Four Actionable Steps to Achieve Work Life Balance for Firefighters

We have a lot of stuff to do in this life and we don’t have a lot of time to do it. Between Work and Play- and then every day life, time seems to slip through our fingers!

But if you think about it, it really depends on the person, because many people nowadays are looking for how they can maximize their time. 

Specifically, they want to make the most of what they have to do with what they want to do. 

Picture this:

Do people want to spend their life working away, not taking anytime off, saving up every dime for retirement (which just means paying lots of medical bills) so they can have a trip to see the grandkids once a year?

Find out how to avoid this by mastering the art of work life balance! 

Why Work Life Balance is Important 

There’s this magical term called “work life balance”. People love their jobs, but they also want to enjoy themselves. Too many horror stories have trickled down the ranks of people dedicating their life to a position, only to be fired when they were no longer wanted by the company. 

Then there’s a dirty word: STRESS. Yep, I said it. Stress is going to happen, but too much is a bad thing.

Firefighters aren’t immune to it either, in fact it could be a contributing factor in the high amounts of heart related diseases. Firefighters have some of the highest statistics when it comes to heart related death. Do yourself a favor and give your heart a rest! 

So how can we avoid this mess of missing out and working ourselves to death? It’s actually a pretty simple answer – master the work life balance. 

With work life balance, we can look at and manage the important parts of our job with enjoying our family.

We can ‘make everyone happy’ in a sense that we know what we can contribute and when.

Practicing work life balance doesn’t have to be hard either, all we need to do is take a honest look at our lives, and make some simple changes in our time management and priorities. 

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4 actionable steps to achieving work life balance for firefighters 

Firefighter Work Life Balance is Important- Do you know how to achieve it?

One- Respect your time- (eliminate what isn’t important)

One of the big keys to work life balance is removing what isn’t necessary. Obviously you have to work, so those hours are accounted for. Another big one is making sure you have food and that you eat it. Of course you need to be spending time with family and friends. 

So ask yourself, what are you doing, say, on a weekly basis, that is robbing you of your time?

Do you spend your off days watching TV with your spouse, but then still feel like you haven’t had any quality time with them? Do you sit on the phone at the dinner table, and then you look up and realize that your child is a teenager? 

We only have 24 hours in the day. If we don’t respect that time and use it wisely, we can never get it back. This doesn’t mean you need to chuck your TV out the window- it just means that if your spending two hours after every shift “hanging out” at the station instead of enjoying family time- then the respect isn’t there. 

Two- Enjoy your time off- (Don’t be afraid to go on vacation)

Any one know a Firefighter that has a hard time taking time off? All of you? Yeah, me too. 

Don’t get me wrong, My husband is excited for vacations, it’s just that putting in the time off two months in advance (when we’re too far out to be really excited about the trip) that gets him. He also tends to stress about his coworkers- who will cover the shift, who else is going on vacation, should he do swaps instead, will he miss training or (the worst) will he miss a fire. 

Basically, Most Firefighters get a severe case of FOMO.

FOMO = Fear of Missing out

But

Firefighters really shouldn’t have FOMO.

Wether you are going on a trip or having a staycation, taking time off to recharge is important! 

For my Husband the FOMO about a fire is a very real, and I’m sure many others in the fire profession can relate. The thing is, there will be another fire, there will be more cool calls, and there will be more adventures. Don’t let the fear of missing out on the job cause you to miss out with your family.

Three- Balance- (Find out what your priorities are)

Ahh balance. Of course there is ‘balance’ in work life balance. But what does that mean? Images of kids on balance beams come to mind, and a waiter who has a teetering tray full of plates. But is that what balance really is? 

Balance has much more to do with setting prioritizes and then arranging them seamless, than piling as much as you can onto a plate and hoping that you don’t run into anyone in the restaurant.

When you balance, you know what has to come first, second and third- with some emergency exceptions.

For example, within your job as a firefighter- who know that structure fires take precedence over a car accident. There is an emergency exemption though, a structure fire on an unoccupied dwelling wouldn’t take precedence over a multiple vehicle pile up on the freeway.

Yes, you would delegate resources to the fire, but life is more important so you would send the majority of your resources to the vehicle accident.

That is balance, knowing what is important, and knowing the emergency exemptions that would change what you delegate time too. 

So in order to apply balance, you need to determine what your top three priorities are, and the emergency exemptions.

I can’t tell you what your priorities are especially since these change as life changes.

Some things will move up and down the list but its important to make sure that you stay honest about what you make a priority.  It would also be helpful if you communicated these to your immediate family and your coworkers.

One last note, Even though it is the best job in the world, it is still a job. That’s why my husband always says, “First Family First”.

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Four- Take time for yourself- (no matter what )

Self care is important. 

Say it with me. 

Self care is important. 

If you are laid out, sick and stressed and down right tired- you are not balancing anything because you can’t!!!! 

Now, I’m not one to place blame on a sick person, shit happens. What you can do is try your best to avoid getting sick or injured, and you do that by taking care of your physical and mental health. This means taking time to rejuvenate.

The most basic of these include eating, sleeping, exercising and keeping your sanity. 

I know this sounds amazingly basic BUT we’ve all had times in our lives where we put ourselves second, or third… you know its happened.

You’re ‘too busy to eat’. Bullshit. If you don’t eat and take care of yourself, your disrupting the natural flow of man. Do yourself a favor, keep your body and mind healthy so you can do be there for others.

We know that Firefighter stress and PTSD is robbing us of our Fire Family. Please- Don’t be another statistic.

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4 steps for Firefighter Work Life Balance

To Recap

1.Respect your time- don’t waste it

2. Enjoy your time off- no more FOMO when it comes to fires or calls that you might miss

3. Balance your priorities- make them known

4. Take care of yourself- stay mentally and physically fit 

With these simple truths in your life, you can master work life balance. You can enjoy your time at work and enjoy your time at home. 

