Wildland Firefighter Foundation
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Home / WLF FamilySaid / Comment by Nerd on the Fireline

  • 03/16/2003
  • WildlandFire.com Team
  • 0 Comment

Ooh, SMZ…lousy position. Have you tried sitting down with your FF, and just telling him straight out, “I love you, I don’t mind you being gone, but it makes me a basket case when you tell me all the time that you might not be coming back.”? SMZ, the reality is, the vast majority of firefighters DO come back, every time. It’s not like the military, where there’s a concept of “acceptable” losses. Granted, it’s a dangerous job, but hey, inner-city pizza delivery is worse. In a way, it looks worse in than it is the firefighter community because we’re so tight…we all mourn together, which makes every death more immediate, even though there really are very few of them. Short answer: your feelings are totally normal, but it doesn’t sound like your FF is helping a whole lot. 

My solution is two-fold: first, a little bit of firefighter re-education, starting with the above conversation…firefighter wives are like army wives, we’re really trained to support our man. This is important, yeah, but it’s also important to get it through your man’s head that the folks at home need some support too. It really goes both ways. Which comes to my second point…educate yourself. Hang out in your FF’s dispatch, maybe take a few classes, read this site, learn all you can about wildland firefighting…and it probably won’t scare you nearly as much. Oh, and listen to FireMomma, and Sammi, and Abby. They’ve got far more experience in the domestic management of firefighters than I.

Good luck,
Nerd on the Fireline

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