Things To Know Before Dating A Firefighter


1. If they are even within 20 minutes of the station, they will always leave you to go on a call.  No matter the circumstances, if you have a fireman on your hands, he will jet to the car and be on his way.

2. Meeting nights are not something you try and fight with them about. They are going to leave and you do not have to like it because it wasn't up to you anyway.
I have learned that these nights are not optional. Yes other people miss them, but not my firefighter.

3. No matter where you are or what you're doing the minute they hear a firetrucks horn, they're looking for it and hoping they're not missing anything good.
You will learn the lingo. Structures, fully involved (the good stuff) smoke alarms, cat in a tree (ehh I mean they are fireman soooo still good stuff).

4. They know the exact difference between an ambulance, cop, and, of course, a fire truck siren.  Which means that you will have to learn, too.

5. You’ll have to accept that when he has to do hall rental cleanup, you're going with to help.
You fold the chairs and he stacks them:) And I'm talking at like 12 a.m.,1 a.m.

6. When you come around the firehouse, there will be jokes made and they'll mess with him about you or even you about him.
Honestly it's a giant bromance going on and they prey on this kinda stuff.

7. At first, you won't really have a name to the fire guys. Until you're around long enough. You'll just be Boyfriend's name girlfriend.

8. The fire pager goes where he goes.  Next to the bed, in the car, next to your bed, your living room, EVERYWHERE. And even if it's not the real pager, it's the dog app that I can never remember the name of so dog app it is. (Say that really fast to get the full effect).

9. They will probably wear their station shirt / apparel at least 4-5 days a week.

10. If you've got a good one, you're always put first. The list will always go "You, the firehouse, me, everyone else."
But secretly they always want to put the firehouse first.

11. You will learn and know more stations, trucks, members, and chiefs than you will ever want to admit.  Unbelievably true.

12. When you're driving and you see a fire station, you'll have to look at it.
If its an amazing building, you'll have to remember the name. And then you'll have to tell him about it. And then you've just proved number 11 correct. Add it to your list.

13. Never make plans while he's on a call. You can never know when he'll be back.
Even if the calls are short, they could stay at least another hour washing the trucks and being boys, of course.

14. In case you didn't understand the severity of the first one, if you are on the phone and you hear the pager go off in the background, just tell him you love him and hang up.  Because if you don't, he will. "Got a call, Love you, bye." Mid-sentence is always what you want to hear.

15. You'll never want to watch "Ladder 49" again.
You will cry like a baby and then want to make him quit.

16. Outside of the stations, fireman tend to forget that fire isn't a toy and it's pretty damn hot.  Playing with the lighter fluid or burning things on the stove*
"No it's alright, I'm a firefighter."

17. You will start your own station shirt collection.  From NYFD memorial shirts, a station from where you're vacationing, even acquired old shirts of his, you will have started your own pile of station shirts.

18. You can't get angry or upset when he is unavailable because he's going to go to the firehouse for the fifth time that week, or if there's another fire prevention thing to do.
You can't be mad because he's doing what he loves and also because a man in a uniform isn't too shabby?

There are a lot more things to know before dating a fireman, but the rest you'll just have to learn along the way :)

By Logan MacIntosh

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  • Zeeks - May 20, 2016

    This is completely accurate! My husband has been a volunteer for 31 years & career for 12. They’re like family. And most of mine & his family are firefighters. We live it every day. I’m so proud of what he does & the lives he’s saved! So ladies getting through the tough dating years are totally worth it! He works another job as well, often 10 long, hard hr days, so he doesn’t have time for the volunteer much any more:( but it’s in his blood. We (family) learn can identify different tones of the other depts, know dual tones are never good, smells of different fires & most importantly that we might very well be going places without him & that’s OK. You learn to understand & be proud, instead of frustrated, when they come home with an amazing of story of how they stayed right with a young girl who was trapped in her unrecognizable car, smelling of gasoline, talking to her while she was being extricated & then flown.

  • Kayla - May 15, 2016

    So I recently tagged my boyfriend in this and as I reread it I began to have a heavy heart thinking of my cousin. It’s not easy being a parent of, family member of, a girlfriend of, a wife of, or even a friend of a firefighter and I know this because my cousin was a firefighter and died shorty after getting injured on duty as well as my boyfriend and and his father are volunteers at a fire station in West Virginia.

