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Thread: Looking for a FF Wife's advice to a possible probie.

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a FF Wife's advice to a possible probie.

    Hello Ladies,

    I am currently in a academy ran by a local school to get my certifications. I will be graduating in August and have a big decision to make: get a job as a full time firefighter or find another career. See, when beginning this academy, I was all about being a firefighter, I was ready for anything and everything. I had no worries about the schedule firefighting presented me or how firefighting would affect my home life as I would be living alone with no significant other. However during this time my fiance came along and we are set to be married next April. I almost dropped my academy to go be with her (we live a hour apart). My first dream for a long while was to just have a family of my own, being a husband who was home helping as much as possible, and spending as much time I could with them. Honestly, I had given up on that dream until I met her. Now, I am concerned that I will be spending so much time with fire fighting as my career, being gone every third night, and the distress that comes along with the job will affect my home life and future marriage. She works at a local bank and plans to stay there, so our schedules would far from aline time off wise. She will have all holidays off, I won't be able to. I will be gone when she wants me home, and quite frankly, anytime she wants me to be there I want to be there as well. I am beyond confused, because now I have NO idea what to do with my life or what direction to take it. I just want my marriage and family first not my job. She seems to be fine with it now, but I don't think she quite knows the extent of how everything will be. I see a lot of you have made marriages work with a significant other in the fire service. Any advice? Are there any upsides to having a husband in the fire service? Any help or advice would be appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Not a lady but from this side

    Yes I have found out the hard way family should come first

    1. What are your chances of getting a FD job soon, say with in the next year

    2. You have to support your family some way

    3. Coming from shift to eight hours , I feel I have less time with family

    4. You have to first set down with future wife and talk about it to see if you both can handle it

    5. Yes you will miss some things but will be able to do something's an eight job will not allow you to do

    6. As far as holidays you adjust have them come to the station, have them the day before or after

    7. You never know what days and hours some other job field would put you in

    A possibility is to try firefighting before children come along and see how it works, maybe do a two or three year commitment and than judge where everything is at

  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    I think you might be making more out of this than there really is.

    Yes, you'll be gone every third day, but that means two days off between. You're working only 10-11 days per month, meaning you'll have about 20 days off per month. You'll have every third complete weekend off with your family, and you won't believe how much you can get accomplished around the house when you're off during the week.

    You say that you'll be gone when she wants you home. Would that not be the case in virtually any job you get, aside from some crappy 8-5 desk job that would match her hours at the bank?

    I genuinely admire your desire to be there for your wife 100% of the time, but you'd be throwing away an opportunity to have the best damn job in the world. You can be a firefighter without it completely consuming your life...
    CaptOldTimer likes this.
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    My chances are really up in the air about being hired on within a year. I am only a EMT basic but there are a wide variety of Depts. that accept basics but they will have to let me travel. We will be living in a community, in BFE to be honest (but we love it, and want to raise our kids there), that is less than 1,000 people and about an hour away from any town that has a career department. So who knows how fast I will actually get hired.

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    By the way, thank you both for the advice. Maybe I am over thinking it all, it may come easy to us. I suppose time will tell.

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    Are you in Texas or another state??

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    I am in Texas.

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    Well there are plenty of jobs in tx, paramedic prefered


    Check weekly

    http://www.tcfp.texas.gov/job_postings/jobs.asp

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    Thanks for the link. I'll keep a close eye on it.

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    I'm curious as to when you started this school.

  11. #11
    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
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    Family is very important. So is:

    1. Making a decent living.
    2. Working at a fantastic job.
    3. Doing something that makes a difference.
    4. Building a great retirement.
    5. Working at a fantastic job.
    6. Making your community a safer and better place to live, work and play in.
    7. Being a member of a strong and very tight knit family (the fire service)
    8. Being a Firefighter.

    After 38 years of service, I can say that I cherished just about every second of my career and would not trade it for anything. The first wife and second wife didn't really take to the job and neither one lasted very long, but the third wife has been here for 30 years and has been very understanding and supportive.

    It takes a very special kind of person to be the spouse of a firefighter, but communication is the key to all of it.

    Good luck and search your soul very deeply before you decide not to be a firefighter. It is very rewarding and nothing is better.
    everyonegoeshome.com

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    I have to agree with BoxAlarm & BCJack. This is the greatest job in the world. We do a 24/72 up here and yes it takes some getting used to, and in the beginning you'll miss out on some things, but when you have 2 or 3 days off between each work day, it more than makes up for it. I was very lucky, I married the daughter of a retired firefighter so the schedule and time apart came as no surprise to her, now convincing her father to be ok with her marrying another smoke eater was more of a challenge. LOL. I get to spend more time with my kids, which is the absoloute greatest part of my schedule. If it is your dream, pursue it. I highly doubt you will be disappointed in the end.
    BoxAlarm187 likes this.
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    "What We Do In Life, Echoes In Eternity"

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    If you two really love eachother, and this relationship is meant to be, then you will find a way to make it work and support one another. Having either of you give up on your goals and dreams, this young, for the sake of a relationship just blooming is a big mistake all the way around. Both follow your dreams and love and you will both be better for it.

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    Default Coming from the wife of a firefighter...

