The Best Firefighter Gifts for any occasion

the best firefighter gifts for any occasion

Sometimes important dates sneak up on me, sometimes I plan them in advance! But either way- this list of Firefighter gifts is good for any occasion. Perfect for Birthdays or Retirements, Baby showers and Weddings- there’s a Firefighter themed gift for all the Holiday’s and special events (no matter how early or how late you order it!)

Firefighters deserve something nice every now and then… most of the time they would be happy with food though! These Firefighter gifts range from thoughtful, to practical, to predictable- hopefully they are what you are looking for to gift your fireman or firewoman. This post will contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you, you can check out my affiliate disclosure for more info!

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Table of Contents

🔥 FireFighter Gifts Under 25 🔥

Specific Firefighter Gift Occasions

Best Firefighter Retirement Gift

Best Firefighter Wedding Gift

Best Firefighter Baby Shower Gift

Thoughtful Gifts

🎉Personalized Firefighter Gifts 🎉

Every Day Carry Options

Firefighter Banquet and Crew Gifts

Popular Firefighter Owned Brands

The Best Firefighter Gifts for all occasions!

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🔥Firefighter Gifts Under 25🔥

Sometimes we need a cheap and quick gift! I get it! Here’s a great selection of Firefighter Gifts under 25 dollars.

Firefighter Gifts Under 25

Firefighter Keychains With Dog Tag and Maltese Cross with Personalization 

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

The listed picture is a sample of what you can purchase. ANY message can be put on the dog tag and ANY name or number on the cross, as long as it fits.

IdentiFire Helmet Stickers 

Helmet Stickers are the latest rage! And they are so useful when they go into a Fire or Dark building because it can provide either a reflective service or glow in the dark! These popular 5 star helmet stickers are reflective AND glow in the dark!

Engraved Wallet Card 

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

It's lightweight, yet SUPER durable and strong. It will never bend, scratch, fade, rust, or deteriorate in any way. Your new wallet insert will last for a lifetime because the engraving will NEVER wear off. It makes a truly unique gift that is sure to be treasured for years to come.

Thin Red Line Firefighter Silicone Wedding Ring Band 

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

Hypoallergenic, Medical Grade, Food Grade, Silicone, Rubber, Pure Silicone, Non Conductive, Non Toxic, Waterproof, Heat Resistant, Eco Friendly Materials, Flexible, Fire Resistant

Firefighter Engraved Whiskey Glass - Fireman Rocks Glass, Firefighter Gifts, Gift for Him, Fire Department, Gifts For Firefighters

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

 The Fire Department Maltese is beautifully laser engraved onto this stylish whiskey glass. The engraving is permanent so the graphic will not peel or fade! Be sure to ask about our bulk discounts on 12 or more glasses!

Thin Red Line Flag

This Flag is under 25 dollars and is made of high quality UV resistant material. This is not a "cheap knock off" flag. We have two of these- one hangs in our house and the other we use for photoprops. BABY NOT INCLUDED 😜

Firefighter Coasters 

Photo Credit: www.etsy.com

Get some authentic firehose coasters as a cute (and subtle) way to show your love of firefighters without it taking over your house (unless it already has, then call for help!)

Thin Red Line Ax Sticker 

Amazon's Choice- Thin Red line Sticker (and it's under 10 dollars!) with 5 stars! Lord knows that Firefighters love stickers- it's the perfect gift to slip in a card or smack on a tumbler and call it a day!

Specific Firefighter Gifts

Best Firefighter Retirement Gifts

This Beautiful Custom Canvas Print is a fantastic Gift for a Retiring Firefighter!

You Can’t go wrong with an (almost) accurate Coffee Mug!

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Best Firefighter Wedding Gifts

A classic wedding gift is a decanter set- especially one you can get customized! You can check out all the different options for styling and size, since they all have good reviews!

Check out my post on Wedding Ideas and Gifts for more!

Best Firefighter Baby Shower Gifts

This absolutely ADORABLE baby Turnout gift set is made by a Firefighter owned company- so you know that you are getting quality! Made from all new materials, and customized with the name, this is a cherished baby shower gift!

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Thoughtful Firefighter Gifts 

Let’s start with the most thoughtful gifts of the group. I always like to start with these because sometimes the sentimental gifts are the ones we value the most. These would be appropriate for any holiday, but especially for ones like graduations and weddings!

