I’ve been reading your posts here in Family Said for a little over a month now, and have read some great advice coming from some of the lifers out there, it’s great to see all of you sharing your experiences , and ups/downs with eachother. Great job on the site Ab, and thank you for including a message board for SO’s , I think they are too often forgotten by most people that aren’t involved in firefighting, and are every bit as important as the men and women on the firelines that they support.
I’ve been married 17 years now, and have a 16 year old daughter, and a 14 year old son. I have been FF since ’94, and my wife has always been the one to sit at home and worry whenever I’ve been gone. After worrying for so many seasons, she finally decided last year to find out more about what it is we do out there, so she took the S-130/S190 basic wildland firefighting course when we held it for the local volunteer fire department . She was amazed at finding out how little she really knew about firefighting, and that she had no idea how much I knew until I helped instruct some chapters of the course. Since then naturally she still worries about me whenever I leave for an assignment, but she since she has a better understanding of how much thought and planning goes into what we do, she is a little bit more at ease.
Any of you that are newcommer’s to the world of FF relationships, I would highly recommend finding somewhere that you could take the Basic course, it may help you as it did my wife. Also don’t assume the worst if your FF doesn’t call you every night, sometimes after a long hot hard day working on the line, you don’t even feel like standing in the long line to get your dinner, let alone wait for 30-60 minutes to make a 5 minute phone call. If there are phones in camp and he/she doesn’t call, all it means is they most likely had a tough day, and felt they would be better off getting some much needed rest before heading out again for the next shift. Trust me when I say even though you might not hear from us once in a while, our loved ones at home are always on our minds anytime we get 5 minutes of free time, when we don’t have to concentrate 110% on what the fire is doing around us.
Hope this helps.