advance!
    Because their schedules are so different from everyone elseís, firefighters
    like to vacation together. It is common to see large groups of firefighter families
    on vacation in Hawaii, Baja, or Lake Havasu. Itís also convenient to share the
    childcare duties with other parents.

    Firefighters generally enjoy their work schedule, but it can be hard on a
    family and marriage. Spouses must be self-sufficient and prepared to take
    care of crises on their own. If a firefighterís child is sick, he or she cannot just
    leave the station to pick up the child from school. It is critical that the firefighter
    remain at work to keep the station fully staffed for emergencies. If a firefighter
    goes home, it must be for a serious injury or illness.

    The firefighter schedule can also be inconvenient on holidays. Most people
    are used to spending holidays with their family. Firefighters donít have a choice.
    If they are scheduled to work on a holiday, they work. Unless they are going out
    of town, they do not request the day off. Everyone would love to have holidays
    off to spend with his or her family, but someone must work. If they were to call
    in sick and no one was signed up to work overtime, another firefighter would
    be force hired and pulled out of a family gathering. A firefighter spouse must
    be flexible enough to be prepared to cook and entertain all by him or herself
    at a momentís notice.

    It is expected that the younger firefighters without families offer to work on
    major holidays. As they get older and have their own families, the favor will
    be repaid by the next generation of firefighters.

    When a firefighter is scheduled to work on a major holiday, the family
    members are often invited into the station for a holiday meal. The crew will
    go all out and prepare a lavish feast. Sometimes the family members end up
    eating all by themselves as the crew is called out on an emergency. The kids
    donít mind. They feel that the more time in the station, the better. Again, it
    just goes with the job.
    Because they work a set schedule regardless of holidays, firefighters get
    time off which includes both vacation and holidays. When they take time off, it
    is usually for several weeks at a time. I have found that having your husband
    on vacation can be worse than having your kids out of school for the summer.
    A firefighter with too much time on his hands can get into much more trouble
    than your kids.

    Firefighters are generally do-it-yourselfers. This is why you will often
    see them in Home Depot. They are mechanically inclined and are used to
    improvising to solve problems quickly. You may come home from work one
    day and find that you have a new laundry chute or the washing machine is
    being rebuilt. If you are someone who likes things done a certain way, then
    for the sake of marital harmony, I suggest you call a professional out to build,
    repair, or replace whatever it is before your husbandís next vacation, four or
    six day.

    Most of us go on vacation to get away from our jobs. When my husband
    is on vacation, he seeks out fire stations. I have gotten used to losing my
    husband for a few hours during a vacation while he rides along with the local
    fire department. Of course he is hoping to go on a really Ďgoodí call (which to
    the rest of us means Ďbadí).

    My husband has T-shirts from fire departments in Alaska, Illinois, Louisiana,
    Nevada, Texas, Washington, Washington, D.C., Utah and many more. Iím
    almost embarrassed to say that I even visited a fire station on my own when I
    recently went to New York City. When my husband sees someone wearing a
    fire department T-shirt, he will always ask that person if he or she is on the job.
    There is an instant bond between them, to the point that two total strangers
    can joke and tease each other about their respective departments.
    Another advantage about the fire department is the benefits. There are
    usually many options for medical and dental plans, so you can pick the plan
    that is right for you whether you are single or married with a family. The credit
    union canít be beat. They give personalized service and actually know your
    name when you call.

    One of the biggest benefits is the retirement package. It is negotiated
    as part of the firefightersí contract. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of a
    firefighter after retirement is not as long as that of a person who has not been
    exposed to smoke, chemicals, stress, blood, injury and interrupted sleep for
    their entire professional career.

    Depending on their age when they were hired, firefighters usually retire in
    their fifties. However, they will not be bored after retirement. Most firefighters
    have hobbies which take up a great deal of their time, such as skiing, fishing,
    boating, fishing, traveling, fishing, or biking. When I was dating my future
    husband, he said he liked to fish. I was thinking that in Southern California,
    itís only fishing season in the summer. No big deal, maybe I would even go
    with him sometimes. It was only later that I realized that it is always fishing
    season somewhere in the world. I should have been forewarned when he had
    to check his fishing tide book before committing to a wedding date.
    Every firefighter has a side business. This business is not reserved
    for after retirement. They conduct this business throughout their fire
    service career. Since they work only ten days a month, there is plenty of
    time off to do carpentry, plumbing, concrete, tile setting, painting, roofing,
    CPR instruction, writing, or manage whatever business they have invested
    in. The advantage to other firefighters (and their wives) is that whenever
    something needs to be fixed at home, there is always a firefighter with
    the skills to do it. Forget paying full price to a plumber, electrician, or
    drywaller! By trading skills and services, most firefighters are able to remodel
    and upgrade their homes.

