Hello one and all:

So as you may have guess in my posts, I am an EMT, getting ready to start fire school. I come a little late to the game at 34 (have been an EMT for close to 2 years. Disaster response team for 6 months.

I had an automobile accident (while going to school in NM) and have been back living in my mother's home since then because of the massive debt I accrued from my injuries.

The problem is when I told her I was going to go to FF school and be an EMT, she claims to have misunderstood and thought that I would only running medical and trauma call. The municipal volly department I will be with also houses a privately contracted 911 response service.

But then came up the subject of interior firefighting. Now keep in mind, the service I will be with running between 85-90% medical and MVC calls. One of their firefighter/medics told me that in the 5 years he has been with them, he has gone inside 8 times. He says "we've just done too good of a job teaching fire prevention.: But since I am living at home, she freaked out about fighting inside and then to cover it said well I dont want to smell smoke all the time, I dont want to get woke up when tones drop in the middle of the night (we live in a very small house), etc which are totally things the she is saying out of fear. If you can get past the "move out, youre 34" please I would really like to hear what some veterans or even newbs have to say.

Thanks and stay safe

PS- Somehow the idea of me serving on a medical emergency response team that reguarly goes to hurricanes, tornado destruction area. I think its just the idea of fire that has her freaked out. Im working on my masters in Emergency management and feel I need the experience of working the 5 service. There will come a time (since I am IC certified) where I will be in some very dangerous situations. Hell, I was almost killed by an improperly cribbed car during an exercise. How do I talk to her about this. PPS-Any FFs from the Loves Park/Machesney park area that need a roommate, send me a message. :)

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This is only something that time will fix. Your best bet is to keep your pager on alert, your phone on vibrate,and keep a low profile to the best of your ability. Ensure you help around the house, and not give her any more reason to pile on more. Once you start going to the calls at night, she will become used to the pager and "tune it out" like my family has.
No, I wouldn't try to conceal this. Your a grown man, tell her you are and you can make your own decisions. She will eventually accept it. My wife did. She left town to visit her sister several states away when our nephew was born, she came back 2 weeks later and there was a blue light on my truck and a radio on my pocket. She got over it.
I think you need to be a man,no matter how old you are you will always be mommys little boy.If you are going into any fire you need to be worrying about everything else that is going on, not wheather your mother is going to ground you when you get home. I would agree with Drew, if yoi can not handle your mother then you can not deal with being a firefighter.I do wish you Good luck its always nice to see people interested in being a firefighter,Its not for everyone.
I appreciate that you're worried about how your mother is going to handle all of this, but why don't you give it some time and see how it goes before fretting about what MIGHT happen? Take it as it comes.

I'm older than you are, and my parents have concerns about my embarking on volunteering for the fire service, but as has been the case my entire life; they're proud and supportive and trust my judgement and common sense. I told them why I was doing this, I told them I'd receive all the training I need to do the job safely and sanely, and that my chief would not knowingly put me in harm's way. They get it, and they're behind me 1000%, just like they have been my entire life.
Give your mother a chance to adjust to the news and treat it like you would any job- you don't need to walk on eggshells.
When i got into the fire service I to lived at home, but they realized it was something i wanted to do. So they to were scared but they finally got over it with time. Now my wife is involved with the page going off in the middle of the night but she still deals with it. she know the job that i am doing is helping so many people in the long run and this might be a point to bring to your mom. hope everything works out for you and your mom.
Mike-

Thanks for the encouraging words. You know its easy to run someone down and call them names, but the people that I consider true friends and true professionals in the EMS/Rescue/Fire service are ones that you can be honest with and they dont run you down or call you insulting names. The ones that think they have to slam someone else are the ones that wont have somebody's back going into a burn, will be more concerned about themselves than they are about their partner and because they are so self involved, will either end up washing out or falling through a floor one dark, cold night because they cant see the big picture.


