The first time my husband pitched the idea to me about joining the fire department, I was extremely against it. To be fair, I was 5 months pregnant with my second child and had a 1 year old at home, so you can understand why my initial reaction would be “Absolutely not!”
Being the sweet guy that he is, he dropped the subject. But I knew how much he wanted to do it, and that his day job wasn’t challenging enough for him. He’s the kind of guy that always needs to be learning something new.
One day we were driving into town and witnessed a car accident. I was so stunned that I just sat there and stared, barely comprehending what had just happened. Hubby immediately pulled over and jumped out of the car, directed someone to call 911, and went to the vehicles to check on the people inside, and assisting with the one driver who was injured. He was completely calm and in command. Sitting there watching him, I realized that he was cut out for this, and that by refusing to even consider letting him join the department, I was holding him back from something he would be amazing at. I told him to go for it!
The biggest thing I have learned/am learning is to be flexible. I am the kind of person who likes to know exactly what’s going to happen and when, and I had to let go of that. When your husband is a volunteer firefighter, no plan is ever firm. I discovered that as he ran out the door to a car accident just as we were about to leave on our first kid-free dinner date in months. I never know when the pager is going to go off, and that’s part of life now.
There is a lot of training involved, especially in the first 6 months. I’m going to be honest and say that it has been hard for me at times, especially on the weekends when he is at the fire academy for two days straight. As a stay at home mom, that means I have no weekend since the only difference between a Monday & a Saturday is that he is home. But again, I’m learning to be flexible and go with the flow. I try to plan fun activities for me and the boys on those weekends to break things up from our regular weekday routine.
I’m happy to report that Hubby being gone more often hasn’t affected the boys at all. He is still able to get them ready for bed and spend quality time with them before leaving on training evenings. The only times they notice his absence is on the weekends he is at the fire academy, which he will be graduating from next month (yay!). Little 1 is absolutely in love with all things firefighter and it is so cool to him that daddy goes in the “boop boop” (his way of saying firetruck). I will take him out on the porch when Hubby gets a call and his face lights up when he hears the sirens. It’s precious to watch.
Hubby is also gone 3-4 evenings a month for practice at the fire hall. At first I hated spending the evenings alone while he was gone learning how to ventilate a roof or perform water rescues, but I have actually come to enjoy them. The boys go down between 6:30-7, and I have 3 hours or so to clean up from the day, shower, read, etc. And the evenings Hubby is at training make me appreciate him all the more when he’s home.
Of course, I can’t talk about being a firefighter’s wife without talking about worry. They seem to go hand in hand. I worry about his safety every time he spins out of the driveway, green lights flashing. I worry even more when it’s a call to a structure fire or a serious car accident. I worry that he’s not going to be able to handle the gruesome calls with the smashed up bodies, the drownings, the fatal heart attacks. But then I remember that he is the strongest man I know, this is his calling, and that he is part of an amazing team of firefighters that will be there for him when he needs it. And I have confidence that God is watching out for him and firefighters everywhere.
It’s been roughly 6 months now since we joined the fire family here at our local station. It definitely has its challenges, but I have to say it’s been a lot of fun as well, and I’m enjoying getting to know the other fire wives and families. They’ve made me feel so welcome and like part of the family.
I’m excited to continue on this journey as I support my husband in serving our community. I like to think that I am helping make a difference in peoples’ lives, because without my support, he wouldn’t be able to do this. He needs me. I’m the strength behind his boots.
And at the end of the day, what woman doesn’t want a firefighter in her bed?🙂 It makes it all worth it.
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