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!?
I cannot speak from the perspective of a paid firefighter. With that said, I have to agree with some of the posts that I have read about the texting/calling and possible disciplinary action (speaking from military experience, again not padi firefighter). I would have to say that waiting for him to call might be the best way to go. I would have to say that even if it isn't his away time, it is still some form of away time and I have to say that away time makes "together time" that much better. Of course I'm not advocating distancing yourselves either. I guess that last portion could pertain to you two not seeing each other that much, again I think it makes seeing the other half that much better when you're afforded the opportunity. Being from a volunteer department, I carry my pager 24/7, I can't say hoping to get called out, but always ready if it happens. I guess that differs from being career and carrying it all the time though. I have to agree with Engineco913 as far as being paged out as opposed to going through a phone number database, that is coming from being a dispatcher and knowing how much of a pain it can be to try to get ahold of the people you need, when you need them, via their phone numbers. Have you sat down and talked with him about this? That would be key, especially when it comes to attempting to compromise the situations that he leaves for a call. Explain to him that you fully support his job, but that certain aspects seem to impede the progress of your relationship. Get his take on your feelings regarding this topic and talk it out. As far as guys acting like guys at the station, that's how a lot of guys are when they are around other guys in general, especially ones that they're friends with. It probably isn't on purpose and he probably doesn't even notice the difference. I hope this helps you two out.
Many say being a fire fighter is a straining job however even if you are getting paid ask any fire fighter it's not a job. It's a calling. When you first join a station you are a probe for more than a reasoning that you don't know anything you are a probe so you can earn the trust of those who have been there you are a probe so they can feel you out along with learning equipment and other things. When you finally get out of this probe stage your not accepted as a fire fighter your accepted as a brother not only are you trusting your life with them but they are trusting there lives with you. Fire fighters have closer bonds than many families (with good reason) I am volunteer and I carry a pager 24/7 hoping for a call not to get away from my family but to go do some good to go help someone. I have had to leave at very difficult times and that is something that you must be understanding about. Texting and calling is a different thing at work the question would be is if he's not at work is he with you? when he's not with you is he texting or calling you and if you have answered yes to any of these questions then there is no problem. However if he's not doing his part to contact you or see you (WHEN HE IS NOT AT WORK) then that is a completely different problem. What goes on at the departments is actually many different things however every day is a learning expierence I am a probe and I have recently taught my chief something which means that you are always learning so time there is not only time with our "brothers" but it's also time to further our edcuation there is a quote that says never trust a fire fighter who doesn't need to learn.
Good Morning Steph,
So here's my 2 cents on the matter......sounds like both of you may need to do a little compromise. While my husband is not a Fire Figher or in EMS (I'm the EMT in the family), I've been around enough Fire Houses to know the drill. First off most folks at work can't take constant calls and texts, your at work, you got work to do. And when you work at a fast paced place such as a Fire House it can make even a few personal calls hard to do sometimes, you being in EMS should understand this. It sounds like he was a Fire Fighter when you met him, don't try to change him it's not fair and won't happen....turn the situation around how would you feel if he wanted you to change what you loved doing just because he couldn't call and text you all the time? Most Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Police Officers, Military Personal get into that line of business not only because they have a calling but most tend to be adrenaline junkies which may explain why he likes the strike team so much. Most people act a bit differently at work, because you have to be professional....it's not the place where family and friends can constantly drop by and visit and it's not kissy, kissy, huggy, huggy time.
Ok that being said, there has to be compromise in all relationships....he needs to understand that he needs to have times for just the two of you and when he can find a few extra minutes during the day make a quick call to say "Hi". Maybe you need to back off a bit and let him come to you, you don't want to come off as needy or pushy. I've been married 25 years now and sometimes it's the little things that count, when I pack him a lunch I put a little note in it telling him I Love him, to have a nice day and then I will add that I'm looking forward to an upcoming date/event that we are going to. Or I will occasionally call him when I know he won't be there to answer his phone just so that I can leave him a message to tell him that I Love him and to have a great day. Granted he does the same things for me, we are there to help each other out. Learn when to be there for him and learn when to back off. You want him to be excited for your time together and to look forward to seeing you and to look forward to calling you when he can. What you don't want him to start feeling is dread because you are becoming to clingy and needy. Buck up, put on your big girl pants and realize that you both have lives to lead at work and that you can regroup and have personal time at home or on dates.....your both important and what you both do for work is important. The trick is learning how to balance both. Good Luck.