    Firefighters earn a good salary and are rarely ever laid off. Overtime
    shifts also help immensely. However, I donít know if you can truly compensate
    someone for the long-term effects of a chemical fire, or the emotional
    scars from being first on scene at a horrendous child abuse incident. Firefighters
    seldom talk about the really terrible things they witness, but we all know
    we can count on them when weíre in trouble.

    People love firefighters. Children and even some adults wave at them
    as they drive by on their big trucks. When others accompany a firefighter,
    even off duty, the benefits often extend to them. After the Southern
    California wildfires, Disneyland in Anaheim was offering free admission for
    firefighters and their families as a thank you. We invited our neighbors to
    go with us. I am a physical therapist, my neighbor is a teacher and her
    husband is a computer consultant. None of us has ever been admitted toerspectives
    an amusement park for free just because of our profession. Firefighters,
    however, are universally loved, appreciated and welcomed.
    It may seem to outside observers that firefighters all look similar: tall,
    lean, dark hair and a moustache. Well, departments have changed over
    the years as they seek greater diversity, skills and strengths. They try to
    hire firefighters who can relate to and speak the languages of the people in
    the community. They hire female firefighters who can contribute their abilities
    and perspective to the department. They even hired my husband despite
    the fact that he cannot grow a decent moustache.

    Maybe one reason that firefighters seem so alike is that they have the
    same attitudes. They are honest, brave (you wouldnít catch me running
    into a burning building) and exceedingly generous with their time and talents.
    When they take the time to tutor children, fix up a dilapidated house in
    the neighborhood, or collect and hand out Christmas gifts to disadvantaged
    children, it is all on their own time. Their spirit of public service is an example
    that should humble the rest of us. I canít resent the time my husband
    takes to help others, because it is part of who he is. Our youngest daughter
    had a wonderful time one Christmas when she was able to help hand out
    donated gifts and ride with Santa in his sleigh atop a fire truck.
    I have wondered how the fire department manages to hire so many
    people with the same attitudes. I guess it is because they know what they
    are looking for. The selflessness and willingness to sacrifice canít be taught.
    It must be an integral part of their makeup. When a firefighter or family member
    is seriously ill, others will line up to cover his or her shifts with no expectation
    of being repaid for their time.

    As a spouse, I will never understand my husbandís excitement when he
    is called on to spend days fighting a raging wildfire, or enthusiastically
    describes in vivid detail the fire that ripped through the chemical warehouse.
    But his coworkers understand. They will always be there for him, working
    towards the same goal and watching his back. I count on them to do that.
    The fire service is a very large, caring, fun-loving family, of which I am proud
    to be an extended member. I know that even if my husband is lost at sea during
    one of his many Baja fishing trips, or something unthinkable happens during
    one of his calls at work, my children and I will always be taken care of.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Smile Soon

    WOW!!!!!! I am an aspiring Firefighter and I hope that when I achieve my dreams. My wife and I can have those kinds of fulfilling experiences like that lady and her husband. (Deeply moved by this posting awesome.) Can't wait to earn my stripes and become a brother of this wonderful fraternity.

  18. #18
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    St Paul, MN


    We both have desk jobs in the Air Force.
    Oh man, maybe firefighting is a little to dangerous! LOL Busting your chops a little!

    It's funny some of the replies about making the wife happy, or no job is worth an unhappy spouse.....
    But what about you? If you truly desire to be a firefighter and this is the career you believe will make you the happiest, I say Go for it! You also need to be happy in this relationship.
    Marriage is all about a little give and take, supporting your spouse even though you may not agree 100%. Her not wanting you to be a firefighter under the guise of it's to dangerous, sounds to me like a cop out.
    Just my opinion since you asked.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Find out *why* she doesn't want you to be a FF (is it solely based on the incident with her friend?). Is it the hours? Risk? Remember to tell her that the TV shows and movies about FFs seldom accurate. Most movies have more "big fires" than the average FF will experience in 5 yrs, 10 yrs or even a career (although there are some depts that do see a lot of fire, just most don't).

    Also, remember that you will receive months of training before you even go into a training fire. Although it may look risky from the outside, firefighting is usually controlled risks. There are lots of safety items in place to reduce the chance of getting hurt.