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Turnout Gear Gift Guide- Recycled and New Products

Turnout Gear Gift Guide

Turnout gear is the ultimate symbol of the firefighter- maybe it ties with a fire helmet, but many pictures feature the classic bunker pant overalls as the main giveaway that someone is a firefighter.

I’m not going to address that used firefighter can contain carcinogens that could lead to cancer (Firefighter occupational cancer is WAY too high right now!) So use your best judgment when ordering used turnout gear items. There are plenty of new items available if that’s what you’d like instead!

As always, I’m open to hear about what other items I should add. If you have a favorite please let me know!

This article may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, read the disclosure here.

⏰ 🚨 ⏰ IN A RUSH? ⏰ 🚨 ⏰

Click over to the TOP THREE Firefighter Graduation Gifts for quick selection!

bunker gear gift ideas #firefighter

Turnout and Bunker Gear Gifts

The Best Gifts made from Upcycled Turnout Gear

Christmas ornaments are always a timeless gift- you don’t have to know their size, their favorite color- heck, they don’t even have to celebrate Christmas. This could easily be a wall decoration, hang from a car rear view mirror or go inside a locker! It’s also available in black bunker gear as well.

Personalized Bunker Gear Items

Fully Involved stitching has a full line of personalized items available on Amazon! Some of my favorites are the blankets, pillow cases and aprons. You can find them here!

Bags and Wallets

This wallet, sold by Flashfire supply, boast all 5 star reviews on Amazon. Made with new material that is the same Kevlar type material that turnout gear is made from, you can expect the smell and waterproofness that comes with traditional turnout gear fabric. Available in a variety of colors and reasonably priced, this wallet is a favorite for many. Check it out on amazon here!

Another Great Option is a Turnout Inspired Toiletry Bag. This is a great personalized gift for any Firefighter- because we all know they struggle with keeping all their personal bath items in one place. Made by the Fire Family Store, the material is all new, and ready to ship!

Looking for something a little more Feminine? Check out these adorable Firefighter Turnout Bag Purses from DoctorLar! Bonus- they can even make one from turnout gear that you send in!

Is a messenger bag more your style? No worries, that comes in turnout gear colors too! There’s several of these bags to choose from on Etsy, but this one below is my favorite! It’s an authentic, decommissioned, Turnout gear messenger bag made by The401Fireman.

Cups

Cups are always a super popular (and kinda default) gift to get!

Coined the #bunkercup this design by CavellaDesigns is super popular with great reviews!

Another great option for cups are these designs by KDclosetshop. They also offer this with the basic stripe, without the Maltese cross.

I mean, who can say no to glitter turnout tumblers! These are so cute, especially if you want to have a feminine cup without the thin red line colors!

For the kids

I am little cautious when it comes to turnout gear and kiddos- yes, my kids are exposed regularly to their father’s gear, so I just try to minimize their non essential exposure. All of these items will be NEW.

Fire Family Store has these super cute toddler turnout gear outfits! They are personalized and come with everything shown.

While theirs nothing wrong with girls wearing a full turnout gear ensemble, their is something so adorable about a little turnout gear skirt! Check these out from Fully Involved Stitching.

For the Pups

Firefighters LOVE Animals- and puppy dogs are no exception. These adorable Turnout Gear Inspired Collars are cute for anyone’s dog- wether they are a firefighter or not! Especially, because these are reflective. Cute and Safe!

If your feeling adventurous, you can even get the collars customized! This one on Etsy is a bestseller– you can’t go wrong with a turnout gear dog collar!

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Conclusion

I had so much fun putting together this bunker gear gift guide! Did you find something you couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments! And if I missed something, let me know!

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Firefighter Graduation Quotes

Firefighter Graduations are certainly a time to celebrate all of your new Firefighter’s hard work and dedication. It isn’t easy to get through the Fire Academy. Especially because Firefighters are put under some really high standards now with the industry changes!

Even though Fire College is only half of the battle (the other half is getting hired on at your department of choice!) it’s still an incredible time and worthy of praise.

Below you will find 17 inspirational Firefighter quotes, perfect for graduations! Some will be funny, some will be serious, but all will be in honor of your new Firefighter graduate- those who came before and those who will come after to join this great and noble profession!

Need Firefighter graduation gift ideas? Check out the assortment here!

Firefighter Graduation Quotes with source

Don’t Do things for a reward, do what you do for the betterment of your organization!” Passion In Leading

If getting promoted was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Deputy Chief Steve Prziborowski

Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.” -Chief Edward Croker, February 1908.

Not every day is going to offer us a chance to save somebody’s life, but every day offers us an opportunity to affect one. ” Volunteer Firefighter Mark Bezos

As you are handed that piece of paper you will be entering the greatest and most hazardous occupation in this country. Volunteer/Career, male/female, it will not matter, you will all be referred to as BROTHERS and you will be expected to act and carry yourself as your BROTHERS keeper Chief Robert Moran

The best tool for fire attack is your brain. The only limits to maximizing its effectiveness are the barriers you put in place. Be as aggressive in obtaining knowledge as you are in advancing an attack line.” – Chief John Tippett

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

Build a network of people who support your journey and finding those that can mentor you along the way can be the difference between success and failure.Instructor Chris Baker

“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” —Jim Carrey

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” —Thomas Edison

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” —Zig Ziglar

“God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” —Max Lucado

Firefighter Graduation Quotes

Firefighter Graduation Quotes-Anonymous

“Always remain a student of the fire service”

“It always seem impossible until it’s done”

“The Fire Service is 100 years of progress, impeded by tradition”

“An investment in Knowledge pays the best interest. You can never stop learning about an enemy that is trying to kill you.”

“These things we do, so that others many live”

From our Readers

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2- Sent in by Madeline

Conclusion

Did any of these firefighter inspirational quotes resonate with you?

Let me know in the comments below! (or add your own!)

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Volunteer Firefighters

We NEED Volunteer Firefighters- seriously, they keep America Safe!

Curious about becoming a Volunteer Firefighter? or 5 reasons why it’s totally worth it?