Custom Ax

Custom Ax’s are a really popular item now a days, and the best part is that they are readily available on the internet! You might even get lucky to find someone local that can help you with a custom order. Check out these ones on Etsy! 

Another thoughtful (and somewhat practical) gift is a custom watch. These items can be individualized from different colors to different smart capabilities. The thoughtfulness is getting the qualities that they might need (durability, water proof, weather proof) and getting something inscribed on the back.

Personalized Firefighter Gifts

These Bad Boy Custom Raptor Shears are from Leatherman– a top quality brand among Firefighters. These are an absolutely essential item for First Responders and will never get misplaced at work with their name engraved.

Another Fun idea is a customized leather strap! These come in both personalized straps for gloves and also for the radio. Many of these are made by firefighters, like this glove strap on Etsy made by Fire Gear.

Find this on ETSY made by FireGear

Nothing says personalized like a custom last name blanket meant to look like Turnout Gear!  Best part is that if they took it to the station, they couldn’t loose it!

Every Day Carry Firefighter Options

EDC items, or Everyday Carry Items, are always a big hit for firefighters, especially because its a thoughtful gift that will get put to good use.

These 6 in 1 Leatherman Raptor Shears are a great find for your EDC crew- useful for all kinds of events they are Amazon’s Choice and rated with 5 stars.

Wallets of all shapes and sizes are a requirement for EDC! In fact, I know many hardcore EDC’ers that have multiple wallets- so it’s definitely a great gift idea! If you can find this EDC wallet for under 40, you have got yourself a steal! It’s a 5 star rated wallet perfect for the guy or girl.

Another perfect gift for EDC is a quality light! These lights can be used for hard to see situations during the day and for lumination at night. This tactical and Durable Light is a must have for EDC’ers (and everyone really! It lights up a room!). This 5 star rated Amazon’s choice streamlight is a great addition to your everyday carry. And if you can find it under 40, it’s a steal!

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Firefighter Banquet and Crew Gifts 👨🏿‍🚒👨🏾‍🚒👩🏽‍🚒👩🏼‍🚒👨🏻‍🚒

Looking for some affordable group gifts for firefighters? Or Maybe Christmas Gifts for the crew? Check out this selection of items that can be mixed and matched to provide group gifts for firefighters of all shapes and sizes!

First things first, most Firefighter Banquets have an award or recognition section. There are lots of different options for neat mementos to celebrate Firefighters!

Looking for a raffle gift or a gift for Firefighter of the year? Helmet Light to the rescue! This budget friendly helmet light comes with 5 star reviews and is sure to be useful for the career and volunteer Firefighter!

An easy and quick gift for a Firefighter Crew gift are these Thin Red Line Keychains! This pack of 5 comes ready to gift, and with great reviews you know it will be a winner!

For Under 20 dollars you can get a group of 6 Thin Red line Coozies for the gang! Printed in USA and with a 5 star rating, these are a quick and easy gift for the crew.

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I love to support Firefighter Owned Business! Here is a great selection of Firefighter Owned Companies and the products they make.

Recycled Firefighter has a whole line of really cool items– Firefighter made of course! From Wallets and Belts to Bags!

You know what Firefighters love? COFFEE! And their is a Firefighter Owned coffee company called, ” Fire Dept. Coffee!” Support Firefighters and give your Firefighter something you KNOW they will put to good use!

Does your Firefighter have a mustache that could use some TLC?! This Firefighter owned Business took things a step further and made some mustache wax! This is especially useful on the job for keeping all the hairs where they need to stay!

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Thin Red Line

There are so many cool items with the Thin Red Line! It’s almost like the Firefighters got a rebrand!

Thin Red Line Tshirts are always a big hit with Firefighters- after all Firefighters love T-shirts! Check out the assortment on Amazon, or click on the images below when you find one you like!

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When in doubt

When in doubt you can always get your firefighter a gift card, they do love to eat! Or their favorite homemade meal or dessert. Never underestimate the power of a full stomach!

Ironically food from the public isn’t always as welcome because we aren’t sure how its been cooked. If you want to know how to thank a firefighter you aren’t related to, I have 5 easy ways to thank a firefighter!

