1. #1
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    Default What not to do when with the girlfriend

    Hey guys and gals looking for some advice on things not to do when with the girlfriend. This is in regards to responding to calls at the station at certain times and things like that. This comes from responding to the station for a call just as we sat down to dinner at a local restaurant nothing fancy. This hole relationship thing is a little new for me so just looking for some advice. She is very understanding since volunteer firefighting runs throughout her family.
    Last edited by nwadler; 02-16-2007 at 03:24 AM.

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    #1: Family
    #2: Work
    #3: Firehouse.

    Family and Work always come before the firehouse. I've seen too many people get that confused and end up either burnt out, divorced, or both. If you want to volunteer long term its important to find a balance and that means putting the FD on the back burner sometimes.
    I'm not going to say I've never done it, but I'd have to think really hard about running out of a restaurant to go on a fire call. It's good that your girlfriend is understanding, but you can't go to that well too often.
    I usually ask myself if it is vital that I respond to a call when in that situation. If I'm going to be one of ten guys all standing by for BS then I probably won't go. If it is work, or I know we're strapped for manpower then I may. I try to make sure she's aware of those situations beforehand as well.
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    Sadly and unfortunately I can "One-Up" you on that story, nwadler. Not that I really want to, but true events over come all.

    Back in the fall of 2001, after the 9-11 event, I was given orders to board HMCS VANCOUVER and prepare for deployment with the US Carrier Group, JOHN C. STENNIS. We were scheduled to depart for San Diego 29 October. On 28 October my (now ex) wife and I had reservations at one of Victoria's premier resturants, Milestones (home of the Bellini). Anyhow, time came and I was standing at the front door, reaching for the key hook to take down my car keys, when BBEEEEPP BEEEEPP BBBEEEPPP. Damn, there goes the pager.

    Then I get "The Look".

    Wisely, I pause, and then continue to reach for my keys, but now listening as the page starts to come through, and hearing the station siren begin to kick in. "... Malahat, report of three car MVA, possible entrapment, intersection of Aspen Rd and TransCanada Highway...."

    Oh great, thats SOUTH end, and thats the way we have to go to get to the resturant.

    Short end of the story is that I got "The Look" again, but it was tempered with understanding that all we would end up doing is getting caught in the traffic tie-up anyway. I ran the call, and we were about 45 min late for our dinner, but she called ahead and explained.

    As voyager9 says, family comes (or it should anyway) first - but once in a while, circumstance will trump it all. AND it sucks when it does.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    When you're going out to dinner, leave the pager at home. The eff-ing thing isn't an implant. And dinner, generally speaking, happens in the evening. Which would be the time when volunteer fire departments have the least difficulty coming up with a crew.

    And if you're in her bed, pager off. Period.

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    Cool

    And if you're in her bed, pager off. Period.[/QUOTE]

    That's where I went wrong!! Oops.
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    I've always been told to "never leave one fire for another".
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

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    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post

    And if you're in her bed, pager off. Period.
    Ok... I'm sure the residents of the house that just burned down - do to lack of hands/resources would enjoy hearing that one. Sure, I know that most times One Man plus or minus does not make much difference, but when your initial fire team is at best, when all turn out for the page, maybe 20, with 4 trucks (one pumper, one tanker) and MA is still 20 min away......
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    I've always been told to "never leave one fire for another".
    Been there, done that! The only good thing was she was in the FD also, so we both went. Then, as per your comment, you get three fires if you're lucky!!!
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    Hey guys and gals looking for some advice on things not to do when with the girlfriend
    My initial thought was, "Don't take a phone call from your other girlfriend"


    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post
    When you're going out to dinner, leave the pager at home. The eff-ing thing isn't an implant. And dinner, generally speaking, happens in the evening. Which would be the time when volunteer fire departments have the least difficulty coming up with a crew.

    .
    Well spoken. Use some judgement and restraint and don't let the damn thing rule your life.

    Ok... I'm sure the residents of the house that just burned down - do to lack of hands/resources would enjoy hearing that one. Sure, I know that most times One Man plus or minus does not make much difference, but when your initial fire team is at best, when all turn out for the page, maybe 20, with 4 trucks (one pumper, one tanker) and MA is still 20 min away......
    You get 20 guys turning out for the first alarm? You're lucky...
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 02-16-2007 at 12:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    You get 20 guys turning out for the first alarm? You're lucky...
    That's what I was thinking. Here, a full box for a first is 15.

    I stand by my comment about turning off the pager at certain times. No one can reasonably expect volunteer firefighters to be available every minute of every day. You do what you can, when you can.

    Malahat, I imagine that, being a Canadian, you enjoy an occassional adult beverage, or ten. Don't you turn off the pager?

    In all seriousness, I would have qualms about turning off the pager if I happened to be in town during the day (doesn't happen much). But in the evening, at least around here, departments can get a good response. ANd the family, work, fire department mantra mentioned above, with which I agree entirely, means sometimes making time to spend with your family (or girlfriend) even at the expense of an occasional call.
    Last edited by randsc; 02-16-2007 at 01:20 PM.

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    Smile time....

