Friday, February 5, 2010

"The Fireman's Wife"

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.


19 comments:

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

That is my hubbys shift also. But he usually doesn't work the overtime, if it gets to him. It's so nice having those 4 dayers. :) I'm gonna look that book up. Thanks!

Mrs. Lukie said...

Loved this book! And you're right--it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it gives you warm fuzzies. And like you, I married into the fire service--hubby was already on his tour of duty when I met him, so I haven't known life to be any different than it is now (probably a good thing!)

If any of you fire wives who are reading this haven't read the book, I would be totally willing to send my copy off to you :) Just email me (sarahleanne04 at gmail dot com) First come, first serve!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Sarah, that is so sweet of you! I'm going to pass my copy to the firewives here first, then I might do the same thing.

Mich said...

My hubby is not a firefighter, but rather a minister. I totally get the sharing of his time with others and the busy schedules. someone once told me that a minister has doctor hours on less pay...there are days that it is hard, but the blessings are worth it.

I love it that someone has written a book, that you can relate to.

Connie said...

Hats off to all of you who do this kind of work. I am sure it is demanding, yet rewarding.

Katie said...

Thanks for the book suggestion! My DH works 24 on and 48 off but, on those off days, he works part time at the township FD. And then there is volunteer at night. I love him so much and so glad he loves what he does and that he's so good at what he does!

I am blessed! said...

Stacie- I gave you an award on my blog. Thanks for spreading sunshine my way!

Celee

Toni Floyd said...

Stacie, that sounds like a really good book. I should get it for my sister. Alot of what you said I can relate to also. A cop's wife goes through much of the same thing. There are many times I've wondered why you call your blog A Firefighter's Wife but I realize now that our husband's job really does "flavor" our whole family's life. It's not just something Steve does, it's part of him. I really do get that. Courtney is the same way. He was an armed security gaurd when we were married, he went on to become a corrections officer, and finally to a sheriff's deputy for the past ten years. I tell you, though. He changed so much during the process of becoming a police officer. It was like he became what he was meant to be and I have supported him every step of the way. Who am I to get in the way of what God is doing in him? He's been a great witness over the years in this community, a awesome father to our four children, and an extremely devoted husband. What you were saying about the shift work and the overtime, we go through that too. I think the hardest is the schedule he has. It's VERY hard to get a shift where he has Sundays off. When he gets a shift that he doesn't work Sundays, it's the one where he works until 4 in the morning. It's very hard for him to attend church service having only 4 hours of sleep. So yeah, it can be tough but I truly believe God makes acceptions for the people who are in the line of work of protecting and serving their communities. Fires and medical emergencies are not an 8am to 5pm work day. The same goes for crime.
I love you and I can't wait for our "girl's night" tonight! Lots of talking!

Camille said...

How wonderful that you have a book that you can relate to so well...but more importantly, that you have the LORD through all the ups and downs of life with such a dedicated man. God is so good and never gives us more than we can bear. Such blessings!

Have a lovely weekend!
Love,
Camille

wife.mom.nurse said...

What a lovely post and the essence of why I have a firewife section on my sidebar. I can understand every word you wrote and take comfort in knowing I am not alone in this life- the unique life of a firewife.

I look forward to reading this book!

Thanks,

~Julie

melaniek said...

This is my all-time favorite book!!! Susan can make you laugh and cry and she absolutely captures so many things of a firefighter wife's life.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

You're doing such a great job of ministering to this little recognized sector or women. You guys are awesome! I appreciate your sacrifices so much. They are similiar to what a military wife goes through in some ways.

Love you, Sis!

Amy@theredheaddiaries.blogspot.com said...

What a great post!!! It's so funny to me how they are all pretty much the same no matter what department etc. This is the first time I have heard of this book. I can't wait to read it!!! Josh's schedule is 24 on 48 off and every 10th shift day is a "kelly" day that he gets off. We absolutely love it now but it was a little hard getting used to at first. I completely agree with you about being so proud. Our husbands are amazing men and we are so blessed to be married to them!!!

J said...

Wow! My husband isn't a firefighter, but, I can completely relate to the shift work schedule and the unpredictableness that comes with "off" time. You always encourage me! Thank you! Knowing you have dealt with some of the same things I am dealing with (like not being able to count on him actually being off on his "off" days...) encourages me. I'm not sure if I shared with you too, that a few Sundays ago you blogged that you'd had to miss church again because of Lily teething...I've missed so much church lately because of sick children and because of my husband's schedule. I'd felt so alone that particular Sunday - like I was the only one missing church - to read that another mama was going through the same thing was such an encouragement! Thank you!

...they call me mommy... said...

Sounds like a neat book, Staci! My hubby is a full-time EMT but he is also a volunteer firefighter...I will have to check into this book...thanks for the recommendation! :)

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Jen, that is so neat that God used my missing church to encourage you. I getting discouraged again. My throat is starting to hurt and I'm afraid that I might not be able to tomorrow. I scheduled to sing a solo. It just feels like Satan is really trying to get to me lately in this area. Every time I'm scheduled to sing, either I get sick or the kids get sick. I've canceled the last two or three times. I'm afraid they are going to think I'm a flake!

Laura said...

What a beautiful ministry God has given you to encourage these sometimes forgotten heros.....the firman's wife! I too loved this book. I laughed, I cried....I recommended it to my friends! God bless you!!

Kay Holt said...

I have been wanting to read this for awhile now...and I think I will after I finish the book I'm reading. Your right every firehouse is the same and I am so proud to be a fireman's wife. I have been there through the whole process...the tests, interviews, the no not this times, and the celebrations on graduating fire academy. It's been a journey but I would trade it for the world. The best life is being a Fireman's Wife ;)

Lisa Hodge said...

Thank your for posting. I plan on buying this book. I want to share this post on my own blog. Maybe this will help others.

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