Confessions of a Firefighter’s Wife

Firefighter Life: Hot or Not?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever fantasized about being married to one of America’s heroes. It’s all six-pack abs, perfect hair, and sexy stories of rescue…right?

While we love the pictures that TV and movies have painted of us, we have to be honest: the life of a firefighter’s spouse isn’t all abs and butterflies. To help shed light on the reality of living the firefighter wife life, we’ve asked some spouses to share their stories, and we have to say, they didn’t hold back!

Check out our interviews and discover the beautiful and sometimes ugly truth behind being married to some of the hardest-working people around!

AMY AND TYLER CHAIRSELL

By: Amy Chairsell, wife of Tyler Chairsell, firefighter & paramedic

How long have you been married? Tell us your story.
We’ve been married for eight years. Who would have thought a drunken setup via mutual friends would lead to over 12 years of togetherness? I actually went on a blind date with Tyler’s roommate about six months earlier (a NLVFF) who had two significantly chipped front teeth, and though I’m not vain, I was working at a dental office at the time, so it was NOT a match made in heaven. Fast-forward and add a little liquid courage, and here we are!

What was your impression of firefighters before you married one? How has it changed?

I’ve always thought they (most, anyway) were smoking hot. Now I know that to not be the truth. They are confident and sometimes cocky, generally pretty fit, and overall a solid group of men and women who would (for the most part) do anything for each other.

What do you love about being married to a firefighter?

I love my alone time most of all. When Las Vegas voted to switch to a 48/96 shift, you probably saw me at the front of the picket lines begging for its passage. I need those two days alone, by myself, with no one around (*cough* my husband *cough*).

What is the hardest part about being married to a firefighter?

Listening to the sad parts of their jobs, the calls that imprint on them as traumatic and are hard to forget. I know they need to talk about them and vent or get it off their conscience, but I hate hearing the sadness that they have to see sometimes daily.

What is a common myth or misconception about firefighters, and about being married to one?
That they just run on fire calls, when actually they sometimes rarely get to use their hose 😉 They actually respond to over 90% medical calls, which include car accidents, overdoses, and shooting/stabbings, to name a few. Maybe their title should be switched to emergency fighters instead? Just a thought.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone dating or about to marry a firefighter, what would it be?

Hmm, that’s a good question! I’d say not to take them for granted. They work so hard and see so much wrong in the world that it can really weigh on them mentally. Sometimes that can be tough on a relationship. I still threaten my husband with dateline consequences when he’s too tired to call me and check in. But at the end of the day, he is occasionally that overworked, overtired human who just forgets.

What do you wish you would have known before marrying a firefighter?

If that 20-something bod and good hair would last forever. But on a serious note, I wish I would have known or anticipated that we would have a lot of holidays spent apart; I think we’ve spent only two Thanksgivings together in 12 years. And sometimes our family vacations get canceled because he is forced to stay at work (force hired) and we choose not to leave without him. Ultimately, though, it’s been a fun ride and adventure, and any lucky guy or gal who snags one of Las Vegas’s finest should be a welcome part of this brotherhood.

RYAN AND MONICA GREEN

What was your impression of firefighters before you married one? How has it changed?

My father is a retired fire captain for LA County, so I was very aware of what I was getting into. They are like 12 year olds with a wallet.  They usually have a ton of hobbies, are focused on family and fun, and love with all they have. They are also well aware how it can all change in an instant.

What do you love about being married to a firefighter?

They leave… for days at a time.  Let’s you miss them.

What is the hardest part about being married to a firefighter?

They leave… for days at a time.  When the kids are small, this is hard; and when they are gone, you worry.

What is a common myth or misconception about firefighters, and about being married to one?

They are “tuff guys” you know, have huge egos… at work.  At home, they are big teddy bears who want to cuddle and spend time with the people they love.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone dating or about to marry a firefighter, what would it be?

Be able to be alone and rely on yourself for everything. Do not expect chores to be done weekly (they might be gone for the week).  You need to be very confident in yourself and your abilities to truly be in a relationship with a firefighter.  They don’t do well with weak.

What do you wish you would have known before marrying a firefighter?

I already knew, and I still did it!!!  P.S. He was not a firefighter when we met, but I knew that was his goal, and as he has supported me in my goals, so I supported him.