    I would have to agree as most folks have said its a balance that you have to find for yourself. My wife was very "skeptical" at first about me joining the FD b/c of how much time it would take up. Although I have not been on very long I have learned to balance my time if we have plans to go out or are having people over I just turn my pager off, however, if we hear the sirens my wife is the first to turn it back on to see "what's happening"
    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    You get 20 guys turning out for the first alarm? You're lucky...
    No. That was the entire strength of the FD. Malahat personnel numbers float between 15 and 20 per year. When I joined, we had a whapping 25 members. By the end of that year, we were down to 15.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    When I joined, we had a whapping 25 members. By the end of that year, we were down to 15.
    Coincidence?

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    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post
    Coincidence?
    SMARTY PANTS! Actually all those who left had put in their resignations as I was walking in the door - BEFORE any of them knew me. Just the Transient Nature of the Beast in a small town volly station. Or so the Chief always says.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Wow...you read the title of a thread...think of some great smart*ss thing to say...got it all planned....then you read the post. Damn, now I'm depressed....this was meant to be serious.

    Well Anyway....Don't check out the hot bartender too long....
    Don't bring her to Hooters....least not for a few dates...
    Don't try to gross her out by dropping *ss in front of her....least not the first year.


    But to quote my former Chief...if she does gets P.O. about you being a FF.

    "Yas...I thought I was in love once, but it was just gas"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Don't try to gross her out by dropping *ss in front of her....least not the first year.
    My advice is to avoid it as long as possible...my girlfriend got smart and now gets me back when I try to "bomb" her!

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    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post
    And if you're in her bed, pager off. Period.
    Uh.. you know the new ones come in vibrate..
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Don't bring her to Hooters....least not for a few dates...
    Why would I take her back to work? Tonight's her night off.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Why would I take her back to work? Tonight's her night off.
    Now that is the funniest thing I've read all night (and I just spent an hour on fark.com).
    -------------------
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Why would I take her back to work? Tonight's her night off.
    Too Funny...That is a good one.

    I suppose the cook needs a night off too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    I've always been told to "never leave one fire for another".
    .................
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Uh.. you know the new ones come in vibrate..
    Yeah, but only when there is a call. Unless there are a lot of calls where they live, it would just end up frustrating her.

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    Just an opinion here...
    When you signed on you made a commitment, took an oath. Your community is depending on you. I don't feel "turning it off" is an option. Especially if you are or become a company or chief officer. Yes you have to have your prioritys straight, family, job, etc. And if it's a BS call and you're far away, sure don't worry about it. But how could someone who's 'dedicated' look themselves in the mirror knowing they had a lovely dinner while a friend or neighbors home burned 2 miles away.
    As far as thinking,"I'm only one person,no big deal". If 4 or 5 guys did that...there's one hand line not going into operation or a search not being done.

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    [QUOTE=randsc;773307]
    Malahat, I imagine that, being a Canadian, you enjoy an occassional adult beverage, or ten. Don't you turn off the pager?

    In all seriousness, I would have qualms about turning off the pager if I happened to be in town during the day (doesn't happen much).QUOTE]

    Not only do I turn the pager off, when planning to tie a good one on,I stay at home,unload the duty firearm and any magazines that I keep loaded"jist in case",lock all firearms up,lock ammunition up seperately,drop the truck and gun case keys in an envelope and mail the keys to myself on the way home from the beverage barn.By my afternoon shift on Monday,the keys would be in my hands again.
    I only get tanked on the weekend and can walk or ride my bike to where I absolutely have to get to after sobering up.I can get to the firehouse from my house in 2 minutes on a bike,neighbor's dogs notwithstanding.(and they learned quickly which bike NOT to chase)
    When out and about on days off,I'd carry the pager but keep it at a sensible volume and on the department's specific channel as I don't think the whole store needs to hear when any county department gets tapped out.
    I didn't rawhide from downtown to my station as I figure by the time I get there from 4 miles out,the rig's going to be gone and I'll be "Standing by for further response" when I get there.
    There's my policy on getting tanked and/or going out on the town.
    I wasn't married but dates filled in for the family requirement,as in when the tones drop,I stay at the restaraunt.She knows we're going to drop by and see what kind of call it was anyway.She had her "gotta haves",I had mine.
    However,no one ever beat on my door saying we lost a building because I specifically wasn't there.I tried to be a good firefighter and so did the rest of the department.It was rare that we didn't have 10-15 show up for a call in midday and at night,the response pretty much shook out everybody(43).

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    Just an opinion here...
    When you signed on you made a commitment, took an oath. Your community is depending on you. I don't feel "turning it off" is an option. Especially if you are or become a company or chief officer. Yes you have to have your prioritys straight, family, job, etc. And if it's a BS call and you're far away, sure don't worry about it. But how could someone who's 'dedicated' look themselves in the mirror knowing they had a lovely dinner while a friend or neighbors home burned 2 miles away.
    As far as thinking,"I'm only one person,no big deal". If 4 or 5 guys did that...there's one hand line not going into operation or a search not being done.
    Nothing in my oath requires me to be available 24 hours a day, and the commitment I made is to follow the instructions of my chief, whose matra is the same "family, then work, then the fire department" one mentioned above.

    I'll repeat my questions to Malahat, which while lighthearted in tone, contained a serious point. What about when you have been drinking? Wouldn't you not respond? I won't, not even after a single beer. So must all volunteer firefighters be complete teetotals?

    You do what you can, when you are available. I have seen plenty of guys who keep the pager on all the time, keep it set to the open channel just in case there is something in the next town over. They burn out.

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