AK and Dick,
Just adding in my two cents on the relationship debate. While I think it is true that a firefighter can have a family life, I think it is another story if that firefighter wants a career as a Hotshot or a Smokejumper. I think AK was correct on pointing out that it is not fair to the family. I have heard many an engine boss comment on how he had done a season or two as a jumper only to be faced with making a choice between his wife and his job “I came home from a detail and found all my stuff in the front yard!” I personally have yet to meet any married Hotshot Superintendents. (Has anyone? I’d be curious to know! If anyone does know of such a case: how long married and how successfully?) As one young hotshot put it to me “You could be a Hotshot and have a relationship if it weren’t for the fact that girls need attention!” Never a truer word was spoken! (Who can blame them? I thought it was very wise for that young man to realize that.) So yes, I think you can have a fire career and a marriage, but if you want to spend your life as a smokejumper or a shot, well, that’s a job for single folks. If you want to be married, then get on an engine. That way you are not depriving your family. (At least, not to the same degree.) I think that goes for both men and women alike.