So B is a firefighter. He has been for the entire time I’ve known him and he’s approaching 5 years since he was hired. I met him just after he completed his rookie year, which I guess was perfect timing for me as the rookie year is the hardest year. I get many questions on what his schedule, if I worry about him, and how it is now living with him and I thought it would be a fun and interesting post to some. So here goes what my experience of being a firefighter’s wife is like, thus far, one year in. I know everyone has their personal opinion on first responders, but I’m speaking only about my husband, how I know he would act and what he does.
First off, his “normal” schedule is constantly changing. All shifts he works are 24 hours, that never changes but the days are constantly changing. Say his shift starts on a Monday. He will leave for work Monday at 5:25 am. He will come home Tuesday between 8 am and 9 am. He will be off all day Tuesday. He leaves for work again Wednesday at 5:25 am. He returns home Thursday between 8 and 9 am. He is off all day Thursday. Friday he will return to work, leaving the house at 5:25 am. He will come home on Saturday between 8 and 9 am, and will have Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday off. Therefore, goes back to work on Wednesday. Does that make sense? So it’s 3 days ‘on’, 4 days ‘off’, though the ‘on’ days are not consecutive. It takes some time getting used to it and if he picked up a ‘SOD’ day, ( Scheduled Off Day, or so I’ve made up that’s what it stands for) then the whole calendar in my mind is a mess. I really never know when he is working, so I have a trusty little calendar that I keep in my purse and check all the time. It doesn’t matter when it comes to holidays, it just stays on the revolving calendar. It is nice though because I know his schedule for the entire year for the next year! Also, it makes planning hard if he picks up extra days, especially for dinner planning.
Another question I get all the time is if I am worried when he’s at work. Most of the time this is in reference to if I’m worried about him getting hurt, dying, all those very sad thoughts. I actually don’t worry about this as much as I imagined I would. I really never even think about it. It’s just like I think about what if I got hit by a car running? Or what if there was an earthquake? Honestly, I know he would do anything and everything to save someone. He just is that kind of person, he is the most caring guy, and I guess if I had to talk about if something were to happen when he was working, I know it would be when he was trying to help someone, and that gives me peace. People ask me if I’m scared being home alone a lot. I’m not. I have George and I feel safe. Every now and then the ice machine makes a crazy noise and I flinch or when those little rascals come to the front door and ring the doorbell trying to sell me newspapers it freaks me out. But most of the time, I feel totally safe and fine.
So that leads me to being alone. A lot. I am a very independent person as I thrive on alone time, so this actually helps our relationship a lot. This is the time when I run, go to the gym, bake random stuff off Pinterest, meet with girlfriends for dinner, watch Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms. Which is great. It gives me time to clean the house, get all I wanted to get done, done. But I know not everyone can function like that. I do miss him when he’s gone. Three days and more is when it starts to get hard and I really start to miss him. The longest he’s been gone is 5 days, but if there was a forest fire, and he was deployed he can be gone for up to two weeks and I wouldn’t be able to communicate with him. I think I just get bored and I want to hang out with him and talk. When he’s at work we text a few times a day, if he is not training. If he’s training he usually is unreachable. We talk before he goes to bed at 10 pm at night for about 2-5 minutes. He just is different at work. He focuses there and doesn’t think much about home stuff, and I don’t want to distract him. If he’s been gone for three days, by the third day, I usually am very excited to see him and he usually is exhausted. So that is always interesting to get back into the swing of things.
When he is gone for a long time it’s weird when he comes back! It’s almost like, “Oh, hey, your here again?” A very weird dynamic but it’s all pretty interesting and we always can get it back on track.
One of my favorite things about the job he had is the STORIES! Usually his stories are people calling for really lame things. Nosebleeds, stomach aches, stubbed toes, headaches, I know I can’t believe people call 911 for those, BUT every now and then there are these crazy stories that are hilarious and let me tell you, I LOVE those stories. They are the BEST and I make him tell them over and over and over and over. They are rare but a true delight when they come up.
Another thing he’s pretty darn awesome at is cooking. He is an amazing cook because the guys at the firehouse are such hammers about food. Everything has to be made at the station, because if your job of the day is to cook, then you better make a darn good meal. I would be crushed if I had to cook there. The only thing about when he cooks at home is he cooks A LOT of food. I think because when he cooks at the station he has to make more than enough for 16 people. 16 grown guys who eat a lot. They all ALWAYS make such a big deal about cooking. He also works at one of the busiest stations in LA, and has 16 guys on a shift. Most stations I think have 6-8 guys on a shift. They all rotate between the 800 (ambulance) and engine and truck. Except if you are a captain or engineer or AO. Then you don’t have to run the 800.
On bad nights he will be up nonstop, some nights he gets to sleep through the night. It all depends on what he is on during his rotation, the 800 usually gets a lot of runs.
It makes me so proud to be married to him because I know he works so hard.
If you have any questions about anything, let me know and if I have some questions I will answer them in another post :)