Conclusion

There are so many great Firefighter themed gifts on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay- Plus a score of other firefighter sites. If you are interested in some recycled Fire Hose gifts, check out this FireHose DIY and Gift guide.

Firefighters and holiday stress

Firefighters-stressed-Christmas

 

Holidays are a time for fun and Santa Claus, who’s actually a firefighter. Stress still happens though. It’s actually pretty common for firefighters to experience some added stress during the holidays, and even depression this time of year. UC Davis points out that Holiday depression is a bit more common because of our activities. The time change, overeating, lack of sleep, family problems and increase alcohol use make it a scary time for someone who needs a hand. 

And thats just for the average bear… and we know that firefighters aren’t average. In fact, firefighters deal with an insane amount of stress and problems on the regular. Throw in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and it can be a lot to handle, especially when all of the firefighter training didn’t really cover stress management. This article by Fire Engineering has some great tips for Holiday suicide awareness. Since stressed Firefighters tend to carry a lot of baggage.

Even though they have an absolutely amazing job, it does come with some downsides.

Dealing with too much over the Christmas season is a real problem that lots of people face, especially firefighters. Not only do you have holiday drama, depression and crazy weather but you also have to deal with your job. Sometimes the holiday calls are anything but cheery, you are the ones trying to save those unfortunate to be hurt this holiday season.

Hopefully, some of these stress reducing tips below help during this years festivities.

[This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my affiliate policy for more info. ]

Create a Thankful list (and it goes hand in hand with thanksgiving!)

Commercialism has really turned the holidays into a fast paced mad house. Getting a thankful list together is a quick and easy way to get your priorities straight and lift that stress off your shoulders. No, you don’t have to carry the world on your back. Take the time to really look at what you are thankful for and find some peace in letting go of stuff that isn’t as important. As firefighters, we know how quickly things can change. Let the people in your life know how thankful you are for them. 

Bonfire, Fireplace, Candles

Lets face it, like 99.99% of Firefighters are pyromaniacs. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but you guys love fire! So while a smoke showing call gets your adrenaline going, a safely controlled fire can help you relax. Take it a step further and try those fancy scented candles that help to reduce stress. Firemen, thats what you call a ‘two for one!’ 

Prayer and meditation (try sitting for 20 mins with no distractions, no phone, no TV- just chill.)

I always reference prayer and meditation when it comes to stressful situations because there is a lot of hope in knowing that you aren’t alone. Another thing that goes along with this is finding a quite place and sitting/laying uninterrupted for 20 mins. No phone, No TV, no music, nobody nagging in your ear. Just take the time to clear those crazy thoughts and figure out why the heck your brain is not your friend all the time. Don’t DO anything. No driving or fidgeting. Just be comfortable in your own skin. Chances are, you’ll figure out whats really been bothering you. 

Avoid the stress

Do you have a particular event coming up that is making you wig out? Well… if at all possible, just cancel. And if you can’t cancel, come up with a quick exit. More than likely, not many people are going to miss you (it’s just that your anxiety tells you otherwise!). And don’t wait for the day of to do it, causing you to be stressed about it for weeks. Know what your limits are, Your health is important! Make some quick solid decision and move on with the other Holiday Fun. Its what the perfect firefighter would do. 

Rescue remedy

Looking for something nonaddictive that the natural folks say helps with stress. The little tablets or droplets called “Rescue Remedy” are a combination of a few homeopathic remedies and can help with stress. We’re not saying they are going to magically heal a broken bone (because they won’t) but they DO help with taking the edge off- no illicit activity required. These little tablets are so handy we keep them in the house and the car, because sometimes holiday road rage happens.  Check it out on here. 

Drop the Toxic People

Do you have family members you just cant stand? Just send them a card instead. I’m serious. No point in the two of you having a staring contest and then comparing your wins over the last year. Is someone at work bothering you? Just steer clear of them. Tada! It’s not rocket science. It’s proven that you will be 100% happier not dealing with people that piss you off. 

Life is too short for the nonsense

Dealing with too much over the Christmas season is a real problem that lots of people face, especially firefighters. Stress has a huge impact on your life, and sometimes the stress isn’t even worth it. I know for my Firefighter, we have to step back and evaluate what is really important.

