Ok...I am not sure if this discussion has taken place before or not. If so my apologies. But, I was wondering if anyone else has had or currently in a situation where their spouse or Girl Friend/Boy Friend or what ever is not supportive of you being in the Fire Service. If so how are you or how did you handle it.
My wife has tried to support me being a firefighter. I was doing it when we met. The department I was on when we met had some major issues concerning politics and the Chief's "click", which I was not a part of. This made her hate the fire service. I tried to explain to her that this was just one department. Not all are like that. Unfortunately, my current department also fell victim to the politics game in November of last year when our township trustee decided she was going to start exercising her powers. Things have gotten better and then all of a sudden took a turn for the worse a couple of months ago. Now my wife is convinced that all departments are the same BS games no matter where you go. I have lost her support because of this. Now I'm at a crossroads where I don't know what to do.
"Chief's click" I wish that I could say that it was just one departments problem.
Only thing that I can think of is to instill the positive aspects of the Department to your wives/girlfriends, and what you can do as a positive influence for the community and your fellow firefighters. As hard as it, try not to get caught up in their B.S.. Good Luck!
I agree politics are everywhere. Regardless of where you work, live or play. It can be hard to stay above the fray, so to speak. But, when the support is not there from your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend, that is when is becomes hard.
A common situation...BUT... you have to remember your priorities...Always your Family comes first....and yes, I am the first one to run for the door when the whistle sounds...BUT; if it were to come to one or the other then my primary responsibility would have to be my family...I know there are people here who will say otherwise...and I respect them for their right to say what they want...but I truely believe this....I am very fortunate as I have a family that not only supports me but is proud at what I do....who could ask for more....Paul
i dated this girl when i first got in the fire service and she hated me being a firefighter because she got mad when the tones would drop and i would go, or when i was late to see her due to a call. not to mention she hated the fact there were women on my duty shift with me. i handled it simply, we broke up. the fire service is apart of who i am, and she knew this before we got together.
I agree with you justin, I was on a vol. fire dept' when i married my first wife and still am, i explaned to her how it was and she said she could support me. But she never could understand why i was having to leave at all times of the day and night to go on calls. So needless to say she is my EX-Wife. So i say to all try to find some one who will understand but it is a lot harder than you think.
Any activity that takes you away from your spouse is going to cause hard feelings. Some will take it and some wont. My wife was upset that I had to work yesterday. If I was volunteering my time to something, it would have been worse.
My current girlfriend of 2 years, when we first got together, was a flippin nightmare about me taking fire calls.
She got so pissed, I remember, we were going to outback steakhouse in 1/2 hour and we had a strucutre fully involved. I got back and informed her it was the house our friend was buying, I didn't even know that until doing salvage/overhaul. We contained it to 1 1/2 rooms, since then full repairs and recovery, nice house. I let her know about that for a while, caused tension, but she got the point.
Another time, it was Christmas or Thanksgiving Eve, we had a MVA with entrapment. She was again pissed, we were getting ready for dinner at her parents. That time I actually gave in to her, and listened in the car as they paged 3 or 4 times before our rescue was on the road. I said the whole 20 minutes to her parents house "well hope your parents aren't in a bad wreck today, because the people that can help them might give in to their significant others, because they had prior obligations, bet your parents are more important to you than someone elses prior obiligations, huh?" She refused to answer that question.
Bottom line, we have had some knock-out, drag-out fights over it, but in time she started to realize what it meant to me, and my rationale for doing it. She understands finally that it's not a social club or little kid fantasy to me, it's me actually helping real people in real emergencies. Being that I'm a paramedic and she's a ER nurse, I can't believe it took her so long to realize the value of what we (fire) do for the community, but she did finally catch on and now when the tones go off, she may be dissapointed, but not mad, and that has made all the difference. My only advice is to put it to your hubby like I put it to mine, if it's your parents, kids, best friend, etc. trapped in a fire, MVA, etc....do you want no one to come because it's an inconvenience for their hubby? That's what it comes down to, honestly, it's as simple as that. If they can look you straight in the eyes and say they disagree with that, then...you may be with someone that you don't want to be with. Think about it. Rant over.
Think about all of the unproductive time that is spent doing CRAP and you have to fight for the privilege to belong to a fire department?
You have to CONVINCE your spouse/girlfriend/freakazoid that it is worth YOUR time and THEIR support?
First of all, then the problem isn't that you want to be on a fire department.
The problem is that the person that you share your time with is selfish, spoiled, one dimensional, ignorant, dispassionate and domineering.
YOU have to change THAT to have any chance at all of leading a normal life.
Anyone who has even a tacit understanding of what a firefighter does should not need "convincing".
I will always put my family first. In fact they have even went on calls with me. My kids love it and my wife gets to see what it is that we do. She used to be all about it. On hot days she would bring us water, no matter how big or small the call was. Now she says she is done with everything to do with the fire department. It kinda sucks.