Response to AK about whining: First of all we do not “meat” each other we “meet” each other.
In all the hundreds of technical books that have come and gone through our home I have NEVER seen a technical resource book on what to expect if we meet and want to have a relationship with a FF. I have never seen a book or pamphlet on what to expect life to be like if you, we, expect to have a long relationship with FF. (maybe in my spare time I’ll write a “How to Live with a FF in your life”) Notice, I did not say “Live with a FF” Whether it be structural, full time or seasonal wildland anyone that is married to or involved with a FF is in for a huge surprise and there is no way to prepare someone for the lifestyle. So, no AK, we did not know what we were getting!!!!!
For a newbie it looks sexy, hunky, exciting and oh so romantic. Let me assure you, as the wife to one and mom to several the new sexy stuff wears off real fast and reality hits and you realize when he said he is on fire two weeks and time off,,,,that did not mean fire two weeks and home a month etc….sometimes we are lucky to see them two times in two months or longer. And I also know when they are home, after a long shower, lots of food, some loving and some hard sleep they are looking at the sky again hoping the phone rings real soon. So those that have been left holding down the fort, paying the bills and keeping the kids safe and the dogs fed are thinking, wait a minute,,,,I missed you a lot and you are happily rested and ready to leave me again….not fair……it is a hard life for all involved. Some relationships can survive but we all know the stats are against it.
We have a son that did wlff for several years, met a FF/paramedic and after a couple of years of trying to live the lifestyle, they realized the relationship was worth more to them than the fires so they both left the service, are doing other occupations and have two beautiful daughters,,,,,,now their lives are “normal” and if asked they would tell you the decision was hard but the right one for them……and that is the key here “for them”…….
Honestly, we have been living this lifestyle a LONG time and I still sometimes throw a hissy fit when something breaks or I need support from my husband and he is off to God’s Country to save someone else’s house or trees and my house is falling apart or my trees needs water etc….the guys and gals on the fire are hero’s no doubt but there are a lot of people male and female holding down the fort so to speak who support them so they can be out there………
To the FF: you need to tell your significant other very often how much you care for them and how much you appreciate their support……you need to find a way to make them a part of your fire service experience. I get rolls of film, now disks, real often of the fires etc. They know I enjoy making their scrapbooks and that is my way of feeling close to them when they are gone….another FF we know buys silver charms that depicts the places he goes for his wife’s charm bracelet. Everyone of you can start a t-shirt collection for your girl….or guy. Sometimes the silly corny things mean the most.
Nope not a whiner am I, If I am upset, you’ll not hear a whine but a HUGE EXPLOSION!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keepum safe and look out for each other…