Have some grace on yourself. What you deal with in one shift, people can hardly image. Yes, you are tough, but take time this holiday season to take care of yourself and your family. Firefighters rescue others, but sometimes they need to rescue themselves. I know lots of firefighters that think they are indestructible, but lets be honest, it’s ok to know your limits, it’s part of what brings you home to your family. 

 

So tell me, do you have any suggestions for the rookie and the ole salty dog when it comes to the holiday madness? Leave me a comment below!

 

 

Firefighters-stress-holidays

 

Firefighter-holiday-stress

Firefighter stress holidays

Firefighters get stressed out during the holidays! Don’t let it put a damper on your plans. Check out these holiday hacks. #firefighters #firemen

Early Firefighter Retirement- The Raw Truth

Firefighter retirement, Retire at 30 years

 

Hey Fire Family, 

I wanted to talk today about a kind of taboo topic. 

Have you ever had days where you said, I just can’t do this anymore? I can’t be a firefighter. Or maybe it was, I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t want to be a firefighter. 

 

I can only emphasize as a firewife, because I haven’t said those words exactly, but I can promise you that I have been there for my husband as he questioned his career choice, in the greatest job ever, on tough days like that. (and sometimes I was the one, watching him suffer, that questioned whether the job was worth it). 

Forget the long nights, crazy shift patterns and budget cuts. This isn’t about the sacrifices you make for the best job ever. This is about the stress that slowly sneaks up on you. 

Sometimes, it was a bad calls, or a series a bad calls. Other times it was simply a flashback of remembering a call that you had gone to, heard about or read in one of the firefighter newsletters. It’s hard not to picture yourself there when your brothers and sisters are suffering. Because in your own way, you have lived it too. You have lived the calls of your firefighter family in more ways than one, both in person and in spirit. 

You know what it feels like. 

Some people call this PTSD, some others call it ‘just a bad day’. Sometimes people just say, ‘I hate my job’ or sometime they pretend like everything is ok and that the stress isn’t getting to them. 

Whatever you call it, it happens, it’s real, and it doesn’t need to be downplayed. Because more often than not, Firefighters have days where they just feel that they just need a break.

That it is all simply too much. That they never want to experience a call or a flashback like that again. 

So I wanted to talk about the times when Firefighters don’t make it to retirement. When they start out with good intentions, a rookie, a probie, a Jake… whatever you call it.

And they’re so excited to be a firefighter.

And then the bad calls happen, and the bad days, and the anxiety sets in that your going to get a call to your home address, or to extended family and friends, or that you’ll get a call while your at work that something bad has happened and you’re over an hour away. That’s real.

Thats not only real, but it happens  to a lot of firefighters, especially as they put more time in on the job. 

So what does a firefighters do when they have days like this?

Well the real question is not what do they do, its what do they want to do.

 Because you have options.

***If you ever just feel like giving up- please call- 1-800-273-8255. You are so valuable! ***

 The first option, and the biggest option that I wholeheartedly recommend is to talk to someone, because regardless of if you stay a firefighter, or you move on to another job that doesn’t bring up so many negative emotions- You need to discuss this with someone. There are honest conversations that you need to have.

Sometimes that doesn’t happen though.  Especially if you are trying to shelter someone. I know that there have been times that my husband and I have tried to discuss some of his bad days and out of respect for me, he’s sheltered some of the information, which I appreciate. But. He’s still playing the hero. It doesn’t do him any good to keep everything bottled up. 

Or maybe those that are closest to you aren’t supportive- which happens, especially if they don’t understand the kind of things you do on a daily basis. So I want to encourage you to find another trusted individual.

Maybe its your Lt, another shift mate or a firefighter at another station over. Maybe its your mom,  your dad, or another person that you have zero relationship to, but that treats you like family. The point is to have an honest conversation. 

After you’ve talked to somebody, once or a hundred times, and you still have these bad days. You have to make a decision. Is it better for your health, for your marriage, for your life if you look at a different position?

 This could be a different position in the fire service, simply at another station, moving up to another position like inspector or instructor.

There’s a lot that you can do in the fire service that doesn’t require you to be a hands on person- and there’s no shame in that. I want you to realize if this is you we’re talking about, a coworker, a friend, your spouse.

