Alex, will you mind being woken up at all hours of the night to tend to people who might be sick or injured? Would you be willing to run into a burning building to look for and rescue people who you do not know, even if it means you yourself might lose your life and not come home to your own family?
For the past 21 years I have been married to a fire fighter. Yes, the same one…for those of you who might be wondering! During his career my husband has saved lives and helped many people. He has revived heart attack victims. He has pulled toddlers out of swimming pools. He has pried people out of smashed up cars on the roads and freeways. He has delivered babies. He has put out house and structure fires and has worked on the frequent brush fires in CA, helping to save lives and property. My husband is also a certified paramedic, so not only does he sit on the truck and fire engine, but he runs in the RA (rescue ambulance) on his shifts, too. He’s often up all night running medical calls. People call 911 at all hours of the night when they have a pain in their side or a fever or when they have anxiety, or just about anything. Some are medical emergencies; most are not. But still my husband and his crew respond, no matter what time of the day or night it is.
Being a fire fighter is an important job. It’s a very noble profession. I’m so proud of what my husband does for a living.
But when my sons ask me, “Mom…when I grow up, should I be a fire fighter like dad?” I will have to stop and think of how to respond. It’s a dangerous job, and a demanding job. It can be hard on your health, and it can be trying on a marriage. Do I want the fire fighter life style for my sons and their future families?
Andrew, are you willing to work 24 hour shifts, sometimes 3 or 4 days in a row? Depending on how busy your station is, you might not sleep all that much. You might come home exhausted and a bit grouchy, and your wife and kids will have to be understanding about that. You will work on important days such as Christmas, Easter, and your wife and your kids’ birthdays. Your family will have to learn to work around your schedule and celebrate on the days before or after!
A.J., would you be willing to assist people who might have infectious diseases? People who will cough on you, bleed on you, vomit on you, and who might even be angry at you for trying to help them? Will you be ready to block a punch from an irate drunk guy who gets angry at you for trying to keep him calm?
And sweet little Aiden, would you be willing to not come home to your own family if a disaster should hit your area, but instead stay on duty to help all the other people who need assistance? Because all this and more is what fire fighters are committed to. This is what they do. So are you willing to wear that hat? It’s definitely not for everyone, and if you choose other ways to earn a living, I will understand. I might even be relieved. I will be proud of you no matter what you choose.
But if you should choose to follow in your father’s footsteps — if the fire fighter helmet fits — then I will back you 100%. You will make your mama proud. And your dad, too.
Right now the helmet is a bit too big for all of them,
so thankfully they’ve got lots of time to think about it!
Linking up today with Mama and Baby Love