Maybe (hopefully) you are already a volley. And that is amazing, because as numbers continue to drop, medical and fire emergencies are getting crazier!

By the most recent estimates- 70% of Firefighters in the United States are volunteers BUT that number keeps falling every year. Especially as the community stops caring about the volunteers, the money paying job gets in the way, and regulations make it almost impossible in some areas.

Don’t get discouraged! People need you. People count on you. You should be proud to be a volunteer firefighter!

Keep up the training, keep up the learning, keep rescuing people. Help your brothers and sisters be the best Firefighters (volunteer or career) that they can be. Find a good support system.

Remember- America needs Volunteer Firefighters- it simply isn’t an option right now to have paid across the board. In many cases, the first to answer the call is the volunteer.

Volunteer Firefighters- WE NEED YOU!! #firefighters

Volunteer Firefighters. Where else can you volunteer to be a badass?
America runs on Volley Firefighters

America runs on Volunteer Firefighters

The Volunteer Firefighter's Wife- she keeps it all together while he is away. #firefighterwife #firewifelife #firewife #firefighter

Volunteer Firefighters- saving life and property because someone has to do it!

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The Best Firefighter Graduation Gifts

Firefighter Graduations are some of the most exciting and hard earned events for the newest recruit. They have spent countless hours training both their minds and their bodies to become part of the 1% of American’s capable of doing what a Firefighter does.

And after all this hard work, you want to get them something nice to celebrate! This can be anything from a personalized gift to a gift under 25 dollars.

Whatever your price range- we’ve got lots of amazing ideas for the Firefighter Graduation Gift Ideas!

Also, check out our Graduation Quotes for Firefighters!

This article may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, read the disclosure here.


⏰ 🚨 ⏰ IN A RUSH? ⏰ 🚨 ⏰

Click over to the TOP THREE Firefighter Graduation Gifts for quick selection!


Table of Contents- Fire Graduation Gifts

✅ The Best gifts for New Firefighters

Personalized Fire Academy Graduation Gifts

Useful Gear for Firefighter Graduations Gifts

Fire Graduation Gifts for Boyfriend, Fiance, Husband

Funny Firefighter Graduation Gift Ideas

Gifts for the FireFighter Graduation Class

Gifts under 25 for new Firefighter Recruits

Firefighter graduation gift guide. There's something for everyone here, from personalized to useful gear.

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✅ Best gifts for New Firefighters

Nothing says you are proud of your new graduate like a commerative plaque to celebrate the Fire Academy Graduation! Completely customize this beautiful plaque!

Another one of the Best Gifts for a Fire Graduation is this custom Firefighter Blanket inspired by the look of Turnout Gear! It’s got 5 stars on Amazon and is crazy popular.

Last, but not least, a useful and helpful gift is always wonderfully received from the new graduate! This multi pack of helmet accessories is a great starter pack for their new career in firefighting! The helmet band holds accessories, the door wedge is helpful for holding open doors and windows, and the stickers (specially made to withstand heat) are for identification and visibility!

Personalized Fire Academy Graduation Gifts

Personalized gifts are all the rage now- and rightful so. They can be a keepsake or a memento for years to come!

A Classic gift (an ode to the Thin Red Line for Firefighters) is this personalized wall hanging. Perfect for your Firefighters Last name (since that’s what will get plastered on all their new gear!) Bonus- it’s under 25 dollars. Check it out here.

Looking for something truly personalized that can even be used at the station? These custom pieces, inspired by the look of turnout gear, would look great in the bunk rooms on your favorite Firefighter’s bed! You do order them separately. Click on the links for more info!

If you are looking for something USEFUL and PERSONALIZED- these Glove Straps are the go-to for a new Firefighter! They are custom designed leather straps for holding the gloves when not in use. Hand stamped with your last name and hand painted, they are then stitched together for completion.

Useful Gear for Firefighter Graduations Gifts

Are you one of those people that likes to get useful items as gifts? That’s great- but sometimes you don’t know what’s useful and what’s not!

I can tell you that almost all the “Firefighter themed knives” online are not useful- firefighters need some quality (and somewhat expensive) knives because of the demands of the job (you would NEVER want a tool to malfunction in the field) . If you do want a quality knife, I highly recommend the Benchmade Triage Knife. This 5 star rated knife is guaranteed for life, and built with First Responders in mind.

So lets look at some other useful options you can find without knowing too much about what a Firefighter needs for work!

Multi-Tools

Multitools are the PERFECT useful gift! The “modern Swiss army knife” these multitools are full of great accessories for anything they might need on the job!

Quick Compare the top 3 multi tools here!



Raptor Shears are another insanely useful gift for any Firefighter that will be exposed to medical calls (which most of them will!) This popular Leatherman Raptor Shear is a six in one tool. It comes in a variety of colors and it’s made specifically for the First Responder! The 6 tools are: folding medical shears, a strap cutter, a ring cutter, a ruler, an oxygen tank wrench, and a carbide glass breaker. You can’t go wrong with a 25 year warranty and repair right in the United States!

Helmet Accessories- Stickers,Helmet Bands, Lights

One of the main tools a Firefighter needs is their helmet! There are so many cool things that they can have to customize their helmets, and many of these items are standard across the industry! Stickers (specially rated for heat and fire!) are useful for reflection, helmet bands for storing tools, chocks for wedging open doors and windows, and lights for having some extra lumination. You can purchase these individually or in a multi pack. See all the great options on Amazon here!

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MultiPack Helmet Band, Helmet Stickers and wedge

Identifire Reflective and Glow in the Dark Stickers- multiple color options! Check them out on Amazon to see all the designs and how bright they glow!

Lights are another insanely useful tool to have on your Helmet for when you need it most! These can come with both the light and the mount, or order the light or mount separately.

The Most popular light by far, is this Amazon’s Choice, 5 star rated Streamlight. Complete with a 360 degree clamp, and easy buttons that work through heavy work gloves, this light is one of the best you can get!

