So our newsfeed has been taken over with #detroitmutualaid photos the past few days. And there are a couple more to come! Despite all the promotion of this event we realize many people are new fans (or don’t see every single facebook post) and are wondering…..what in the world? This seems really cool but why is Firefighter Wife there? It’s not for our expertise in firefighting equipment and gear. I don’t know the top from the bottom of a halligan and had to be instructed on how to hold it in the photos. In fact, we were told that they’ve never seen a denver tool look so adorable as the fire wives each wielded a tool of their choice.
The main reason we are here is simple:
Fire wives will do everything in our power to make sure every firefighter goes home safe and sound.
If someone is lacking tools to do so, we’re going to get on board and help with the fundraising and coordination of such an event. So off we go promoting DetroitMutualAid.com which raised over $60,000 with t-shirt sales which was then leveraged with partner vendors to bring approximately $150,000 in new gear and equipment to Detroit.
I completely underestimated the emotional impact of delivering some gloves, flashlights, tools and boots to a bunch of firefighters.
Detroit Fire has faced nothing but challenge in their department. We heard these stories as we traveled around. 10% pay cuts this year. Many layoffs over the past few years. Engines that badly need service with no back ups to use in their place. 100+ year old cold, drafty fire houses. Extremely “seasoned” turn out gear hanging off the trucks. And the one simple thing that really got to me…..gloves. Each of the 5 fire houses we visited today were so grateful for the gloves they received. I saw some of them choke back emotion and the most gracious words spill uncontrollably from their mouths. I cried. Not just at the first station but a little at each visit. I cried because of their gratefulness and warm welcome and yes, because they offered us fresh, hot coffee. I know, I’m a girl, but I’ll tell you no one on this tour can deny shedding a few tears.
And having a crew of fire wives add the feminine touch was so well received. We were in neighborhoods where I’m certain the firefighters were not having the neighbors drop off cookies. Probably ever. And to think of the spouses and families of these guys who drive in to work down not so safe streets, use old, worn equipment and fight more fires in a month than some career firefighters see in a year. I don’t really like to focus on the worry factor for fire wives but in this case, I would say they have some pretty dire circumstances to worry about. So we were so glad to share some fire wife love with those families in the fire family care packs which were created.
Are you a fire wife who isn’t “there” yet? I didn’t use to be “all into the fire service”.
Honestly I’m not right now. I don’t wear fire shirts everyday, get tired of talking to my husband about the fire service, and definitely do not have my identity wrapped up in being a fire wife. The #1 reason I enjoy doing Firefighter Wife is because of the mission to strengthen marriages and support women. Not because I’m all eaten up by the fire service. And when you see a need, you must fill a need. In case you need proof, my firefighter told on me on facebook. Yes, I used to give him H-E-double hockey sticks for spending so much time and energy with the fire department. Hearts can change 🙂
Is Detroit the only Fire Department that needs help? Of course not.
They happen to be a victim of a spoiled economy in a city making a good fight to stay alive and is undeniably proud. But there are many other departments in need and this is exactly the mission of the National Firefighters Endowment. To get equipment to the departments that need it. After a natural disaster for example, they have provided much needed aid.
Serving Others Brings People Together
This is not the end. Serving others is a huge part of the vision here at FirefighterWife.com. It’s a vision that doesn’t happen alone but alongside great partners like National Firefighters Endowment, The Fire Critic and Iron Firemen, the Model City Firefighter and so many vendors who step up for the cause.
Strengthening marriages and encouraging fire wives doesn’t just happen on Facebook. It happens when we move our hands and feet together and serve. The vision gives me chills when I think of how powerful nationwide teams of fire wives could be in effecting change in the world. This vision requires a team. Who’s with us?
Day 2 about to commence. Follow along in our Facebook Photo Album here.
Latest posts by Lori Mercer (see all)
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