What firefighters and first responders see, at some of these calls, there is literally no words for it. It is very difficult when we ask them questions about ‘what was their worst call’ or ‘worst day’, or just ‘tell me whats wrong’. You’re asking them to relive all of their decisions, all of their calls, every option that they’ve had- and that’s a lot on a person. Especially when it happens over and over.

Overwhelming doesn’t even cover it when someone is living with the anxiety of PTSD. 

 

They don’t all get the 30 year retirement

You talk to some of these older firefighters that tend to be little rough around the edges. They aren’t called salty dogs because they’re just old.

They’re called salty dogs because they’ve seen it and they’ve lived it. And if they make it to that 30 year retirement, they actually earned it many years prior. 

Not everyone becomes a salty dog though. Some of these firefighter retire at 2, 5 and 10 years. Some may only make it a few months in their current position, I know my husband wanted to quit the first few weeks because he felt like he could never be good enough. Could never be responsible enough to save someones life. (but he is enough and has done so much for the fire service!) 

As someone with a background in Human resources, I can assure you that few people make it to that 30 year retirement in the same career, for a variety of reasons.

The main one I see in the fire service is that it is simply too much stress on the firefighter, their mental health, and their family. Even though Firefighters don’t divorce at any higher rates that the average American, the stress still plays a very real part on their marriage. Very similar to what you see in the military, and can be compounded by a veteran that joins the fire service. 

It’s crazy to think about too, the amount of preventable LODD’s that happen each year where our brothers and sister don’t make it retirement, because they aren’t here with us anymore. Job related injury and death is a very real threat. While we don’t know ahead of time who will be involved in a LODD, we do know that all our Fire family is at risk in training and on the job.

Early Firefighter Retirement- Could it save your life

Should you stay or should you go? It’s not about the money or the glory. 

If you’ve decided to move on from your current position, I want you to know that it is the right decision.

This is, after all, just a job. 

And I know that can be kind of hard to wrap your mind around, because you love the job.  And you are committed to your job. But you don’t love all the parts, and certain parts of this job are actually hurting you as a person.

Sometimes it gets to be too much. 

If you decided to stay at your job, I want to encourage you to look at your position, figure out what you can do to make it work for you.

Hopefully you can take some time off to recharge. Maybe, you need to put in FMLA and take some extended time off. Whatever you decide to do. I just want you to know that your life, and your mental health is more important that this job. 

Whether you stay or go, You are still a firefighter- You still contributed to the fire service– and if this isn’t the place for you right now in your life, it’s ok. This doesn’t have to be the end. After all, this is just a job. 

I challenge you to talk about the mental health needs surrounding our fire service personal and how we can help Firefighters be healthy, both physically and mentally.

For more information on mental health and resources for firefighters and their families, check out this post here for valuable resources. 

If you are interested in a game plan for becoming the best Firefighter you can be in 2019, check out this series for some inspiration.

Firefighters face so many dangers on the job, read this article to see the raw truth about an early retirement. #firefighters #firemen #mentalhealth #firefightercancer #firefighterdivorce

The Top Firefighter Myths

Have you heard some ridiculous things about firefighters? I know I have. These common misconceptions about Firefighters are prevalent during dinner time conversation with distant family.

From sliding-down-the-pole innuendos to each station having a Dalmatian, things get interesting when I say that my husband is a firefighter.

Then the public seems to think that Firefighters will fill their pool for them, or remove the mouse family from their attic (if you’ve been on the job, you know you have some crazy calls!!).

But the thing about these firefighter myths, while they sound crazy, some people actually believe they are true! So I’m here to set the record straight about the funny firefighter stereotypes that you might here about.

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my affiliate disclosure policy for more info.

So without further ado, here’s the top 3 Firefighter Myths…  

3. All Firefighters are hot

PSSHHHH. 

Hold up. I have heard this a countless number of times, followed by “because I have a single friend”

Disclaimer: I don’t own rights to most of these glorious memes you’re about to see
I mean, are these even really firefighters?

Maybe it was the years of firefighter calendars, or maybe it was the knight in dirty turnouts that saved the little old lady who then told her book club about his butt… Firefighters have been seen as attractive for years! 

But sadly, we know thats not always the case. Some of our fire family aren’t attractive according to traditional beauty standards- and thats just fine with me.