    I have been with my husband for 6 years and we have been married for two of those years. The biggest concern I have is the amount of time you both have been together. Is there a reason for the hurry? Living with someone and getting to know them is work enough, adding in a time consuming and stressful job is ten times harder. My husband works for 3 days straight sometimes more ( he works for CAL FIRE and with large wild land fires, they can be gone for weeks or more at a time) and has a 2 hour commute, and it has been tough; however having been together for the time we have has made it easier. You both need to build a foundation for your relationship, and know that if firefighting is what you want to to you have to go for it. If she can't handle it, that doesn't mean you should give up; being your own person is not only beneficial for you but any potential partner. Being happy in your professional life is so crucial for your personal life. I am so proud of my husband and yes I worry and get lonely, but I know he is doing what he loves and I never want to take that away from him. And remember absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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    Not a lady, nor a wholetime firefighter, but...

    My full-time employment is with Her Majesty's Coastguard. We work the same shifts as firefighters here (two 12-hour days, two 12-hour nights then four days off) and I have to say that neither of us would trade my shift pattern for a 9-5 job. It sounds like a pain, but working shifts is pretty damned handy sometimes, especially now that we have our first sprog due in 4 weeks. Days off during the week are very useful (of course, shift working just seems natural to me, as my dad was a cop so it's what I grew up with).
    With regard to firefighter-specific stuff, as an officer I knew in my army days said once: 'It's amazing what women will put up with'.
    I obviously talked to my wife about it before becoming a firefighter and she was all in favour of it, seeing that it was what I wanted to do and knowing the kind of person I am. They can be like that, when they're with somebody they love.
    To be honest, I think she likes it. More than once my pager has gone off in a shop or a restaurant and she's just smiled and shouted 'Go!' and more than once, as I've been legging it out the room, I've heard her proudly explain to puzzled onlookers that 'He's a fireman'.
    Basically, what I'm getting at is that you're a firefighter and she knows that, just like my now-wife knew I was a soldier when she met me. You might be surprised by what wives will put up with to be with their husbands.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    To me this whole thing boils down to how badly do you want to be a firefighter? I read your originl post and I pretty much see you trying to talk yourself out of it. If you want to be a firefighter and your fiancee loves you and wants you to be happy then why would she stand in your way?

    Honestly with the work schedule of most FDs being either a 24/48 or a 24 on 24 off 24 on 24 off 24 on 96 off, you will be home during the day more than most 9 to 5 husbands. With trades it is likely you will miss very few big family events, holidays may be the exception. With 2 sons I missed 3 of their hockey games in 5 years and 1 school program. Ask any 9 to 5 guys about that and see what they say.

    Truth is if you want it go for it...
    Last edited by FyredUp; 08-12-2013 at 01:06 PM.
    conrad427 likes this.
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    I retired awhile ago after 35 years on the job. After sitting around the house the wife told me to get a job. She couldn't stand me being in her way all the time. You'll have plenty of time at home.

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    Thank you for all the thoughts and opinions, they are greatly appreciated. I see everyone's concern on the time we've been together. My academy was one year long (I graduated not long ago), I met her last October in the midst of my EMT basic course. I explained to her way early on what she was getting herself into with me. She understood and still does. Yes, we haven't been together long and I understand that concern. I have been asked a lot about from family, friends etc. I suppose it's one of those "when you know, you know" situations. We line up almost identically on everything, communication is amazing, and what arguments we do have are generally handled sitting at the table talking about it. We just moved in together recently and are planning our wedding. Is it fast? Yes, no doubt. However, we both feel it's right, neither of us really like to go out and be "socially active", and are both ready to settle down and start a family. Now, if you would have told me a year ago, that this is where I'd be in life, I would have told you that you're crazy (haha). I still have the ambition to obtain a rewarding career, I just got concerned that it would be hard on her (and my future family). You all have made it quite clear, that is very manageable lifestyle, and I won't miss too much of anything except my bed every third day. As of now, I contacted a department and I believe I will be applying when they open up for applications. Only downside to getting hired on there is that we will have to leave our little country town as they have a distance requirement, but it should be worth it in the long run. Thank you all once again for all your input and advice.

    sorry for the length it took to reply, was out of internet service for a bit due to the move.

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    Well just think of it this way, and you can tell her this also. Im in California and work for CAL FIRE. We work 72/96 and sometimes can be gones weeks/ months for fires. Im at the RIM Fire right now ( 200,000+ acres) and will be here for 3 + weeks. So tell her she has it easier with your schedule than mine, and my wife does great and knows what to expect with my schedule. She knows this is what I love to do, and it is my duty to respond out of county on big fires if I get called.

  20. #20
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    My husband is the DC of a volley Fire Dept. He works shift work in his paying job.
    I am the Instructor, Firefighter, Secretary of the same FD. I am in a shift work paying job.

    We may not see each other for days at a time because our schedule seldom lines up.

    We have been content in our marriage for 18 years and have no plans to break our vows.

    What I see in your post is that you and your intended would like to be joined at the hip. That's not going to work. It seldom works no matter what job you do.

    It is my opinion that the wife that is strong, steady and independent is a wife that can handle being the wife of a firefighter. Same thing goes for the husband of a female firefighter.

    If you are constantly worrying about your spouse and wanting to be back with him/her, your mind will not be on the job. You HAVE to keep your mind on the job. If she is sending the message that she doesn't want you away from her side for more than 8 hours and needs to be able to summon you at the snap of her fingers, this job is not for EITHER of you.

    You can be away from your spouse and still cherish them, vice versa.

    I think there is going to have to be some re-evaluation of how your relationship works and how important being a ff is to you. As you have described, the two will not mesh and something will have to be edited.

    Also, that constant need may dissipate with time and then cost you a ff'ing job. That first flush of love often changes or morphs into something else. A deeper love or relaxing of the need to be joined at the hip.

    Discuss, evaluate, discuss.
    IACOJ
    If you are willing to teach;
    I am willing to learn.

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