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Firefighters dating firefighters

I am in the pursuit of a full time firefighter position and am very near achieving my goal. However my girlfriend is also in that same pursuit, though she is many miles behind me on the road to the badge I see a potential problem. When we both finally reach our goal things will be great if we can get on the same shift (assuming the two departments have the same shifts), however, if they don't or if we have kids then working it out to make sure we have our time together and that there is someone with the kids at all times will be a scheduling nightmare. Are any of you firefighters married to firefighters? With kids? I am crazy about this girl and don't want to lose her, I wont give up my career goal and I could not ask her to give it up either. How do you get through this dilemma? Please give me your input.


I am crazy about this girl and don't want to lose her, I won't give up my career goal and I could not ask her to give it up either.

Alex: Thinking this throught waaaaaaay down the road and keeping both feet firmly rooted in reality.......

If worse comes to worse, are you willing to give her up for a fire service career? Would a fire service career mean more to you than spending your life with the woman you love? (You do love her, right?)
Have you painted yourself into the proverbial corner where there will be heartbreak one way or the other here?
You say you don't want to lose her but would your actions indicate that it's the fire job over her? I know you desire to have her as your mate AND have a fire job. Just keep in mind the "push-comes-to-shove" phrase as you may not wind up having it both ways. Are you ready for that?
How about you both get hired, and then consider making a life together. Meditate on this.

Best wishes
This message was edited by tomdeltazulu on 7-13-05 @ 8:39 PM

With everything that tomdeltazulu just said in mind i'll throw in my .02. I started dating my wife who is a firefighter in 1998. My wife has this fire thing in her blood, sometimes I think more then myself. In the summer of 2000 my wife worked a season with CDF, after the season we got married and became pregnant. I went onto paramedic school and am now pursuing the dream of firefighter. My wife misses the fire service like you wouldn't belive. We talk a lot about her going back to CDF when both of our children are older.

I guess what I am saying is...try not to put the cart in front of the horse and enjoy the time you both have together now without worrying so much about what might happen in the future. It is funny how life works itself out when given the proper amount of time. I love my wife more then any words can express and look foward to the day that she is chasing fire uphill agian.

There are many fire jobs that do not have the 24 hour 1 on 1 off shift. Many land management agencies such as the US Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service etc work a 40 hour week, usually 5 8's or 4 10's. Also many city or county parks and recreation agencies have jobs with fire and ems duties and work similar shifts. While most industrial fire departments spend more time doing inspections than responding to emergencies there are some that have full fledged fire departments, Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA is one like this that actually responds with the city of Richmond FD on a regular basis.

There are also many departments that have inspection jobs, some of these positions include some fire response, particularly in smaller departments where staffing is hard to come by.

Finally there is the volunteer angle, for some being a volunteer with the local department can satisfy the firefighting bug while they persue a more practical vocation (firefighting really is a terrible job, too bad its so addictive).

Basically it sounds like you need to set some priorities, also don't discount the fact your GF could end up with a job first and you could be the one looking for an alternate, it wouldn't be the first time I've heard of that occuring.

To give you some hope I know of several firefighting couples, some where one spouse has left the fire service and others where both still work. My wife was in fire when we met, she maintains her connection to the fire service by taking classes when possible and volunteering with the local VFD until our child is old enough to allow 2 working spouses, what happens then we will see.

Good luck and if you both work on the options it is quite possible you can make this work.

My fiance, "Joe", and I have been together for 5-1/2 years. He is now a full-time firefighter and I just got hired as one.

I have been in the fire service for 4-1/2 years as a "part-timer" and got my fiance interested in firefighting as well. We both worked together as "part-timers" for about 2 years and to my suprise and excitement he got picked up (before me) recently with a great department. Now that I will also be working as one, we came to the thought of what our schedules will be like the first year. Sure, it might be tough for awhile, but come on. You sound like you want to spend the rest of your life with this girl, so a couple of years of scheduling differences won't be so bad, since BOTH of you will be doing what you want to do. As far as kids, I mean, worry about it until it comes to that point. On two FF salaries, I'm sure you could afford a nanny to help out while you both work. Don't worry so much. Just keep working towards your goal and continue to support your girlfriend in working towards her goal as well. It'll all work out in the end! Good Luck! ;)

There is of course the other side of the fence, and the worst of a worst-case scenario.[url=]South Carolina Firefighter is Fired City's Anti-Nepotism Policy Has Been Enforced[/url]
To make a dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence -- a faith in that dream."
--Hans Selgr, M. D.

This is an interesting dilemma. Personally I wouldn?t want to date a firefighter, paramedic or nurse. All pretty much have the same personality traits. That?s why we are drawn to this type of work.
Let me explain. As a firefighter in a metropolitan area, I see the worst of the worst. It?s hard not to become jaded.
My wife has nothing to do with the fire service. She is a physical therapist. One of things I like best is that she spends her days helping people and there isn?t much negativity in her life. As many of you know, the fire station life can become pretty competitive and intense. When I get off a 72 I am riled up from the fire station bantering and the fending for myself at the kitchen table.
I cannot imagine my wife being involved in the same competitive environment. There would rarely be a time that we could both let our guard down.
When I come home and am all wound up after a shift in the fire station she brings me back to reality. I appreciate that. My home life and my fire department lives are completely different. At home I am tossing the softball with my daughter or watching her makeshift skits with the neighborhood kids. At work I am in the mix of a big city fire department.
It?s nice to come home and leave the fire service at work in my locker. I don?t generally wear FD t-shirts. I have one small union FF sticker on the window of my truck. I don?t listen to a scanner and I don?t pay attention to the local fire department?s responses.
I really like having two separate worlds.
Lastly, I would not like having my wife exposed to the toxic chemicals firefighters encounter on a regular basis. Yes, we wear our breathing apparatus and full turnouts but the chemicals are still absorbed through the skin. I would be really concerned if my wife were a firefighter and we were trying to have children.
Maybe I am just too concerned. I have a brother who is an engineer for LA County. I worry about him too.

Paul Lepore, Battalion Chief
Author of:
"Smoke Your Firefighter Interview"
"The Aspiring Firefighter's 2-Year Plan
Think outside of the box!
800 215-9555
This message was edited by Paul on 8-5-05 @ 1:36 PM

I heard my wife tell someone at a party today " I love when he's home, but I also love when he's gone." Unless you live in a fantasy world, noone is compatible 24/7 365 a year...NOONE. If you say different, you are a liar. With station life comes banter, anger, ridiculing, joke playing etc. etc. I could not see my wife involed in that stuff, let alone me being in the same room. Honestly, how awkward would it be for your crew to play an honest, yet cruel joke (common in the firehouse) on your wife?!?!? I don't know about you, but I would be going toe to toe with someone. I knew a couple that did so and they were cheating on each other within the year.
There is no CRYING in firefighting!!!!

I completely disagree with you and Chief Lepore! But you both are entitled to your opinion! :)

-a girl ff engaged to a boy ff

Good Luck. Hopefully it works out. I speak from experience with 4 couples. All divorced and or adultery committed.
There is no CRYING in firefighting!!!!