I don’t need someone showing up shirtless to rescue me from a burning building. I also don’t play into the hype that you need to be good looking to be a firefighters- but I guess it helps with the ladies! 

Can I get an Amen?

So for all you attractive firefighters- great job setting the bar high for everyone else. Having a six pack is NOT a requirement for being a firefighter- but it can help, cardio is important!

But for real though, they have 2019 firefighter calendars on Amazon. I guess if you’ve got it, you flaunt it? in bunker gear? It’s like instagram but instead you get paid for it!

2. Firefighters are all Dogs (Dalmatians of course 😉

I’m going to be honest here. When my husband first said he wanted to become a firefighter, I thought, ‘oh great, he’s going to be stationed with a bunch of womanizing assholes’. 

SORRY… turns out the firefighters he works with are fantastic.

While there’s always one or two dogs- All firefighters are certainly not that way. Since my husband has become a firefighter, I’ve heard it all. This is a badly perpetuated myth that people just don’t seem to understand.

From supposed wild trysts to being a sex addict- Firefighters get a bad rap when it comes to being a dog. They are just supposed to be “irresistible when the put on bunker gear”- UGH. This isn’t Hollywood people!

Even the female firefighters get a bad rap, they get called horrible names and made out to be these women who are having an identity crisis. That is rarely the case.  (And don’t even get me started on what firefighters call the opposite sex- not all women are hose chasers and badge bunnies).

There is also the stigma that they are inherent cheaters.

Again, there are some people that can’t stay faithful, but that is certainly not always the case for our fire family. The honest truth is that they would cheat whether they were firefighters or teachers. 

And the supposed high divorce rates aren’t that accurate either. I even did a whole post to separate the fact from the fiction. 85% divorce rate? I think not!

firefighter, fire family

So please, let’s lay this one to rest and do our best to educate the public. We are a lot nicer than we seem.

And that young bachelor whose playing the field- give him some guidance so he can stop filling his life with meaningless flings. Or at least don’t have him brag about being a firefighter. Jakes. no common sense. 

  1. Firefighters just hang out at the station all day

You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. It’s probably the top firefighter myth no matter where you live at. 

Depending on the day, my response varies from laughter to pure annoyance.

If you catch me in a really bad mood, I’ll start spouting statistics about medical calls and response times (trust me, you don’t want to see the education I give an unsuspecting bystander!). 

I really don’t understand why this is such a prevalent theme. I mean, yes, firefighters can have days (good days if you ask me) when there are not many calls to be anwsered.

I’m personally a big fan of people not getting hurt… so that means more down time. 

I’ve always wondered if this is one of those myths that get shared when they are looking to cut the budget.

“Get rid of those firefighters, they just lay around and do nothing all day on the tax payer dime”- insert eyeroll here.

If it was acceptable to have more people (especially those “concerned” citizens) do ride time with the station, then I would be all for the kick-in-the-pants revelation these people would receive about the work firefighters actually do.

Because they wear a bunch of hats (again, way too many if you ask me) and they do a damn good job serving our community. 

So yes, it does piss me off when I hear that they do nothing till they get a call. That’s why community outreach is so important.

Not to mention- Firemen don’t learn how to save lives in one day. They need to train! So, NO, they aren’t just laying around the fire station.

With over a million firefighters in the US we are starting to make a real impact on the public’s perception. Maybe just not when it comes time to rearrange the budget.

Speaking of budgets, if you aren’t already a volunteer. You should be! We are short staffed across the US, and can use more great volunteers.

Conclusion

So there you have it. The top three myths when it comes to firefighters. Got another good one that I didn’t share? Drop it in the comments below!

P.S. Want to know another harmful myth? Firefighters aren’t immune to mental health needs.  Check out my post on PTSD and suicide resources so your prepared when your fire family needs you the most. Don’t let a mayday go unanswered on your shift.

5 Ways to Thank a FireFighter

Easy ways to thank a firefighter


 

Firefighters.

They are lifesavers- literally.

Maybe it’s your cat, your neighbor or a dear loved one; our first responders make the difference. So how do you say thank you for all that a first responder has done? 

 

Firefighters do a lot. They run an amazing amount of medical calls, from lift assists to major emergencies. Then they fight fires.

Most of the time these are false alarms, but car fires and structure fires do happen (and some places get way too many fires!). Firefighters also do a lot of citizen calls, especially for our furry friends and other animals that need a helping hand.