Compare the top 3 lights here!


If you are looking for a budget friendly option, try the streamlight PolyTac. Often times you can find it under 50 dollars, which is a steal!

Organization

You know Firefighters love Fire Hose! This Fire Hose Wallet is a great addition to Firefighter organization at the station. Many Firefighters carry a separate wallet with all of their certifications and cards (I think my husband has close to 10 cards now just for work!) Nothing better than storing it in a 5 star rated recycled Fire Hose wallet!

These glove straps are useful, practical and cheap! 5 star rated on Amazon- perfect, by itself,  for a gift basket or an addition to any of the other wonderful gifts!

Fire Graduation Gifts for Boyfriend, Fiance, Husband

Many Firefighters go through the Fire School with a special someone supporting them, which is great because it can be really hard!

This his and hers Firefighter Keychain is a great momento for each partner to remember the other while they are away! It’s also common for Firefighters to carry tokens or memory items to keep them safe and focused when on a call!

Firefighter Graduation Gift Ideas for the Newest Recruit.

Funny Firefighter Graduation Gift Ideas

Funny Firefighter gifts are certainly a favorite! And for good reason, every one needs a good laugh every now and then!

If you want to go with the classic coffee mug (and maybe add a few goodies inside) Amazon has several really funny ones to choose from!


This water bottle is also a funny, yet useful gift, sure to turn heads wherever you use it! I’m not sure who thought up all this stuff- but this is one of the best novelty gifts I’ve seen in a long time! Best part- it comes highly recommended!

Gifts for the FireFighter Graduation Class

The Fire Academy is a special time where you find out what you’re made of! Gifts and mementos from Fellow Firefighters are cherished as you move on to your new careers.

Grab a MultiPack of these Thin Red Line Keychains for everyone (or just the special ones) in your graduating class. Reasonably priced, Amazons choice, and 5 stars- you can’t go wrong with these!

Fire Academy class gift ideas wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Challenge coins! There are very few on Amazon- so check out these sites for some bulk options. RescueTees.com and FireandAxes.com

Gifts under 25 for new Firefighter Recruits

Perfect for your Firefighters Last name (since that’s what will get plastered on all their new gear!) A Classic gift (an ode to the Thin Red Line for Firefighters) is this personalized wall hanging. Check it out here.

Helmet Bands are a must have accessory for any Firefighter- new or old. They hold common tools on your helmet so you have access when you need the most. This 3 pack of Helmet Bands is well under 25 dollars and worth every cent!

You can never go wrong with a good t-shirt! All of these are under 25 and awesome for a new firefighter! Get one for yourself too- show support for Firefighters and the Thin Red Line everywhere!


Conclusion

Tons of Amazing Gift options for the New Firefighter, from custom items to useful tools! If you didn’t find what you’re looking for you can head over to Amazon and browse all their Firefighter gear.

Also check out:

Fire Hose Gift Guide

Firefighter gifts for Him and Her

Firefighter Graduation Gift Ideas #firefighter

Firefighter Valentine’s Day gifts for him and her

Firefighter Gifts for him and her blog title

Want to get your Firefighter something special for Valentines Day? What do you get the firefighter wife for Valentine’s Day? Do you have an anniversary coming up soon? And we can’t leave out all the firefighter girlfriends and boyfriends from the mix!

But where do you start? Is it a steamy hot date idea (check out my list of ideas here for inspiration!) 

I mean, you could just browse Etsy forever… it’s like a trap when I open my app, but I never find the perfect gift.

This list of Firefighter gifts is sure to ease the question, “What do I get my loved on for valentines day?” From newly dating, to freshly engaged, to married for years- this gift guide will give Ideas and Inspiration for your gift.

And if you are dating, you need to check out my Secrets for Dating a Firefighter!

Ive broken down this gift guide into 4 parts.

I’ve included lots of firefighter items and NON fire themed items (I mean, how many firefighter t-shirts can you own???) 

This post contains affiliate links, please see my affiliate disclosure for more information. 

Firefighter Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Gifts for Firefighters for Valentine’s Day- FireMen/FireWoman

Helmet Accessories

Helmet accessories are a popular option for Firefighter gifts, especially because some of them can be very useful from a safety standpoint.

Stickers are always a fun gift BUT they need to be made from special material- so don’t go crazy getting every sticker you see. They need to be approved so they don’t melt.

Another good option for helmets are flashlights! You can get a flashlight holder for pretty cheap, and a flashlight and holder combo for a good price.

You can also do a helmet band. These can be used to hold other accessories and come in plain and reflective bands.

Custom Firefighter Gifts

Amazon has a few custom firefighter gifts, but Etsy custom firefighter gifts are more diverse. If you want to do something like a radio strap- contact someone on Instagram! Their are so many awesome artists making unique custom firefighter gifts.

Firefighter aprons are always a fun gift– especially if you want your firefighter to cook for you more!


And if you haven’t gotten your Firefighter a custom tumbler cup– then you definitely need to consider it! These are a HOT item!

Another Fun option for Firefighters are Recycled Fire Hose Gifts. You can check out my gift guide here!

If you didn’t find a specific firefighter gift for valentines day- check out my Pinterest board. It has tons of great ideas and is one of my most popular boards to date!

pin this post for later!

Valentines Day gifts for Firefighters. Includes options for Him and Her, and non fire related gifts too! #firefighter #firefighterwife

Gifts for him

Every day Carry Options

Most guys carry things on a semi regular basis- their “every day carry”.


These can be something as simple as a Watch or a Wallets. Knives are pretty popular too, along with multitools.

They are useful for every day carry and also for work! Some other favorites include flashlights, raptor trauma sheers and paracord bracelets.


Go sentimental

Many Firefighters carry trinkets in their gear, reminding them to think about the loved ones at home. The popular ones this year are keychains

This one is a cute “His and Her’s” Option

I like this one, which can be customized, “Come home safe to me”

And this one is a “his and hers” option.