    My boyfriend plans to make a career out of it and become a firefighter paramedic. It’s a scary and time consuming lifestyle and it takes a strong, patient, selfless, understanding individual to love a firefighter whether he or she is a full time or even volunteer firefighter. I have been with my boyfriend for almost four months but have known him and been his best friend for almost 3 in August. I think that having a cousin who served as a firefighter helped me be more understanding and patient with his dream. I fear for him everyday but never go to bed mad at him, always try to solve a fight/ argument before he goes to drill, Fire 1 or a call because I never know what is going to happen to him. I always try to be there for him supporting him and loving him as much as I possibly can. I know some of you are thinking she’s really being dramatic about it or making it sader than it is and I’m sorry if it may come off that way but having my cousin Harold (Lord rest his soul) be a Lieutenant for East Bank Fire Department in West Virginia and being as close to him as possible but not getting to see him so much because he was saving lives, the amount of distance we live apart, and my parents working their rear ins off to provide for their pride and joys’ makes it harder to see him and have the relationship that you would have like to have with him but he knows that he means the world to you and that you love him and you don’t want to lose the man you love the same way he went out of the world.

    I have secretly been in love with this boy for almost three years and I never thought that I would ever feel this way about anyone at 18 and want to marry them the summer after high school but life will bring some of the most unexpected surprises and disasters in life and my boyfriend Bradley happens to be one of my greatest blessings. I could not ask for a better man to love and spend my life with and grow old and senile with. I am so proud of what all he has accomplished just so far. I just hope that my older cousin who was 50 years old and a 2nd Lieutenant for 18 years is watching over for me and my boyfriend’s mom (Who I call mom too) sake and keeping our boys safe.

    I love you and I miss you Harold everyday and I hope you’re flying high, all healed and kicking a** in heaven fighting fires and doing what you love.

  • Firefighter wife - May 08, 2016

    My husband has been a volunteer firefighter for seven years now I decided 5 years ago instead of waiting for him to come home I would join him!I love every minute of it now there is time that the tones drop and the dinner just coming out of the oven you just need to learn how to adjust there is nothing like a cold dinner after you just worked a fire or a car fire it don’t matter it will taste so good!My two sons now go on calls it’s a family thing! Love helping others!

  • Jane - May 03, 2016

    You all talk about dating a firefighter. Well I’m here to tell you I am a firefighters daughter, niece and mom. This applies when I was a child and I lived at home with my dad and uncle. To today’s time of three boys one a chief and my daughter who is a jr. All these rules apply no matter if you are dating married or you are related. I love every minute of being in their lives even when they are in the shower and then there’s s call and they leave the water running water on the floor as they run out. To everyone and j do mean everyone leaves the table because there is a fire. They are putting it out and I’m there with the auxiliary handing out the water towels and coffee. So yes there are more rules but not just to dating. Love them understand them and always be there and there to listen.

  • Karen Kresge - April 29, 2016

    So true! You also learn the difference between types of fires (the different smells), end up helping people everywhere you go (cardiac arrest in Walmart, MVA on the Interstate and no one is there to help yet, etc). You also hardly know anyone at the fire station’s real name because they go by last names or nicknames. Even after years, you are still sometimes referred to as “So-And-So’s woman.” You take pictures at events. You help with set-up and tear down. You wash trucks in the summer. If the pager goes off, everyone in the house must be silent immediately, until the dispatch is over. If we go to another county to do stuff, chances are that the county’s system is pulled up on his app. For me, the worst part is actually that he gets to run out the door to calls and I no longer can (because I became a firefighter after ending up at the fire station from 10p-3a everytime we tried to go out together for the evening. I ended up loving it, but I’m on medical leave now. Having a firefighter in your life takes adaptation, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. He loves what he does, he is helping people he doesn’t even know, and we all know what to do in case of an emergency (LOTS of different types of emergencies).

  • Staci - April 29, 2016

    Wow. I’m guessing this was written in the 1950s.
    Women are firefighters, too. It isn’t just a huge “bromance.”

  • susan - April 25, 2016

    Yeah, and if not careful, you become one yourself, I did 17 years ago. Late husband was a volunteer firefighter, kinda fell in to it

  • Moz - April 19, 2016

    Alicia, I am glad your man quit the service…the fire service does not need personal that don’t have their heart into it, leave it to the real men….

  • Jagger miester - April 14, 2016

    this list is strictly for “Volly” fire wives/girlfriends

  • Thomas meyers - April 13, 2016

    So true and I am still getting my furture used too all of what I do and yes she gets mad right or wrong but I am a volunteer firefighter 4 years now and love bein a firefighter! !

  • Kendra - April 12, 2016

    Yes I have been with a fireman for 16 year and he is no paid. It is something he loves. This is right now. I feel like a lot of times the fire dept or the fireman come before we do. But I still would not change him he has been a volunteer ever since before we got together. I am very proud of him for what he dose. But.sometimes it still just over take me and I want him home with us.