The issue is that firefighters and other first responders aren’t supposed to accept gifts since it could be consider bribery.

They do what they do because they love their jobs, not for the flashy red truck (ok, maybe part of what they do is because they always wanted to drive a fire truck!) Firefighters don’t come to your aid because they want you to shower them with praise and throw money at them.

In Fact, around 70% of firefighters in the US are volunteers. Yep, that means over half of the firefighters that respond to emergency calls don’t make a single penny. 

So maybe you just want to say thanks for being awesome and you want to teach your kids that firefighters are good people or firefighters saved you from a burning car.

Maybe you want to thank them for being there on your worst day, or you just really appreciate the work that they do.

 Either way, this list is for you!

firefighters, gifts, thank you, fire family

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

  1. Deliver a card

Firefighters often wonder about patients after they are done with their calls. It’s not uncommon for a firefighter to check at the local hospital on the well being of someone they rescued, but sometimes they don’t find out the whole story.

It’s a pretty natural reaction, Firefighters often see people when they are having a really bad day, sometimes this translates to PTSD- they wonder what happened or why the world works the way it does.

Delivering a card not only shows kindness to the men and women who helped, it also allows them to say hi, and to see you again. Not every story has a happy ending- thats ok too. It shouldn’t stop the family members from coming by to kindly talk- we all need the resolution that a kind word can bring in sad situations.

Cards are also a great option for the kids to have a “reason” to stop by the station.

Kids of all ages love to see the firetrucks  and have the opportunity to give the gift of kindness! Most fire stations (specifically the career ones, sometimes the volunteer ones) schedule events for the community, and can also schedule a station tour. Firefighters want kids to understand that they are their to save them and they also want to share life saving tips for the families. Who knows, you might end up bringing a card and leaving with a fire hat!

  1. Make a donation to the station or firefighters organization in your city or county, the gift that keeps on giving.

This is one of my favorite gifts because it helps our firefighters get more equipment or whatever else they might need.

Believe it or not, some fire-station’s have so little equipment that the first responders are purchasing what they need out of their own pockets. So not only do we have lots of volunteers (close to 70% in the USA) but we also have many of them purchasing their own equipment or product to save the lives of others.

I’ll repeat that in case someone was scrolling to fast. There are first responders that frequently buy their own equipment. From tools to disposable medical equipment. 

Help those that help you and give what you can. If you don’t have a lot, talk to the station and see if their is a fundraising event that you can help promote. You can also check to see how the firefighters are supported through taxes and donations and get the community involved if your station needs help. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving. 

  1. Recognize them on social media

Wether we want to admit it or maybe we wholeheartedly embrace it, social media is a big way we connect now. If a first responder made a difference in your life, share your story! Not only will the firefighters see it, but you’ll also show others how important it is to have a fully functional fire-station.

Who knows, you could have the next viral post! I love to see positive job well done posts in (what sometimes feels like) a sea of negative posts. Brighten up someones day and share good deeds when you can. It really does make a difference. 

It can also do wonders for your community morale. Share it to some local community pages and let everyone see the job well done.

if you don’t use social media- write up a nice note and post it to local community boards (like the coffee shop, the library or the post office) You can also talk to the local newspaper and ask them to feature your kind words or even do an article on the awesome firefighters you have at your local station!

  1. Bring them flowers. A plant. Plant a tree in their name. 

Something is so peaceful about plants. They don’t require much but they are able to brighten up a space, without making it seem unnatural.

Firefighters would enjoy a beautiful arrangement or smaller plant. This is especially true for the receptionist at the fire station, he/she does a lot to keep the station running smoothly, and I’m sure they would appreciate flowers to brighten up their office space! 

Another option is to plant a tree in their name. We have a tree that was dedicated to a war veteran in our town in the 1970’s, and as of 2018, it is a majestic oak!

I think planting trees in thanks or memoriam are a win win. They preserve nature and serve as a reminder to all those that visit. And unlike a bench, they don’t cost very much if they are planted while they are small. See if you can’t make it a community effort and dedicate a tree at the next local event where everyone can appreciate the gift.  

  1. Magazine subscription or a book

I say this one with a chuckle, most firefighters, contrary to popular belief, have very little down time. But when they do it can be nice to flip through a magazine to take their mind of the stresses of the job.