Gifts for Her

Firefighter themed jewelry

Yes, most women are obsessed with firefighter shirts- it’s not just a male thing. And while there are tons of cute options online, you might want to get them something more original.

When looking for jewelry you need to decide two things. 1. Are they a necklace or bracelet type person? 2. Do you want to customize it?

This thin red line necklace is super popular this year!

If you want to customize your thin red line necklace, this would be the option to choose!


Bracelets are another super popular item, and there are lots to choose from! Like this, “My Heart Belongs to a Firefighter” bracelet and this Firefighter Wife bracelet with customizable colors.

Pamper her with love

This can be anything from giving her some alone time, to paying for the house or car to get cleaned!

Gift Baskets can also be an easy way to take care of your girl, Amazon has lots of options from spa gift baskets, cookie/Treat gift baskets and essential oils with a necklace.

Gifts for them

Steamy

I need not to remind you- but getting some new lingerie or matching underwear sets is a fun way to share something with your partner that only they get to see!

Sweet

Last, but not least, Sweet gifts are a great way to reconnect with your spouse!

These devotional journals and inspiration journeys are a sure fire way to connect with your loved one- and they are guided so you don’t have to do much work! These are a must do for newer relationships to help build a solid foundation! Examples include a bucket list journal, a gratitude journal, and a 150 questions designed to get to know your spouse better.

Coupon books are another favorite– you can find them in lots of different styles, and of Course, you can make your own! The homemade ones might be there very best because they are tailored to the couples needs.

Conclusion

I hope you found the perfect firefighter valentines day gift for your husband or wife, send them this gift guide so they can know what to get you too! And Don’t forget to check out my super popular tips for the Firefighter couple.

Interested in some date ideas for Valentine’s Day? I have a super useful list of date ideas- from Fancy to Free! Hot Date Night Ideas for the Perfect Firefighter Date

Do you have big plans for valentines day? Are you getting your loved one a gift I mentioned? Drop me a comment below!

Share this post on Social Media, your Firefighter Family will thank you!

Need help with the perfect gift for your firefighter or Firefighter spouse? Check out these easy gift guide with lots of great ideas for valentines day!

Hot Date Ideas for Firefighters

Spending time with your partner is soooo important! But anyone that is with a first responder will know, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. 

And just because they say your supposed to go on dates, doesn’t mean that you actually do. Or maybe you just started dating a firefighter!

Between crazy work schedules for one spouse, work schedules for the other spouse and juggling the kids/household/animals/volunteering/projects- ok, I’m giving myself anxiety!

Basically, we need time to reconnect, Firefighter to Lover (or maybe you’re both Firefighters- that’s gotta be hectic!) . And we need to make that time a priority- even if we have 1000 reasons not to. 

The good news is that I compiled a list of Date Ideas for myself, and figured, what the hay, maybe someone else would get some benefit too! I also have this list of Valentines Day Gift Ideas you should check out!

This is split up in categories for ease of use. Included is a mix of free, cheap and “you need to plan ahead” dates. Because life needs variety. 

This post may contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you, check out my affiliate disclosure policy for more info!


PRO TIP: Please Don’t talk about work -and if you do, make it a light mention. My husband and I talk about Firefighting all the time, we are a fire family with a fire blog BUT date night is sacred. 

If you need some conversation starters check out this book by Gary Chapman (the love languages guy!) that gives you 101 conversation starters for couples! Its insanely useful for Date Night and for reconnecting with your spouse when all you want to talk about is work or the kids.

Late Date Nights

🎆 Go to a 24 hour Diner (mcdonalds kinda counts…)

YUM! Even if you just go for shakes, and even if its 45 minutes away.

Just GO! You will have either a great time, or you will wonder why in the heck you even left the house to come to this empty diner- either way, its a memorable bonding experience. 

🎆 Movies 

Need I say more! Real Talk- I haven’t been to the movies in 4 years! But we used to love to go before kids. We would go every other week, it was our “thing”.

If you don’t like the movies, find a local theater and enjoy some live action acts. Those can certainly be just as entertaining and a very unique experience.

🎆 Do late night bowling or other local special event

Many places offer a late night gig on the weekend. From aquariums and baseball games, to bowling and shooting bowl. Find some late night entertainment near you!

If you don’t know where to start, check on google, and then facebook to see what special events might be taking place.

If nothing is available to you, suggest it! A simple comment on their social media page could open a lot of doors for date night events.

Or maybe you could have someone sneak you in- it’s all about who you know!

🎆 Take a Drive

Wether you live in the city or the country, there is something so fun about going for a drive with your lover.

Turn up the radio, get some snacks and find somewhere fun to go, or park, for some more alone time. 

Take your loved one on to a meteor shower (dates here!)

🎆 Dave and Busters or another Arcade deal

Get some tokens and show em whose boss!

It’s been shown that some competition with your spouse will improve your bedroom game

Looking for tips for the Firefighter Couple? Check out this list of 15 applicable and timeless tips for keeping your relationship healthy.

Day Dates

💋 Learn something new at a Museum

Old Firehouses count as museums right? Only kinda kidding. They definitely do!

They have museums for everything now, from science and art to automatizes and yes, they have firefighting museums. 

💋 Sporting or Racing Event

Normally these things are group things, invite the guys or the family. But you might be pleasantly surprised to see how much fun it is with just the two of you.

This doesn’t have to be something you hate either. If you both like football, go there- or if your more of a martial arts couple, go to a tournament!

💋 Get a drink and learn about the process

Another fun stop when you want to take a break and stop adulting for awhile.

Many of these custom wineries and breweries offer tours and history behind their brand. You can also enjoy the many sample options they have available. 

💋 Make art at a Ceramics or Art class

Are you artistic? Even if you aren’t most art places offer a beginners class.

You can have fun creating something new with the guidance of a teacher and maybe you’ll even find something that you like!

My husband and I aren’t the best at art, but it sure is fun to make together. You could also grab some fire hose and make a really cool craft together!

