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  1. #1
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    Default Is it your job, your life, or neither?

    You know, for some people, thier job is their life. They eat it, sleep it, do it, and love it. For other, is is just that. It is their job. They do it, but when their shift is over...it's over. They go home and don't even think about it until they have to show up for work the next day, or 48 hours later, or whenever. I can imagine firefighters in both catagories. I am sure there are some damn fine firefighters who for them, this is just thier job. For others, it is their life. They pour smoke over their frosted flakes in the morning. Where do you put yourself? Do you live for your job? Do you look at this as more than just a job, but as your life? If this is your life, then how do you balance all the rest? Give me your thoughts...

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    If you have kids, your job is to raise them right. Everything else is done in support of that. Of course, it helps if you like how you make your bucks, and come home satisfied that you made a difference.

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    I am in total agreement with Grit.

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    Well lets see, all 3 of my ex-wifes say it was my life, so I guess that must be close to the truth.

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    I'm a volunteer, but I must say that it is a really big part of my life, I couldn't imagine my life with out the fire service and EMS. It's been a part of my life since I was 5 years old, pretty much grew up around a volunteer dept. to me it's much more than just something that I do with my "spare time" it's almost a passion. My real job on the other hand, is something that I do to pay the bills, when I'm not there I could care less. When I am there I would rather be at the station! LOL

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    FireLt1951-

    My Ex also said the same thing!!! Maybe you and I should get married????

    LOL JUST KIDDING!!!!

    (ooooh me thinks this will be bad!!!!)
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

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    My job is important to me because I am a manager and responsible for others. But at the end of the day I go home and then I head off to the firehouse. To me fire fighting is a way of life. You have to take it seriously - paid or volunteer - or it might take your life. I love being at the firehouse, and I love helping out, even on maintenance night. I love my job, but if my department went paid I would definitely rather do that for a living. I guess it is all in the way you look at it. If I was married with kids that would come first.
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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    The fire service is a lifestyle, it has pretty much been a top priority for me for the last 18 years. That is until I had Children, now my children are the top priority, funny how things change.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    hc: unmarried with kids, it's the same.

    atc and lt: how's the romance coming?

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    For me, it's definately a passion and a way of life. I'm a firehouse brat, dad's been paid-on-call for 32 yrs., so I fell into this easily. I'm a career industrial FF/EMT/HMtech and a paid-on-call Lt. for my hometown dept. I think I've got the best of both worlds. A rewarding and lucrative career in the privatized fire service that allows me and my family a very comfortable living. And helping people in my own community while making a little extra at the same time. Did I mention that my dad is my shift capt. at work? What a life! Wouldn't trade it for the world.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

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    I agree whith Chief Taylor, but it will always rank up there for me.
    Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
    May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

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    It's my full time job, and a damn good job at that! It is also a major part of my life and has been for nearly 30 years. My part time job is as a fire instructor at a fire academy. My best friends are firefighters. My time spent on the computer is mostly fire related. I read fire magazines and books. If there is a TV show or movie about firefighting I'll be watching it. I am proud to be a firefighter and thankful to be able to make a living do something I enjoy. The fire service has allowed me to raise my family comfortably and with a steady pay check every week. I look forward to retirement in 4 more years, but then again I don't.....
    Mike Gentili
    Captain, E1, NBFD

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    My answer to this post is on the same as Mike Gentili's, only I've done it for almost 20 years and have another 12 years to retirement. I used to work at the Massachusetts Fire Academy, now I teach fire safety in the schools, detail cars and write for local paper. My wife has been through it for 20 years, sometimes she still doesn't understand the job.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Guys, these are great responses. Thanks, keep em coming!

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    I absolutely love my job, now that wife is going to give birth to our first son...(weeeee, i got me a little tailboard!! )
    I want to spend as much time with her and him...but when i hear a fed-Q screaming in the distance.....i do imagine jumping off of the truck and grabbing a line and just getting down to it!!
    Its not something you do,
    Its something you are.
    "Whether we bring the terrorists to justice, or we bring justice to the terroists...Justice WILL BE DONE"... President Bush
    Engineer
    Engine Co. # 1
    THESE ARE JUST MY OPINIONS AND OPINIONS ONLY!!!

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    it`s deffinately my life, it`s all i know, my dad is asst cheif, i`ve been a vollunteer for 7 years and a military firefighter for 1 year now and in the process of joining another volunteer station on my days off.

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    Been a cereer FF/PM for 4 years now, bottom line, I love going to work, I love the guys I work with, I love the job for what it is, I respect it tremendously, and I consider it a privalege to do this for a living.

    I learned, after getting divorced, to leave alot of it at the station. Off time is time for family and friends. I let the "job" overtake my personality and it wasn't healthy. I have found an equal balance now, and enjoy the job every day I work.

    It is the last job where people respect you for what you are, before they even know anything about who you are. Not many people can say that.

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    It is my life, of course i am not married, never have been so i cant comment on that aspect, and i dont have to much else to get in the way, but thus far i will have to go with life.

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    Grit, actually it is unmarried and no kids for me. Sorry, I am one of those women that will stay single until my mid-30s....I am having way too much fun out there!
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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    I'm a paid firefighter, its my job, one that I enjoy and take a lot of pride in. However, I personally try to leave it behind when I leave the station (or office now that I'm assigned to admin.) I think its important to develop some other interests, for some this will revolve around their family life, but even then I think its important to have a hobby or some other interest that will enable you to "get away" from the job and relax.

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    It's my job, I truly love it, and think it's the best job in the world, however when I go home, then I am Dad and a Husband (or try to be), I see these guys ,especially married with kids, pouring all their off time into it and can only think, they need to give it a rest. NO JOB IS WORTH SACRIFICING A SPOUSE AND CHILDREN!!!! Think about it. I'm not saying don't be dedicated, I'm saying don't be obsessed. Stay safe all!!

  22. #22
    fireff413
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    I guess you could say the fire service is my life. Many of my closest friends are the guys I work with day in and out. I seem to spend the hours away from work on work...In training classes (both attending and teaching) working on site pre-plans, and the semmingly neverending paperwork that accompanies the job.
    I am extremely fortunate, that my fiance is supportive of what I do and she understands my dedication (well for now at least!!)

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    Agreed on all counts. I vollied in a small town before I got a chance to go professional. I loved every minute of it then as now. I could do without the politics that sometimes get thrown into the works, but I have realized that is just part of the game. I have children that love to hear my stories and always want to drive by and see the aftermath of where we worked. I can't see myself ever doing anything else.
    As Always, Stay Low and Stay Safe.

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    I love my job, and I love my department. But it is not my life. Jesus Christ is my life! What is more important than one's destination after death? That's why Christ is my life. And it is because of His blessings that I am able to do the job I love and work at the department I do. Besides, if I made the fire service my life, where would that leave me when I retire or am no longer able to do the job?
    I LOVE THIS JOB!

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    I think the original post made the two catagories too simple. Some may see guys who walk away for 48 hrs as being less than dedicated, or less in love wth their job. I say they are wrong. I think the ones who DO walk away for a rest are better Firefighters. They are able to get some perspective about what we do, and why we do it. Many (certainly not all) of those who have made it all they do have lost some of that perspective. I have seen many others like that, and like one of the posters said after 3 wives... wow... that is depressing to me.

    For me there is so much more than this. Although it is a very important part of my life, and makes me what I am, but when I leave the Firehouse after a shift, I try to let it go as best I can. That said, I also go to Schools (even after 16 yrs), and still give Fire Prev talks on my own time for my kids classes, and for friends.

    So... I think there is a third catagory in between the original two that fits more of us...

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