How do you balance full time employment and volunteer firefighting? Volunteer firefighters still have to work and pay bills. I thoroughly enjoy being a volunteer firefighter. But, still have to make enough money to provide for my family.

I have been working on ways to piece together a full time income without a forty hour a week job. I am looking into such things as on-call teaching, telecommuting positions and starting my own business.

I am starting to have some success. I have landed one position that allows me to work online, set my own schedule and work from my home. It is doing customer service for an internet based company. While it is fun work, it does not pay enough to replace my full time income.

I would like to hear from other volunteer firefighters that may be struggling with this dilemma. What ways are you exploring to earn a living while having time for your volunteer department? I hope we all can benefit from each other's ideas.

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I work for a local EMS department fulltime and we work 4 10 hour shifts so it gives me time to do my fire plus my work is close to my fire area so if we get a big enough fire I can leave some times. I guess I'm lucky though, hopefully some day my fire department will go fulltime and I can get my foot in the door there.
a very understanding wife is a defininte plus. i work midnights at a hospital so i have time to do my firefighting during the day when most depts are short handed. it also helps having an understanding chief who agrees with the mentality that your full time job is priority. also do you do more for your dept then fight fires are you on a board or anything extra. if so you might want to cut back on the jobs at the dept.

good luck and stay safe out there
My real job comes first. It pays the bills and puts food on the table. I work as a reciever at a local Wal-Mart and my shift starts at 4am and ends at 1pm. So unless i'm off the next day, it a couple of hours in the afternoon and then i don't leave the house after 6pm. I miss some calls but usually make up for it on my wekends off. My job is important to me and it comes first.
I got fortunate enough to get hired full time at a fire department in the county near where I live. I still volunteer at one fire department and work part time for the next town over in the area where I live. Working 24/48 at my full time job and a 24 one day a week at my part time job gives me more of an opportunity to volunteer. None of this would be possible without an understanding wife and kids. I also could not have done it with out the experience that I gained when I was just a volunteer. Being a full time firefighter gives you the best of both worlds, giving you an opportunity to do what you love and get paid for it. I don't know if you have any near by full time departments near where you live and if not, like the others who posted have said. Family first. Be Safe
I don't struggle,the way the world is now I have to wrok.. So there is times that I know my pager is going off,but must go to work... I am a nurse sooooo have to go to work... Hate the feeling knowing we are a small dept and manpower is low,but also the morgage company does not care just want their payment...
Luckily I have a very understanding wife who works full time, and at times with the way our Dept. works and the pay we get plus running on the Medic squad part-time I make enough that it is like working a full time job to supplement my wifes income
My job requires that I travel all over the world. So I am not around town much when there is alot of calls. But I do when I have a week or two off respond to every call I can. It does help that my chief is very understanding. I also have a soon to be brother in law that travels for work on much the same schedule as myself. And his chief is understanding and he just responds when he is home. It really takes some thought to put a job first but it is necessary in order to make sure your family is taken care of. When I did have a full time job working at a factory in town I was able to leave if there was a call. I just made up the time after the call or the next day. But then you have to take into account how much time you are willing to spend away from home on these days.

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