So I have been dating my boyfriend (who is a FF/Paramedic) for about a year and a half now. I must say that his job has been very stressful on our relationship. He has a pretty mellow schedule 48 on 96 off.... When he is at work I used to text and call him all the time etc... but I finally got the point that maybe work is his get away time, and wait for him to call me. I think the biggest thing is that as me working in EMS also we don't see eachother alot anymore. I wish he would call more. Also, what is up with the strike team shit. Anyone else carry a pager around 24/7 hoping to get called out? Well he does-doesn't matter what time it is or what were doing he is always ready to go-VOLUNTARILY. So where does the line cross where I can ask him to stay home without him feeling like I don't support his job? (I really do-just not strike teams LOL)... Lastly... why is it that guys always act differently when they are at the station? Too much testosterone? What really goes on there!?
Ok I will make a few comments on your post. First of all when he's on duty he's paid to be a public servant, not text or call you. Did you ever consider he may face diciplinary action for always being on the phone? I am sure there is a time slot (after training, inspections, and between calls) where they are given a partial liberty at the station and he will have ample time to call you. The firehouse is a differant place than most other jobs.
Carrying a pager while he is "off duty" is something that is becoming more likely as departments are faced with larger buildings with more complex construction. Department "all calls" can be made much faster than having a dispatcher calling cell phones where people can choose not to answer. His job is to go when called to duty. It is who we are, and what we do.
Well 913 answered those questions pretty well. Texting and calling.. there are certain times a day when you have free time and that's never guaranteed due to calls or extra work that needs to be done. Call him when he's off, not when he's at work.
Call outs - we only do those here for overtime, if you get called and you can make it in for a shift, you go in. Not often we get called back because of large call volume or numerous multiple alarm fires, but it has happened. If he is being called in to work, he is needed, and even though he is going voluntarily, if he is a career guy, he is being compensated well for this time.
Guys will almost always act differently in the stations. Yes, it's testosterone, yes it's likely where they feel most comfortable or on the other hand where they feel the need to show off and prove their testosterone levels (no offense guys, I didn't say all). You are not at the hall with him, it should not matter how he acts.
Also, another note about men... don't chase. They don't like it... they like to chase, not be chased. Don't be calling him every day all day, give him his personal time and let him come to you now and then. It's not a game, but it's also not, "hunt down and spend every minute together". Couples that do well, spend time apart and know how to spend time alone! :)
i'll be a little nicer:) i have been around the fire service all my life and grew up with 85% of the men who are still on the fire station with my dad today, plus at one time i was going to be a firefighter, so trust me i know a thing or two about your situation. i have seen it 100 times. first things first. i have to agree, calling and texting alot is not a good idea. it is truthfull that a lot of the times the guys are busy during the day. he may not have time to talk to you. nights, well atleast at my dads station, are usually the time when nothing is going on. if he atleast doesn't call you before he goes to bed he could be a jerk or out on a run. and it is truthfull that they will get in trouble if they are always on the cell or texting.
2nd. the pagers are carried alot 24/7. my dad used to do the same thing before he was full time except for at his old full time job. then the pager would stay at home. if i'm thinking about the right pager you're talking about a fire monitor? let's them know when their station is being called out? if it is a regular pager then it is easier to get called in for overtime, or let people know if they are needed. if it is a fire monitor and they get to make runs on their off time then yeah, half the fun is getting to the station and seeing who can make first truck out. it is an adrenaline rush for them, sometimes more fact then being a public servant is that they get to ride on a big fire truck with lights and sirens and speed, plus may get to see a really awesome fire at that. almost like a little boy and in a toy shop.
3rd. the guys do act differently around wives and girlfriends then they do around the guys at the station. when up at the station they can freely bulls**t around and talk about things they would normally not talk about around women. There is a brotherhood between those men that you may never understand, don't try to. the station is their home away from home. they guys are their families away from their families. and yes too much testosterone. WAY TOO MUCH! some times you just really don't want to know what goes on.
firefighters are kinda like the guys in armed forces. if you ever get a chance pay attention next time there is a parade with the fire trucks in it. all the little boys are mesmerized by the firefighters and their fathers look at the firefighters with respect like they are real big heroes. that is what some guys like about their job, the respect. oh yeah and feeling macho. ne who, i hope i have shed some light on the subject. good luck!