Im ultra-new to fire service and I admit it. I talked to the men and women of the service I will be joining and most of them are veterans who truly know what the service is all about. Where I am training, there is NO bashing of rookies allowed. People who have been in for a year or 6 months and bash others who are newer than they are get the nickname of "Punk" really quickly and that sticks. And thats because those veterans know that those who bash others for whatever reason are not in it for service or to be part of the brotherhood...they are there so peopple can see them go out of the driveway at 0300 with the blues running. ANd those people, not newbies with concerns and who arent afraid to ask questions that might make them seem a little vulnerable at first are the ones who dont belong in the service. I am joining a service where fire fighters in the house dont wear french manicures and make derogatory comments to other members of the service whether they are EMTs, FFs, whatever.
First and foremost I am deeply dissappointed in the posts saying to grow up and stop being a momma's bot and stand your ground. First of all Family is first. I may not agree with her decision, but it only shows that she cares for you, no more no less. As I stated before, given time, and when you get the proper training, your mother will see you as nothing less than a professional, and the fear will subside to a general worry when she hears you go for a call. Thats normal, wives, mothers, brothers, and sisters across the globe have the same apprehension, just some don't admit it as readily. This storyline wasn't a attempt to get you to bash, or belittle him, but a post on measures he can take to help her ease into the fact he is willing to become a firefighter while finishing getting back on his own 2 feet. Whether you admit it to himself, if he tells his mom hes going to be a firefighter and she can go fly a kite, he would be on the street faster than he could think. The best method is to consider her concern and give it time and as I have stated here, and the post before it will subside to a more manageable level. Stay the course brother, the times only get better. Be well and Stay safe
I am 19 and have been a fireman for 6 months now. My dad hates that I am a firefighter. It might have something to do with the fact that my mom left him for A fire chief, who is now my stepfather. My dad claims that I drive dangerously when responding. I drive the speed limit, but i dont break any traffic laws. When I bring up the topic of a call i went on, he quickly changes the subject. He just despises the fire service and i am not sure why. I tell him he would hum a different tune if his house was burning...I think that parents just don't want to see us hurt, but like everyone says, your mom will get over that.
Thanks Engine. The strange thing is, if people read my comment in full, I say if you have any constructive ideas, Id love to hear them. Coming out of the gate bashing someone and calling them names is not the way to do that. You know, Engine is the only one who even paid any attention to why I am 34 and living at home. I got thrown through a windshield in the middle of the NM desert. Im not looking for anyone's sympathy and I didn't ask for sugar coating, just non-abusive constructive advice from some FF veterans. And veterans to me isn't a matter of time, its maturity and the willingness to assist those new to the field in a helpful way. When I hear someone say "We're fireman...we sugar coat nothing" I can just discount anything that person has to say because that isn't the type of fire fighter I want to be. And the word is denigrate, not derogate.
Try explaining that it's ALL about helping. If you're willing to go to med calls and maybe get TB or Hep B, go to a MVA and maybe get run over by a drunk driver while doing compressions on the side of the road...shit, ther's a lot of EMS senarios that make a room and content fire look like a safe place! It's a package deal; fire is one little part of the danger. Good luck
ILDisasterEMT:
I know that it is unsettling sometimes to be criticized, but in this case, you showed weakness and firefighters don't like weakness or at least admit to it. You could have garnered feedback without revealing some of the details that you did. For instance, you could have said "someone very close to me doesn't like the idea that I want to be a firefighter". At 34, a relationship with a parent has moved from one of controlling to one of concern/support. I read your original post, got all the details, but what stuck in my mind was your appearance of fear. I mean, when I was living at home (until I was 23), I paid no rent but I had to follow their rules. Period. If I didn't, they would boot me out? Is that what we are concerned about here or are you upset that your family isn't being more supportive?
And let me tell you; what I have found with discussion forums is this: even though someone may come off as rude and crude, but there is still a message there and something that you might learn from. You don't have to be their bud, but they are giving you advice in their own, "unique" way. Don't discount it simply because you don't like the "packaging". And if it bothers you to the extent that it clashes with your view of how it should be, then you're in for some rough times, because as you go forward with your dream, the guys that you interact with daily measure up to your expectations, but you will meet those outside of your department through MA calls, seminars and such that will upset you with their "style".
You have to get your family comfortable with your decision. We can't do that for you. You have to do that. If joining the fire service is something that you passionately want to do, then you have to convey it in terms that they will understand.
And expect some disappoints along the way.
And buy John Salka's "First In; Last Out".
First, you ought not to confuse my concern over getting in the fire service and dealing with family issues as weakness. And if somebody that knows nothing about me wants to spout off as if he were my Chief, thats his problem. But when you start name calling, you have crossed a line. I dont take that garbage off anyone. There seem to be a few early posters who have an over-inflated view of their own importance. There is no connection between how I deal with my family and how I do my job. As an EMS provider on a volly squad and a state disaster medical response team, I follow the first in, last out rule. Im proud of the way I do my job. And actually, to tell the truth, Im not even all that bothered by the name calling. Its more the person doing it. It makes me wonder about the caliber and integrity of some of the people out there in the profession. People are making cracks about me manning up, when the only way they can prove their point is to resort to name calling? Pretty pathetic. Ive also generally found that people who resort to name calling and insults are trying to make up for some deficiency on their part. So there are some here of the opinion that I dont have what it takes to be part of the fire service. Well, you know what they say about opinions....

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