💋 Give Back TOGETHER

Anything can technically be a date if you prioritize it right, even volunteering together.

So get down and dirty with your partner and then go out afterwards (if your not too tired from all the work you put in!).

Watching your spouse give to others in need can be so motivating to why you fell in love with them in the first place. 

Sure you may have your own gigs that you do separately, but there is something about working together for a cause bigger than yourself that can be a real turn on.

Stay at Home Dates 

These are some of my favorites, mostly because they are so low key. I just love to spend time with my husband. 

💋 Puzzles and Board Games 

Nothing says, Imma kick your butt, like playing a board game with your spouse. (unless you’re into martial arts and you actually like kicking butt).

Puzzles are equally as fun as you work on your communication skills LOL! You don’t really know someone until you’ve seen them frustrated with a puzzle. 

Orrrrr you could order some kinda dirty games online. No one said it had to be PG.

💋 Watch the Stars (or the clouds)

You know that picture floating around on the internet with the inflatable pool and pillows under the stars. Yeah, do that.

It’s a ton of fun and a great way to reconnect ESPECIALLY if you have kids. Take the baby monitor outside with you and plan to… hopefully get lucky that they stay asleep. 

I’m not going to lie- we’ve done it before, right when its too cold for mosquitos yet not quite winter. Make sure you aren’t too tired, or else you’ll end up just falling asleep!

💋 Have a Romantic Dinner and Plan to Dance 

Get something to eat at home.

If one of you volunteers to cook, great. My husband and I like to get Take out just because its low stress (most of the time, if they remember to pack everything!).

Then plan to just hang out and dance the night away- even if you both suck at it. 

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Date Night Ideas for the Firefighter Couple #firefighterfamily #firefightercouple #datenight #datenightideas #firefighterwife

Dates the whole family can enjoy

Is it still a date if you bring the kids? Well, kinda. Sometimes circumstances make it so that the kids need to tag along- and that’s ok. What matters is making time to reconnect with your spouse! 

Plus, you need to spend time together as a family, that way your kids can see you interact as husband and wife and not just dad and mom.

If they’re older, just send them up ahead a little ways.

😀 Putt Putt Golf 

Get the kids set up and send them a few holes ahead, that way you can keep an eye on them while still enjoying some time with your spouse. 

make sure you keep score!

😀 Picnic in the Park

Arrange two picnic baskets- one for you and one for the kiddos. Give them their own blanket and let them have fun.

Do what you can to get 20 minutes of conversation in. If that means you need to break out the tablets, then do it! I would suggest something more physical- frizbee or ball playing. That way you can have alone time and tire out the kids!

😀 The Beach/springs/pool

Go when you know it won’t be too busy. That way the kids can have their own little area and you can chill out together with your spouse. 

For the littles

Some of us have baby babies, and we can’t just section them off. I get it! Playgrounds, Bounce houses, and splash pads can be a fun way to let the kids burn off steam while you talk to your spouse- in FULL sentences.

Yes, you will still be interrupted, sorry, but grab some coffee and make the best of it! 

Conclusion

Dates are supposed to be fun! So grab your firefighter and get out there and enjoy the time you have together. If you are getting ready for valentines day this helpful gift guide could give you the inspiration you need.

Spending time together is a great way to destress and build up positive memories when times get tough.

Is your marriage struggling? This post covers a marriage in crisis and some steps you can take.

Do you have any other date night ideas to add? Leave them in the comments below!

Firefighter SMART Goals with Examples

Smart Goals for Firefighters

Post Preview: Firefighters can get the most out of their goals by using SMART principles. This post will cover the different parts of a SMART goal and provide relevant Fire Service related examples.

Firefighters are busy– between the calls, the training, the planning, the bullshitting- then try to throw in food, showers and sleep and little time is left to research.

But Research can be the most important part!

We know that Firefighters are bigger, better and more efficient than the past and researching new information is a big part of that. 

We also know the dangers that firefighters face- there are many dedicated people out there who are collecting data to save our brothers and sisters. 

But what if they had never set a goal to save other firefighters?

Or…

What if you had never decided to be a firefighter?

You can’t just wake up one day and show up at Nasa and expect them to throw you in a space ship.

No, it takes years of work- but without a PLAN those years could turn into decades.

Goals (and the plans that accompany them) are important parts of achieving success. But that doesn’t mean that they are easy.

So what’s the secret to boosting productivity and reducing the confusing at the beginning of a new project?

One way to set up what you’ve learned and actually get it into application is through SMART goals. 

Best part is anyone can use SMART goals, from rookie firefighters to experienced Fire Chiefs. 

Why are SMART goals so amazing? It’s not really that they are amazing, it’s that they are practical and easy to use for most applications.

So once you learn how to use a SMART goal for one area, you can apply it to other areas or ideas that need planning to come to life.

It can become your template every time you start a new project. 

Once you’ve grasped the concept and applied SMART goals, you can reach success in every goal you set as long as you persevere. 

____

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments- Jim Rohn

You have the discipline, you want the accomplishments, but if you don’t have the goals in a realistic plan, then you will stumble. A project that was supposed to take 5 weeks will take 10- or worse yet, it will never get off the ground. 

That is where SMART goals come into play.

What are SMART goals?

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound. I’ll give a brief explanation of each one with the example of hiring 3 new personnel to the department. 

Specific-

Think about the W questions. Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Using those will help you list specific points that are part of your goal. If we use the example of three new hires, we need to think about many things like.

the new hires, HR, their training officers, the county medical director, the chief, where the training will take place, what shift they are assigned to etc.

We are hiring them to staff empty positions, that we need them to be hired in the next three months, and that they will work at B station. 

It can be a lot of information, but the beauty of outlining the information is that it can give you a very clear picture of what is initially required at the start of this goal. 

You can think of it as a summary, a blue print, or a list. It’s the “must know” information to complete the rest of the steps. 

Measurable-

 How are you going to measure this goal? 

Will it have multiple measurements (like if it takes more than a month, you might have different metrics to evaluate the progress). 

