1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default New Firefighter Wife

    Hi there,

    My husband and I live in Phoenix, Arizona.

    My husband has recently expressed interest in becoming a fire fighter and leaving his corporate 9-5 job. I guess he has always wanted to become a fire fighter and now he has decided that he will never be happy in corporate life.

    So I guess I am trying to be supportive in his decision but I dont' know much about being a firefighters wife and what life is going to be like.

    I guess my biggest concern is that the schedule is going to be stressful on our marriage and future childern.

    We are in our mid 20's and plan on having children in 5-6 years...

    From the research he has presented to me it looks like the schedule is 1on-1off-1on-4off.

    Can anyone provide me with an idea of what the schedule is like. Pros/Cons
    Life in general??


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    osh599's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Kalamazoo, Mi

    Default Career

    Most full time depts only work an average of 10 days per month. Though the 24hr shift can take some getting used to especially if your coming from coporate america.

    The stress of being gone for 24hrs at a stretch will take some getting used too. Although up front the schedule may seem hard to manage, once he starts working that shift I'm sure you will see that it is not all that bad.

    Some career jakes either work a second job or start their own company to offset the amount of downtime that they experience. Then there are some who simply enjoy the amount of time that they can devote to their families and spend the time with them.

    The first hurdle to overcome though is getting hired. Every city or town is different in how they hold the testing. Getting his foot in the door will be the first challenge and then take every day after that one at a time.
    Jim Shultz
    Oshtemo Fire Dept
    Fleet Maintenance Specialist

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    AHAPPYMOM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Northeast US


    My husband is not a Firefighter, but I can offer some advice about a husband that travels often for his job, and isn't home for a few days to a week at a time!

    It is what you make of it for yourself! I have been married for a gazillion years, and have a career of my own.

    I am an independent woman who knows that when 2 people in a marriage are happy and secure in themselves, the distance only makes the relationship that much more meaningful, when we are together.

    I would personally, never want anyone to put a damper on any dream or goal that I had for myself.

    Kudo's to your husband.

    Firefighters are true heroes in today's world!

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Northwood Nh


    whats the worst part??? about having a husband as a firefighter??

  5. #5
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    While I can't give you a wife's perspective on this, I can perhaps offer you some thoughts on things.

    First, being a firefighter is the best damn job on earth. Simple as that. Your husband will love it, and you'll either learn to love it with him, or learn to tolerate it.

    For most departments of any size, he'll have to attend an academy. These can range from 8 to 18 weeks, but usually lean towards the latter. While he's in recruit school, that school will be his life. He'll come home dirty, grouchy, hungry, and tired. Then he'll have homework to do to get ready for the next day. This will tax your marriage, but it will be important for both of you to remember that these few months will lay the foundation for the job he'll have for the next 25 years. Be patient, it gets easier (well, a little bit) once he's got that badge pinned on his chest.

    MOST career departments work 24-hour shifts, but not all. However, these are all kinds of variations on days off. 24/72 is popular, as is work/off/work/off/work/off four. Check with the departments he wants to apply for to see how their days-off work.

    One thing that will take getting used to is not having someone who can generally just drop everything and run home when the toilet overflows or something of that nature happens (not implying that you would, but some wives expect that). You'll become self-sufficient!

    Few FF's make it rich doing this. Make sure that if you're going to be a stay-at-home mom, that you all are financially stable and good at money management. Do you want him to have a second job to make up for decreased income? Or will you live frugally and he can spend a ton of time at home with the kids?

    Finally, very few applicants make it in on their first try, especially with their "dream" department. It often takes months, if not years, of tests and interviews to get on the job. But once you're there, it's definitely worth it!

    Not sure if this helped or not, but there are plenty of us on there that'll try to help....
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

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

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Northwood Nh


    no thanks a lot.. it helped a lot

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Smile not easy but worth it

    I am the wife of a volunteer ff. Although he is home every night you never know when those pagers will go off and he is out teh door and you are yelling to him to be careful and you love him. I then get myself dressed adn follow after our truck to help at the scene. It keeps me busy and my mind sort of off the fact that my husband is going into a burning home. But I am very proud of him and he is very well trained. It isn't an easy life and it isn't for everyone but you sound very supportive and it will try your relationship at times. But in the end I am very proud to be a FF's wife. We have been doing this dance for over 10years now and I would know how to live any other way. The friends we have made, the relationships you make are great and to see you husband attack a fire... well ladies for me that makes him more sexy to me.. he looks hot in his gear!!! lol

    Good luck to you and your husband. It is a great thing being a FF .. to all those out there stay safe ~~

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default a job that is worth it!

    I am the wife of a career firefighter. His shift is 24 on and 48 off. I couldn't imagine being married to anyone but a firefighter. His job is dangerous but I know that he is doing all that he can to come home to me. I know that it is often hard on the new wives who are new to this but you do adapt. Trust that they are well trained and that every single one of those guys has the same mission...to make sure each and every firefighter gets home to their families safely. Being a firefighter's wife is something that I am proud of. We don't have children yet so I can give no advice on how this affects the entire family unit. Please support him in his decision. Most guys who have always wanted to be a firefighter never get that out of their system. It's something that is in their blood and there is no shaking it. Be supportive of him and know that you have many other wives that you can turn to whenever you need to. I hope this works out for your family. There is no pride greater then being married to a firefighter! They truly are heroes!

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default what is it like?

    Hi! My husband is a firefighter with the City of St Louis, MO and has been on the department for 20 years now.

    I love his schedule! However, we have been married for 6 1/2 years now, and our children are older (in their twenties). His schedule gives us time apart, so when we are together, we are glad to be together. It is hard when things come up unexpectantly, though. I carry his duty calendar in my purse, so I know when he's working. You just have to learn to be flexible!

    In my opinion, it's worth it!

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