5 Things You Should Know About the Firehouse from Firefighter Husband

by | Everyday, Fire Family Life

“This post brought to you courtesy of Firefighter Husband (with some collaboration from some of the guys on his crew. Don’t say anything to them but I think they actually like the opportunity to have a platform to speak to all us fire wives *wink wink*) 
 The firehouse is a lot of things. Shelter, entertainment, solace. I call it a firehouse because to me that’s what I like to think of it as, a house. Yes it’s a “department” and a “station” but for me it’s a house. My house and some of the most important people in my life’s house every third day. We eat there, sleep there, and share our time together there in the best way we know how.

I know, I know, you’re thinking “really?” “Come on nostalgic relic of the past fireman, it’s just where you go to work, don’t go getting all mushy on us.”

Well to that I say perhaps you have the wrong idea. I know it’s not my home. I’m blessed beyond belief with a warm dry home that I share with my wife and the 4 ruggers we try and keep fed. I’m calling it a “house” in the sense that many things happen there that happen in every other home in America.

Laughter is shared, stories are told, opinions get expressed and arguments happen. After years and years of these and other relational and team building things transpiring, you can’t help but to build a cache of good memories about the place.  A lot like all the great memories you share with your family concerning the home you raise your family in.

Here are 5 random things I’d like you to know about this place we call the firehouse:

1. Him enjoying the place does not mean he wants anything like it at home.

2. Anyone else besides the people who live there probably (really) should keep their opinions as to the décor to themselves.

3. While he’s here it may look relaxing and enjoyable, but the entire time he is here he carries the responsibility and awareness that at any moment things could demand of him an extremely heavy burden. This never really gets conveyed but everybody there on duty knows it. Proof of this lies in the extremely different feeling most of us feel after role call on our off going morning when you’re “at” the firehouse, but not under the obligation to respond if and when the tones drop. I can’t tell you the number of guys who comment openly about what a good feeling it is to enjoy a cup of coffee there at the station in the morning knowing that the responsibility you just bore for 24 hours is off your shoulders.

4. The “kids” here can be more difficult and complicated to deal with than the kids at home at times.

5. He doesn’t get to pick who he works with. Whether you “like” this guy or that guy is important to him, but he’s got to try and forge a dependability based relationship with each and every guy on his crew at a minimum.

There you have it.  How does your list differ from Firefighter Husbands?

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On a mission to be and inspire us all to be better humans, to strengthen fire families & marriages, to nurture and encourage fire wives, do "good business" in all areas of my life and of course, love on my 4 kids.

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  1. The Fire Critic

    Decent list.

    I look forward to more insight from your husband and other firefighter wives husbands in the future.

    Keep up the great work!

    Oh, and next year, plan the FlameFest on a date that I can go. I would love to be there! It looks like you all had a blast.

    Look at the NFFF Memorial Weekend. See if you and your husband can make it. I think that it would be very insightful for you to attend. I will be happy to show you around and maybe even put you to work.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Wayne M. Paul

    You are so right with the concept of it is a house to us but certainly not a home. The family type resemblance is something we tried for years to get the city to understand. They have never understood why traditional management techniques do not work in our environment. The Lt. and the Capt. are the designated adults (even though we could be just as big if not bigger kids) and we had 9 kids to deal with at work which can be as much of a challenge if not more than our kids at home.

    Lt. Wayne M. Paul Ret.
    3 Unit
    Whitehall Division of Fire

  3. Heather Isaacs

    Great post…thanks Dan. My husband also refers to it as a Firehouse…and that is exactly what it is…his house every third day. And just because he may go there and feel at home…I know he is always thinking of us.

  4. Jessica Kemppainen

    Lol, Jake thought #4 hit the nail right on the head

  5. Rachell Reilly

    The general public has no idea what a firefighter’s life is like, home or firehouse. Everyone always gasps when I tell them that my husband is on shift for 48 hours straight–he doesn’t come home at night like banker’s hours–“does he sleep?!! Eat?” I laugh and say “sometimes!” It is a house; they have everything a house does: beds, kitchens, bathrooms, showers. Whether they get to sleep in those beds, because of calls and fires, is another story.
    I always like to tell people that firefighters are big boys with bigger toys. And that firefighters gossip worse than women at church. And it really is a brotherhood–they spend a third of their lives there at the firehouse and depend on each other.


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