If you plan to hire 3 new people, the ultimate measurement is getting them through their year of probation.

But if that is the only thing you measure, you will miss out on other valuable milestones like the hiring process (getting the right people to start with is very important to turnover) and then training them according to your departments standards.

All of those have a measurement that can be recorded here. 

Achievable-

It’s it achievable right now? Do you need to have more tools, man power or knowledge to achieve this goal? 

Write it all down to get a view of the big picture when the SMART goal is outlined- that way it gives you a realistic view of the requirements and where you need to start.

Sometimes you need more man power, sometimes its training, other times you have everything you need and you just need to say YES- it is achievable. 

Also, Don’t quit here if you realize that you need more than what you currently have– anything is achievable with the right plan and attitude.

If you can’t do it right now, put your SMART goal up on the wall or in a folder so you can reference it when the time is right (and you will have most of the planning outlined!)

Relevant-

This goal should tie into the theme that your Fire Department is trying to accomplish. 

 If you are looking to hire three new people, you don’t want to put them all through medic school at the same time.

So consider hiring people that are already medics, or a mix of EMT’s and Medics. 

Set relevant goals that apply right now. If you want to list others for the three new hires (like what they would be able to achieve their first year of probation without getting overwhelmed ) you would create a new SMART goal for that.

So one for them to get hired and one for them to get through probation. They will feed off of each other, but they wont be the same. 

Time Bound-

You have to have a time component. You have to have accountability.  I wrote a post on Easy Time Management Tips here.

 This can be tricky because someone that doesn’t believe in the goal will give it too much extra time, whereas someone that is overly ambitious will underestimate the amount of work required to achieve good results. 

You can combat this by making a time line visual in this area- don’t just pick “3 weeks” and call it a day.

If you want to hire 3 new people think about everything involved.

Sending the call out, the application process, the hiring process, the new hire training- each of those has a specific time component that needs to be recognized with some leeway built in place. 

If you aren’t sure about those time frames, talk to someone that could give you a better understanding of what might be involved.

The worst thing you can do is  drastically under or overestimate a goal. You cant hire three new medics in a week, and you don’t want to wait a year (unless that’s what the budget calls for). 

SMART Success

You Achieve SMART success in several ways. The first is by simply setting a goal and applying the SMART principle. ( a goal without a plan is just a wish)

Then as you hit milestones along the way, and stay true to your original goal, you are on the way to finishing the goal. 

Continue to measure your goal, continue to remind yourself why, and if you have a solid plan- you will have success.

Find accountability here by having a mastermind group (the chief and other lieutenants OR a group of ambitious firefighters OR your spouse OR a good friend). You don’t want to get too many hands in the pot, so pick one to two trusted people to help you with your SMART goals.

SMART goal examples for Firefighters 

I wanted to include a few different SMART goals. These Firefighter goal examples are important for several reasons.

For one, they help new Firefighters with goal setting. And for two, they can help to make sure Firefighters of all levels are setting tangible, reachable goals for their individual lives and the department.

I’ve included two basic goals- one with an extended time component.

We know that delayed gratification is good- patience is a virtue. BUT it is certainly not easy!

One is much more basic, then the other is basic but it has a long time component. The time is what could throw people off when they look at a goal. 

The last is a more complex SMART goal for those in a leadership position, because dealing with different personalities and convincing them to change (especially in the Fire Service) can be a challenge. 

Example Basic Firefighter SMART Goals

Goal- Memorize the truck 

Specific- I want to be able to know where all the supplies are on the truck. This includes tools, medical bags and equipments, hoses, gear, and everything else on the master check list. 

Measurable- I will be tested on the truck- what is in each compartment. It is either PASS or FAIL. 

Achievable- Yes, I can take pictures of each compartment and make a copy of the master list so I can know where everything is at. I can practice on and off shift.

Relevant- Yes, It’s a requirement for the job. Not only that, but if I don’t know where tools and equipment is, I jeopardize my brothers and any life and property we are trying to save.

Time Bound– I have two months to complete this with other basic training requirements. I want to have this done at the 6 week mark so I can have a practice test. That way I have a 2 week safe guard in place if I make a mistake. Then I can reevaluate my goals and make additions as needed.

(time intensive) Goal- Become Firefighter of the Year 

Specific– I want to become Firefighter of the Year for B County Fire Rescue. I know that I have to beat out 60 other eligible Firefighters. 

Measurable– I will compare myself against the diagnostic criteria put out by the Chief.

– I know that I can’t have any disciplinary action

-I need to take a leadership role and stay in good standing with the department

-I also plan to volunteer for events, and be more active in the Union

I will measure my actions to make sure that they line up with the departments mission. 

Achievable- Yes, but I need to work on my leadership skills. I plan to read some books, talk to some senior lieutenants and attend a leadership workshop. I will also volunteer for any open committees so that I can have the opportunity to showcase my leadership skills. I will follow the motto, “Leadership is shown, not discussed”. 

Relevant- Yes, I have been on staff three years, the minimum requirement to make Firefighter of the year. I have had no disciplinary action and I want to become a stand in lieutenant in the next few years. This would give me an advantage. 

Time Bound– I know that I have ONE year to make this happen, possibly less as they might make the decision a month ahead of time. I also have to consider other firefighters who might be trying to get this title, so I plan to have a monthly review to evaluate where I stand on my goals. 

Lieutenant/Chief SMART goal 

Goal- Set up a New Mandatory Fitness Routine 

Specific– Change current Fitness Routine to “XYZ Fitness on Shift” This will apply to all shifts at B County Fire Rescue in the next 3 months. This Fitness routine is best for Firefighters to ensure appropriate training even if they don’t train off shift.

This would be a boost for our fitness program and the requirements we have to train our Firefighters. Each of the LT’s will be accountable for their shift, they will have to go through a one day training routine. 

Measurable- The current Fitness Routine will be phased out in the next 6 weeks, with 6 weeks to enact the new XYZ fitness routine. Firefighters will be tested on the basic components (not advanced) at the end of the 3 month cycle.

