Today I’m going to introduce myself and tell you more about my life as a newish firefighter wife. You ready for this??

Meg FFW Graphic

When Matt made the decision to be a fireman, I fully supported it. He was a little hesitant to make the plunge (he toyed around with the idea for a year or two before deciding to go for it), but when he made that decision he jumped right in. I knew I could either drag my feet and wish for a different life, or plunge in right with him. I decided to dive fully in and be the best fire wife that I could be (although I had no idea what that meant). He took fire science classes and I started researching EMT schools. I encouraged him to go on ride alongs and actually use those contacts that he had. Through that, we re-connect with his old family friends who truly got him in the right place at the right time. His friend taught paramedic classes at a local community college and got him into the EMS and fire classes rather quickly. Once he was signed up for that EMS class, I knew we were going. It has only been three years since that first fire science class, and we have gone full steam ahead.

The biggest change that I have made in those three years is to shift my priorities completely. I used to think I was really independent, but I am so much more so now (but we talked about still needing to connect and prioritize each other last month, it’s a balance, really). I have learned to let him do what he needs to do, and do what I can do to help him out. There are definitely seasons (like fire seasons and off seasons) that require that more than others. When he was in his fire academy, we were in full on survival mode and both going 100 miles an hour to get it all done. But then he graduated and we were able to catch our breath before he started working full time as an EMT.

Matt took an accelerated EMS class over the summer of 2011. He applied for EMT jobs around the county, but those can be hard to get! Who knew? (Actually, who’s kidding, we all know). He went back to work in construction, but kept his head high and continued sending out those applications and trying to get into an academy. A few months later we found out that he would be going to a full time academy in the spring of 2012. Good thing he didn’t have full time EMT job that he needed to quit, right? His academy was rough. It was twelve long weeks for him, especially since he was voted president and took the extra slack that came with that; and for me as I did almost everything around the house and cooked and tried to start a support group with the other wives and girlfriends of the class. That actually did not work out, but I found this website not too long after (thank goodness)! As we drove from the graduation ceremony to dinner, he got the call that he was hired as a paid call firefighter in our county! Yay! So cool how God worked that one out! Then he started working full time as an EMT with a private ambulance company.

Fire Academy Graduation!

Fire Academy Graduation!

That (full time EMT and paid call fire) has been our routine for the last couple of years. He’s been applying for jobs constantly, and putting in the studying, testing, and interviewing hours. It has been  somewhat routine, even if I had to adjust to him working nights (boo!) and barely seeing each other at times (three cheers for that being over)! The routine left Matt with more time at home though, and I got used to having him help out with things. Things are about to gear up though, and those days of him doing laundry are over for the moment!

Speaking of gearing up, last week he was conditionally offered a limited term (three year) full time fire fighter position in our county and I could not be prouder! He started his academy this week, which means we are back into digging our heels in and getting it done. On my end, it is mostly about meal planning and preparation and housekeeping (and there will probably be a lot of ironing and laundry thrown in there). Basically, I want him to only have to think about the Academy. Seeing as I work full time, this isn’t the easiest task, but seeing as we survived twelve weeks before, this four will fly by! [Sidenote: I was talking to a friend today who was a stay at home mom with a four year old, 18 month old, and six week old when her husband went through his twenty week academy. Now that’s digging heels in! And I can see the benefits of ALL of her hard work now, sixteen years later!] I know that someday it will slow down again, as it has been for the last few years, but I’m just not entirely sure when that will be.

Getting his badge and shield as a PCF last October!

Getting his badge and shield as a PCF last October!

Flexibility has probably been the biggest adjustment to the fire life. Being able to change our plans, knowing to expect the unexpected, and of course the dogs will get injured when he’s on shift! Many people say it’s a career (or at least these early years) are full of “hurry up and wait,” which can be true, but sometimes it’s just full speed ahead!! I’ve had to change my style, as I am a planner and an organizer. I like knowing what will happen and when, and I have learned those days are somewhat gone! I put things on the calendar in pencil, knowing it may change or I just may go alone (I wrote a whole post about that independence on my blog). Change is good though, and through this flexibility I am learning that spontaneity can be fun! [Case in point: I just got back from a spontaneous girls trip to Phoenix!]

My goal in these posts (I’ll be here once a month!) is to share my perspective as a newish fire wife with you. I know that it can seem like this whole career path can take forever to achieve, but I also know it’s worth it, and I invite you to join me for the ride. also, I want to challenge and encourage your marriages, be them old or new. And please, let me know what you would like to hear from me in the comments! I think I may share about all the prep work for the Academy next month. How does that sound?

For some more reading

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Megan is a relatively new firewifey in Southern California. She loves the Lord, her (fire)man, coffee & wine! She and her husband, Matt, have two dogs and two cats. She bakes, sews, crochets, & loves to be creative in any way. You can also find her blogging at firewifey.com. Matt is a Limited Term firefighter with our County, applying all over the place for that full time gig.

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