    I was Army, and I know the AF has a cushier life, but my wife loves my schedule now. She sees me more and I get to spend more time with my family. Most stations are very open to having a family stop in during shift and many even do family nights where everyone's family comes in and has dinner.

    If she's still set in her ways, will you be happy in another line of work? In the end though, you've got to look at it as a choice. Do you want to be unhappy in a line of work that makes your wife happy or happy in a line of work that makes your wife unhappy.

    Hopefully you can address some of her concerns and get her to be happy with your desire to become a FF. I had a few other jobs before I got hired and my wife says she's never seen me happier than now.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    i strongly disagree w/ chief lepore's first 2 lines. rum and zzyyzx have it right (except for the "af has a cushier life..." i find that funny)

    marriage more important than any job... maybe any old job? ill say yes. a dream, a passion? the first thing that pops in my head, HELL NO.

    job satisfaction, i believe is key to a happy marriage. i know so many people who have marriage problems which i contribute to the lack of job satisfaction. you're going to spend roughly a third of your life doing something you don't want to do. my marriage was rough while i was in the military. my wife "how was your day", myself "same ****, different day". right now im in the fire academy and testing with a few depts, i now make half of what i did as an e-4 and no benefits, but my wife and i are so much happier.

    kman, if you view firefighting the way i do and you dont go for it, you will hold it against your wife. every morning youre going to wake up and have the "what if?" running in your head. you cant let one person hold you back, doesnt matter if its a spouse.
    Last edited by legos.8ty7; 08-24-2010 at 03:30 PM.

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    I get it man. I really do. Happy wife happy life. All I can say is do what you want to do. There is no career better then this one and I will argue that with anyone. The schedule for the most part is cake. If it's like most places it's 1 day on and 3 off for the most part. How can u beat that. And IT IS NOT AS DANGEROUS AS PEOPLE THINK. Can it be, of course at times. But it is no where near the most dangerous career you can have. If I were you, I would educate my wife on the job itself and show her what it's all about. Make her understand. Also, like someone on this post said, the hardest part now is getting a job. That's the biggest ting now. The fire service is at a very low point respectfully and places are looking for that to cut.
    Anyway, that is what you should do. I understand there was a death involved of someone that she knew but deaths are few and far between. Play the odds. The job is amazing, the pay is good, the benefits are good, and the schedule for the most part is comical. All the ingridients for a good life.
    If for some amazing way you have the opportunity to get hired and turn it down, I will have to beat you up. HaHaHa. Just joking. But seriously man, don't blow this

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Good Advice So Far

    Luckily for me my brother is a firefighter so my wife got a ton of advice from my sister in law (brother had been working for 18 years prior to me joining). The issues that she (my wife) faced was a drastic cut in pay, and then she was worried about the job (danger aspect). The positives were that she saw the time my brother spent with his kids, and how much vacation time they had. I was able to show her we could still make ends meet financially, and danger wise my sister-in-law talked with her about the realities of the job and what it was like being at home alone and dealing with worry and also being counted on to run the family and house while he was at work. In the end it worked out and she was okay with me joining, and supported me more than I ever could have hoped for both while I was trying to get a job and then while I went through the academy and probation.

    Look, at the end of the day marriage is a partnership. You two obviously have some things figured out, I don't care which branch/which job you have, having 2 people married and in the service has got to be challenging. You guys both have to talk about where each is coming from. You want to have a rewarding career. Is firefighting the "end all be all" for you? Is the danger aspect the only objection that she has? I will say (and others have said before) that if she isn't supportive the chances of either your dream or your marriage succeeding is slim to none. We had a guy who was from out of state go through our academy. He left his wife and kids behind because he didn't want to move them up here until he was done with probation. Come to find out later that she didn't want him to be a firefighter, and didn't want to move out of state. There were some other issues going on, but he ended up being fired, and a few months later they split. Now the guy is divorced, and because he was fired he possibly will never be a firefighter. Not a great position to be in.

    One thought, what about switching jobs in the Airforce to be a firefighter? Not sure what your time horizon is with the service, but that could be a middle ground that gives you some experience and allows her to see some aspects of the job. If you pm me I'd be happy to pass along my wife's email address so your wife could answer any questions (I am sure others here would offer the same). What part of the country are you in? We are near McChord AFB in case you happen to be here too.

    Keep talking it out, seek the council of people you trust, and maybe work your network of friends and find a couple already in the fire service to speak with. At the end of the day I think there are few careers more family friendly. Both of us will never look back at how our life was pre-fire department. She loves that I am home with the kids, and during the summer we have a ton of time home together. We not only strengthened our family but we gained a new one as well.

    Hope this helps.


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