I was married for over 12 yrs to one. its a rough job! Divorce rate is high then top it off with being in the military
sigh. Hang in there. Join some activites you both can do together related to his work
be thankful he is on a paid dept,,,us volunteers carry a pager 24/7 and if it goes off, we respond..i have missed weddings, church, birthday parties, funerals, graduations, ,,,you name it, i have probably missed it,,,so,,,,adjust to being with a public servant or go your own way,,,this will not improve with age, like cheese does
Divorce rates are high in the PD and the FD because some guys dont know when to put family first!! Plan and simple!! I have seen it in my firehouse. Hey Billy...why do I see you in the firehouse everyday?? didnt you have plans to take your wife to vermont for the weekend.....Gee, I Was going to but I might miss a fire!! Come on!! The simple fact is, when I turn my truck on and leave the parking lot of the firehouse, I am done being super fireman and it is time for the real important things.....MY FAMILY!!! When you have a bad shift, week or month....guess who you go home too...your FAMILY!! FAmily has to come first, and if you cant do that, then it might be time look at yourself and re-evaluate what really is important to you. No reason to ever miss a graduation, wedding or funeral. The fire will go out with you or without you, but your family if you miss these events will not forget!! FAmily comes first....ALWAYS!!!
No firefighter is busy everyday from 0800 to 1700 that they cant answer the phone or make a call!! True, we do drill during the day, but not all day everyday!! There are plenty of time during the day to make those calls, like LUNCH TIME!! Piss break, or while in the back o the truck returning from a run. You make time if it is Important to you! In August we had a fire that killed two firemen, the 10 oclock news broadcasted it all over the place, guess who saw everything?? My Son and wife!! He called me 20 times in a half hour, As soon as I could , when things got bake to a bit or normalcy I texted him from the fire to tell him I was ok.....All it took was a second to do. You make the time!!
I am assuming your boyfriend is still in his gung-ho phase, which for some lasts 5, 10, 15 maybe even 20 years. I've been in the fire service for about 5 years and I'm still in my gung-ho phase. I come in off duty when we have big brush fires and when other shifts have house fires/good trauma calls I feel like I missed out on something. Not all firefighters are like that but for some of us it's more than just a career, it's who we are. It's easier for me to say to you, don't worry/suck it up (lol) but he doesn't really see that he's hurting you because being a firefighter is his number one priority from what it sounds. You can ask him not to go but don't be surprised he he goes anyway....it's tough and it sucks at times but in the future he may just change. And don't look at it as though he's choosing the fire over you, because those are two diferent categories! Good luck and be strong
I have been married for 15 years and in the fire service the whole time. You have to sit him down and explain how YOU feel...talk to him and try to set aside one night a week just you and him . No phones and no pagers.
I can tell you I was going to everything before we had kids but that really put things in prospective for me... not saying you should go out and have kids LOL.
Keep your chin up and remember you have the firefighter nation here for support !
If you were looking for answers just from men, then I apologize.
Talk to him.
You can't ask him to get it out of his blood. He wants to be available to help. The thing is - as you well know, you can't schedule a fire to start or for someone to get sick. Where you have shift work and your day stops there, he chooses to be available to help when needed. Eventually, he'll realize some things can be taken care of without him. Dating a firefighter is hard. Not only do they have to make time for their work, voluntarily or not, they have to make time to train, too - for their safety. I can think of countless times I've hurt people because I've either ran late or had to leave early at some special occasion because the pager went off. I too wear a pager 24/7. Unfortunately, I'm not sure he is crossing any line. I think it's just something you have to accept and love him for.
With age comes maturity. I spent 21 years in the military before retiring. I've been on our Volunteer Fire Dept for 11 years. I've been married for 18 years. My wife supports me completely. I know it can be tough. The thing to remember is that it takes a special kind of person to do what we do. Who else do you know would voluntarily go into a burning building. As for asking him not to go when the pager goes off, what would happen if everyone did that, who would respond. I've responded to structure fires with 3 people. It was not a pleasant position to be in. So, you have some thinking to do.