As I was talking to my dad tonight on FaceTime and a funny subject briefly made its entrance and as fast was over. It got me thinking a little about how common this probably is and not just with fire wives but couples who have a demanding job. But I will stick to my side of being the fire wife and speak for myself cause I am sure there are many feelings that are stirred when people ask these questions.
My dad is a pastor and was recently at a funeral and was asked where his wife was. By his facial expression and tone I knew and recognized the feeling of he didn’t feel like explaining himself and why his wife was working and not able to make it. I laughed when he said this and said, “oh I know how that goes all too well.” We both kind of laughed and continued on with our conversation.
But it is so true. Any time my husband is not with me and I go somewhere and run into someone I get the “Is Josh working?” And if it’s during the summer months it will be followed by “What fire is he on?” These questions don’t really annoy me or anything because the fact that someone cares enough to ask I figure is a good thing. But recently I did a little informative on my Facebook because there is a third question that my husband and I both get on occasion that depending on how it is asked could rub me the wrong way. If my answers to the first two questions are “yes, he is working and he isn’t on a fire.” Then I get a funny look and a follow-up question of “why is he at the station and not on the fires?” To answer this on here I will repost what I wrote on Facebook…
“…Here is the answer in case any of you are wondering the same.
Cal Fire does not only respond to wildfires. They are first responders too. Medical aids, vehicle accidents, structure fires and yes wildfires local or not. All hours of the day/night. When a person calls 911 they are usually first on scene. Stations need to be staffed in order to help those who may encounter any of the above mentioned.
My husband’s normal shift is a straight 72hours. He stays at the station always ready to respond to a call at any hour. But with all the wildfires he can be covering stations for much longer than his 72 hour shift and can still be called out to staff the wildfires…Just because they are at a station does not mean they aren’t working. I wanted to clarify and hopefully shed some light on why there are firefighters at the station and not on wildfires.”
As frustrating or annoying as it may because we as fire wives deal with a lot of different things and emotions. Sometimes I will avoid social situation to avoid these questions altogether. I also feel like there should be a moment for education and helping others gain understanding. This may baffle some that people actually ask this but for others who do not live and breathe the fire life it could be new information. So, I usually keep my thoughts to myself and take the time to explain. I have learned that when someone is given the opportunity to learn and gain some knowledge on a subject the result than is that subject becomes less confusing, there’s less judgement and a new perspective. Knowledge is power my friends. Wherever your firefighter may be tonight, I pray they are safe and they get to come home soon. And if they are soak that time up and enjoy them.
(Fire Station visits)