Once they have passed the basic test, they will be allowed to proceed with advanced XYZ training. Those that fail will have 2 months to complete the basic training. All Firefighters, including those who are out on leave, will be required to have passed the basic XYZ fitness routine by the 6 month mark, or they will receive disciplinary action as outline in our Employee Handbook, section on Mandatory Fitness Requirements. I will make up a test page that has requirements, times and amounts so that it isn’t biased. It will be pass or fail.

Achievable– XYZ training comes with many recommendations and accolades. They have a proven track record for helping firefighters complete the most training only while training on shift days.

They also offer full fitness routines for everyday use, which we will consider after the initial implementation. We received this training as part of a grant- as long as the union doesn’t object it will go into effect on the start date. I have spoken with the Union President and it looks to be approved at the next meeting. 

Relevant- 2 of our Firefighters failed their Fitness test last month. It is essential that all of our Firefighters are kept up to date with training and able to pull their own weight.

While many of our Firefighters oppose the change to a structure Fitness Routine, the other Half is excited to embrace it- we hope that it makes it easier for our people to stay in shape. 

Time Bound– Once approved, we plan to spend the first six weeks training the lieutenants on the new program. After the one day training we will have six weeks to fully implement the Basic XYZ fitness regime.

At the end of the 3 months all Firefighters will be tested on the basic fitness test included with the program. Those that fail will have 2 months to retest, those that don’t can move on to the advanced portion of the training.  

Conclusion

Firefighter SMART goals, with practice, can become an easy way to outline most goals and time based assignments.

This will allow encourage organization and accountability within the fire service, a crucial aspect of productivity.

Change is not always easy- but it is necessary and it will happen regardless of how many people complain.

Why not make it effective and well planned with SMART goals.

You can also check out the other posts in this series.

Please let me know if you have any questions about smart goals, I’d love to know how you plan to use them at work and in home life. You can comment below, send me an email or reach out on social media! 

Firefighter Fitness Videos

Firefighter Fitness

This post may contain affiliate links, check out my disclosure for more info.

Hey Firefighter! (or soon to be Firefighter)

How’s your Firefighter Fitness?

Should I remind you about all the stats about heart disease and Firefighters?

I think I’ll save it for another time because I don’t want to be a downer- this post is meant to inspire you to reach new levels in your fitness routine. 

Seriously, no time like the present. You can never train hard enough for a job that’s trying to kill you! 

These are just some of my Husband’s favorite workouts and motivational videos he watches when he needs a pump. (Yes, I like to workout too- BUT you won’t catch me with a sledge hammer. I value my fingers, thank you very much!)

 SO with my husband’s commentary- get watching and then get to work! 

YOU’VE GOT NO EXCUSES

If you aren’t a fan of videos- definitely check out the Firefighter fitness books on Amazon. There are several, which can easily be accessed at the station when you don’t want (or can’t) be looking at your phone. There’s even a few that come with kindle unlimited (so technically free!).

First up, Motivation 

Now, let’s get pumped! 

6 warm ups great for starting or ending your routine
Just ignore his face and the shoes and you should be good to go!

quick and effective
Go big or go home Fire Hose Finisher

Conclusion 

I would LOVE it if you had more recommendations (or more like my husband would like more recommendations). I know Firefighters around the world are coming up with effective and unique ways to stay fit for the job. 

Check out the rest of the mini series , “Becoming the Firefighter you want to be in 2019”

Drop me a comment below or give me a shout on Instagram or Twitter. We should all be talking about fitness regularly to keep the brotherhood in the best shape possible. 

Firefighter Fitness Videos #firefighter #training #neverstoptraining


Becoming the Firefighter you want to be in 2019

Becoming the Firefighter you want to be in 2019

Post Preview: There’s no time like the present to achieve the firefighting career and personal goals you’ve always dreamed about. Time waits for no man, are you going to be happy when you wake up 20 years from now? 

Regardless of how many years you’ve had on the job, you know as a Firefighter that you can never train hard enough for a job that’s trying to kill you. Seriously, while LODDS are going down, heart and mental health deaths are going up. What gives? How can you protect yourself?

We may not have all the answers yet, but we do know that it begins with each firefighter taking steps to improve their career and their lives. What you can do is work hard to be the best firefighter you can be. 

No time like the present! 2019 (regardless of the month) is a great year to start improving your life and working on some firefighting related goals. 

Firefighter, who do you want to be?

Somewhere between the time we are a little kid and the fire academy, firefighters develop an idea of ‘who they want to be’. They have all these career goals that they want to achieve, training they want to do, and aspirations to be a Fire Chief before retirement. 

But then life happens. 

And suddenly you aren’t the person OR the firefighter you want to be.

Sound familiar? 

The good news is that it’s not permanent.  The bad news is that it only changes when YOU decide it’s time to be a better person.

So what can you do to improve your life and become the firefighter you want to be?

Kick ass in 2019 #firefighter #thinredline #firefightermotivation

Part of the solution 

The first step is to identify WHAT you want to do. 

I recommend checking out this free printable and a planner I recommend for Firefighters. This will help get your thoughts on paper and then you can focus on the HOW of achieving those goals.  

Next, you want to fill your toolbox with skills and examples to achieve those goals. Follow these posts below so you create a game plan to achieving your goals and becoming the Fireman you want to be in 2019. 

Time management 

Firefighter Smart goals 

Firefighter Motivation

Firefighter Fitness 

Self Care for Firefighters 

Relationship Tips For Fire Couples

Conclusion 

Firefighter. It is never too late to achieve your goals. You have so many resources available at your fingertips! Get out there and make history!!! 

Wanting to be better is just the start. Check out the posts listed above and get a game plan together.

Let me know in the comments or give me a shout on social media- How are YOU going to become the FIREFIGHTER you always dreamed of being in 2019?

Reach your goals in 2019 #firemen #firelife #motivation