  • Tasha - April 10, 2016

    Totally accurate… you forgot to mention the amount of laundry you have to do. When he takes a shower and gets in bed for night, pager goes off they get on the truck get to the scene to get canceled but still come home smelling like smoke and have to shower again. It seems like he always gets a call right after he gets out of the shower. Also when u are going out to dinner with the entire family tones go off and we all have to sit in the truck while he does traffic control for an hr. Wouldn’t trade it for anything though:) love fire life!!!!

  • Andrea Stuard - April 06, 2016

    I’ve been a Volunteer for 11 years and I still love when you’re at the station and the tones go off, the room goes silent….even if you’re in the middle of other things, you stop and listen to see if it’s your department!

  • WP45 - April 06, 2016

    So accurate. Especially #15. I love Ladder 49, but I don’t get to watch it at home with the fiance anymore because he doesn’t want to see bad things happening to firefighters. If that’s the only give/take that we have with me being a volunteer, and him not? Then I’ll roll with it. ;-) He is also learning the difference between police / fire / ems haha.

  • Alicia - March 31, 2016

    I’m so glad my husband wasnt this way. He quit firefighting this year after almost 10 years of service. He was a career (paid) firefighter, advanced EMT, a Sargent in line to be promoted to lieutenant within few weeks…but we both hated it. The pay was horrible, and though it had good benefits, it didn’t make up for the terrible pay, awful people he had to deal with, and us missing out on each other’s lives. He became a better leader in the fire service, but he didn’t love it and couldn’t make himself love it. He didn’t get excited about work, he dreaded it. I hated it too because he was always so down when he got home because he was tired, had to go work a second job (because even with me working, he had to work two jobs to make ends meet!) and then he was dreading going back to work. That’s no life.

  • Jessica - March 28, 2016

    100% accurate . I have been dating a firefighter for over 3 years now . At first it was very hard to adjust to and occasionally still is especially if your work schedules make so hard to see eachother but no matter what I’ll always be so proud of who he is . He risks his life with no pay what a great person he is!

  • Hoffman - March 28, 2016

    Well my wife tagged me in this, so I’ll admit it’s all true. It was far worse when I first started as a volly, but now even with 7yrs as a professional FF I still have at least 6 or 7 fire shirts from various places. She’s got about 20 to sleep in…because they’re too faded for me to wear in public.

  • Miranda - March 27, 2016

    As a FireWife of 15 years, you are never mentally prepared or ready for it. but I wouldn’t change this firelife for anything else.

  • Jillian - March 27, 2016

    As a granddaughter, daughter, and wife of firefighters this is all 100% accurate! My grandfather just celebrated his 71st year as a volunteer and my husband will be celebrating his 19th year as a volunteer.

  • Liberty - March 24, 2016

    Don’t forget you must learn to be stood up at restaurants and dine alone. That was the hardest to get use to.

  • Jennifer wunderlich - March 24, 2016

    My husband and I are firefighters and we love every minute of it

  • Sara - March 24, 2016

    I actually LOL’d at how accurate this is! Great article.

  • Chastity H - March 20, 2016

    My partner and I are both volunteers and every single one of these is true.

  • Jackie - March 19, 2016

    And the same goes for the lady firefighters :)

  • Allan Stepp - March 19, 2016

    It missed of course you will have to know the difference between the smell of a forest fire.. someone burning wood in a fireplace… a car fire.. and a house fire which has that special ‘twinge’ to the smell that make the eyes open that much more and the adrenaline boost that comes along with it….

    Not to mention going on a trip with firefighters (2 or more) in a car going anywhere… someone says “Smell that” and everybody jumps, head on a 360 swivel saying “Where is it” (like it was their coverage area) LOL GOOD TIMES.

    Traveling overseas to foreign countries, leaving in the middle of the night to go find a local fire station just to check out the different equipment used (and if you’re lucky… decyphering a foreign language when they try to get you to come in for lunch or dinner when they hear you say you’re a firefighter) (the brotherhood and that list extends to EVERY COUNTRY) LOL GOOD TIMES

  • Conner - March 18, 2016

    Ive been doing this 10 years now… This is all true.

  • Carrie bonzo - March 18, 2016

    After dating one for 4 yrs. I have learned this is all true. Even after dating him for 3 years I finally decided to join myself and let me tell you ladies, you’ll never regret it.

  • Tim Robbins - March 18, 2016

    You are wise. You begin to understand the brotherhood. It is a calling that cannot be denied.

  • Keith Blair - March 18, 2016

    Retired (23 years Volunteer) and ALL of these things are true…just ask my wife!!

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