I started a new book the other night called, "The Fireman's Wife" by Susan Farren. It is a good read if your husband is interested in becoming a firefighter or if you have been a firefighter's wife for awhile already. There are parts of the book that I could have written.
My experience is a little bit different, because I married into the job. I was not with Steve during the interviewing process, probation, ect. The "guys" welcomed me with open arms, disbelieving that someone actually wanted to marry such a goofball! They loved Steve and I could tell they loved me.
The firehouse humor seems to be a theme in every firehouse around the country. Jabs, digs, and poking fun at each other, not only relieves tensions due to the stress of their job, but also helps keep everyone friendly towards each other, since these "guys" are their second family. Sometimes, they love each other and sometimes they hate each other, but if one of them was in trouble, it is "all for one and one for all". They would seriously lay their lives down for each other without a second thought.
I have been a firefighter's wife for almost 15 years. My husband has been on his "tour of duty" for all that time. The shift work goes like this: 24 hours on, 24 off, 24 on, 24 off, 24 on and then four days off. Those four days are coveted even though it is peppered with overtime. I don't count on my husband being here anymore. I've been disappointed too many times. I am at peace with this schedule and I have embraced it to a certain degree. I try to look at the positive. I can make whatever I want for dinner and I can make plans for the day without consulting him first. The days he is working are more predictable. When he is off, anything can happen! Overtime, patient transfers, shift coverage, fires, you name it!
I love being a firefighter's wife. It gives me such a sense of pride to know what my husband does for a living. He helps people. He is the one that is out in the middle of night comforting an injured person in a car wreck, fighting a fire that is trying to consume someone's home, or helping a frightened elderly person who just fell and broke her hip. I have tremendous respect for all who are in this line of work.
We have 18 paid firefighters in our small department. This is our second family. While Steve has been on duty many emergencies have arrived. We firewives know that we can call any of the guys any time of the day or night if need be. I have had batteries charged, kids watched, and had been helped with many other household emergencies (washing machine flooding, ect.) by fellow firefighters and their wives.
We save each other money, too! We re-roof each other's houses, help pour concrete, give each other sick leave, trade shifts for family emergencies, and much, much more. In essence, we watch each other's backs.
If you are a firefighter's wife, I think you would enjoy reading this book. You will laugh, cry and be able to identify with this book. If your husband wants to become a firefighter, this book will help you go into this situation with eyes wide-open. It covers all the basis, especially the fear that can consume you as you kiss your husband goodbye, wondering if it will be the last time you see him.
I personally, do not struggle with this fear. I think I gave it to God a long time ago. I can't change any outcome by worrying, but instead, I know God hears my prayers for his safe return.
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