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6 ways to stay connected with your first responder while they are on shift by two firefighter wives.

First Responder couples know that it can be really hard to stay connected during shift days. We know all too well that being in a relationship with a firefighter comes with a unique set of challenges, so we decided to put together 6 of our best tips for staying connected while your first responder is on shift. Ok, here it goes:

1. Tell Him All The Things And when we say “all the things”, we mean ALL THE THINGS. We don’t know when it became commonplace to pretend like life doesn’t happen when they’re gone, but this is one piece of advice I see thrown around all the time that we strongly disagree with. Yes, his job is hard and exhausting. Yes, he needs to be able to concentrate on what’s happening at work, but he is your partner, he deserves to know that your life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns while he is gone.

Now, we’re not saying to burden him with a bunch of negativity. There are ways for you to vent without making him feel bad for not being there. Let him know you don’t want him to fix anything, but you need him to listen and know what you are going through. By opening up the communication between you, you’re better able to understand each other when one of you is grumpy or snippy. It will be a process, and it won’t be perfect, but you will be closer when you are able to talk about EVERYTHING in your relationship, without feeling guilty because he is on shift. 2. Play “Get to Know You” Games

One of my favorite games to play when it feels like we’re going through the motions and don’t have much to talk about is This or That. It may seem silly, but it’s a great way to get the conversation rolling whether you are speaking on the phone or just texting back and forth. You may think you know all the answers, but sometimes they'll surprise you and you can use that opportunity to ask follow up questions.

3. Stash Love Notes in His Bag

Something fun that will give him a little boost is to stash little love notes in his bag, wallet, or pockets. Stick them where he will randomly find them throughout his shift as a little reminder that you’re thinking about him. Keep them short and sweet, a random ‘I love you’, ‘you’re hot’ and ‘I like the way your butt looks in those pants’ can go a long way. Whether it’s on random sticky notes you have in your house or dedicated cards like these Tiny Love Cards . They’re sure to bring a smile to his face. 4. “Open When” Cards

Take the love notes a step further and create some “Open When” cards. I like to send my firefighter off with a handful of Open When cards and replenish them as needed.


You can use these as a place to offer encouragement and let him know how much he means to you. Some ideas for your “Open When” Cards:

Open When:

  • You Miss Me

  • You’ve Had a Rough Call

  • You’re Homesick

  • Your Happy

  • You’ve Been Up all Night

The options are endless and can be catered to your unique situation. 5. Send Him a morning text message to say “I love you” When they are away on shift, it can be hard to communicate, without making it about the mundane everyday things. Make an effort to send at least one text every day that tells him how much you appreciate and love him. Even if you know he won’t/can’t respond, at least he is getting a daily affirmation of your love for him. Some examples could include:

“The day we met, was one best day on a long list of the best days of my life I get to spend with you!”

“Even though I miss you when you’re away, I appreciate that you work hard to take care of us.”

“You are so darn easy to love. How did I get so lucky?”

“You are my knight in dirty turnouts (or wildland gear).”

“I had the biggest smile on my face when I thought of the time we _________ together.” 6. Schedule a Timeout Together This may sound contrived. Or maybe even a little awkward, but some of the longest relationships that I have known, the couple scheduled date nights every week. Now before you go saying something like “ but when fire season hits, he doesn’t have regular days off” or “what if he gets forced overtime,” or “there isn’t time in our schedule.''


We’re not talking about a date that goes on for hours. We’re talking about a time every week that you set aside to reconnect as a couple, and trust, a phone date counts!

If you don’t schedule your time, someone else will. Block out a few minutes each week for the two of you to sit down and chat, heck, if you get to do it over a nice meal or glass of wine, great, if not, pick up that smart phone and skype or facetime. I mean, how else are you supposed to tell him “all the things” right? Okay couples, now we want to hear your best tips for staying connected in your relationship! Hit us up in the comments with all your best advice!

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Being a firefighter wife isn’t easy. There is so much more to it than sexy abs and biceps. There's more to the story than being attracted to "the uniform". Gahhhh if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me about his sexiness in his uniform, I'd be rich! My hope is that this blog post will dispel some of the fantasies that people have about dating or being married to a firefighter. A firefighter wife understands that being his wife, means making a choice to stay strong, be selfless, and that the needs of the many outweigh her own. It's knowing that even though they are well trained, things can and will go sideways. It's understanding that he may walk out that door one day and never return.

She understands that the needs of the many outweigh her own

The firefighter wife who has children listens to them ask when their daddy is coming home. She is constantly trying to balance being a single parent for what seems like months on end. Loving a firefighter means being willing to be his soft spot to land when he and his brothers have answered a tough call. When his world is crumbling around him, she is his rock and fortress.

A firefighter’s wife masks her worry, puts on a brave face, and reassures the public that everything is going to be okay. She stands strong when everything around her is crumbling. She holds the line at home so that he can focus on staying safe and doing his job.

She trusts that there is a higher power out there that is bigger than all of it. She believes that "no news is good news" and that her firefighter will come home safe.


What is a firefighter’s wife you ask? Well, she’s one bad ass chick who has the strength and courage to hold the line until her husband comes home safe. That’s who she is.


Do you love a firefighter? Tell us how you see yourself as their significant other in the comments!



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So ya'll know my hubby is employed by a City, not Cal Fire or US Forestry. When the city firefighters are sent out of county or commonly referred to as a Strike Team, they not only have to bring their own fire trucks, they bring their own gear, supplies AND their stuff from home. Strike teams can last from 7-21 days depending on your department. This means that firefighters need to have a few days worth of supplies in order to sustain themselves until they can get to base camp. Often times fires are in areas where there isn't a CVS close by to grab a forgotten toothbrush and if they are assigned, they can't leave their post. It's important to have a well packed out of county bag to help get through the day.

Keep in mind the bags can't be huge. There's usually 4 guys per crew and they all need their stuff to fit in the engine along with necessary fire fighting equipment.


D and I had the chance to go through his out of county bags the other day and review essentials and extras for newbies or ideas for the seasoned firefighters out there. I found some odd substances from 2016 so it was helpful to be able to throw out expired items and replenish needed supplies.


The basics:

Uniform, socks, shoes, underwear, turnouts, hiking boots, bandanas, extra shoe laces, hats, t shirts, a sleeping bag, a pillow, a portable cot.


Toiletries:

toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, lotion, baby wipes (cuz you can't shower), TP- because well there's not always enough, and sometimes you gotta dig a hole.


Special items:

This is his favorite part.

A few years ago he bought a jet boil so that he can have hot coffee in the mornings. Found some awesome single serve instant coffee bags from TJs. A travel mug,


Snackies:

Granola bars

Energy bars

uncrustables (a firefighter favorite)


Check out pictures and a little video we made on my IG feed @eastbayfirewife

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