This can be a thoughtful gift to subscribe to every month, and some subscriptions offer packages of more than one magazine. A good example of a magazine could be National Geographic or Family Handyman

Firefighters are also really good at cooking (cough cough, with exceptions). 

So another great way to thank them would be with your favorite cook book! I know the guys at the station like to cook together a lot, but “taco night” can only get used so much before it gets boring!!! Do the firefighters a favor, bring them a cook book thats original yet easy, I’m sure it will get used! 

If you don’t think a cook book would be appropriate, check out my list of recommended books for Firefighters to read. Maybe one of these resonates with you. 


So there you have it-the list of gift ideas! 

I do want to say as a disclaimer though, firefighters do love their food! I know a lot of churches and organizations in our city give food to the first responders, especially on holidays.

Firefighters have to be careful when it comes to food donations because their are bad people in this world. If you really want to give the station some goodies, check with them first to find out their guidelines. 

Share this post with someone that wants to recognize a firefighter! They are there when we need them, so I love to share ways we can make their day! 

 

Easy ways to thank a firefighter when they have helped you out! #firefighters #kidslovefirefighters #thankyou #thankfirstresponders
5 ways you can thank a firefighter for all the hard work they do! Get the kids involved and get to know your local station. #momlife #wifelife #firewife #responsiblekids #thankful #firefighters

20 things the Perfect Firefighter doesn’t tell you

We all know the ‘perfect’ firefighter.

The one who has done everything. The one with certifications and awards and a large number of fire’s under their belt. The one that is going to conferences and has an impressive list of trainings.

They work at the department you’ve always dreamed about, they have the perfect Fire family and their social media feed is full of evidence to prove that their life is perfect. 

Sound about right?

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

Is it Really that Simple?

Except it’s not.

I know that I’ve been guilty of trying to show only the good days, only talk about what’s going right and not what’s going wrong.

I don’t like to mention areas that I’ve needed help, or areas where I’ve outright failed.

And that happens to everyone else too- especially when it comes to social media.

Most of these ‘perfect’ firefighters are years into their career and had obstacles to overcome as probationary firefighters. 

We look at where they are in their journey and think that it happened overnight.

And it’s hard not to, especially when you want to be the kind of person that you think they are. When you log onto instagram or twitter every day to see if they posted something new. 

When you really care about their opinion on certain things, on training tactics and on health matters.

There is nothing wrong with knowing the perfect firefighter- we just need to keep everything in perspective about what’s really happening. 

So this ‘perfect’ firefighter? I’m going to tell you 20 things they might not share about their unperfect selves. 

20 Truths the Perfect Firefighter doesn’t want you to know

  1. The perfect firefighter- they’ve had a turnout malfunction. Maybe they got stuck in their boots or whacked themselves with an airpack. But it happened. And it hurt. 
  2. They’ve also forgotten do to something important, from gear to a check off. Their time management isn’t perfect either. 
  3. They burp. And fart, and maybe they snore. 
  4. At one point in their life they skipped a training day, and they will never tell you. 
  5. They’ve damaged some equipment. From accidentally scratching the truck to dropping the K12 saw. It happened. And someone probably saw it. They also lost their custom Leatherman Raptor Shears. And they were pissed.
  6.  They’ve had to go to bad calls. Calls that really sucked. Its possible that these calls still haunt them like they do everyone else. 
  7.  Their family life isn’t perfect. Sometimes they fight with their spouse. and its loud. and the neighbors hear it. 
  8. They’ve had to meet with a superior for a mistake they made. Maybe this has happened more than once 
  9.  They’ve had FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to fires and those “cool” calls and they’re jealous of the firefighters that got to work the call. 
  10.  After tones drop in the middle of the night, the perfect firefighter has gone to a call looking like death warmed over. 
  11.  More than once, they’ve cracked a joke. And it wasn’t funny. and no one laughed. 
  12.  They’ve had days where they never got to eat a single meal. They also complained about it. 
  13. They stink. And they shower. And the tones drop. (no one is immune from the shower tones)
  14.  Sometimes they rush through patient reports (and they might even forget a detail or two)
  15.  After a fire, they’ve had times when they didn’t do a thorough decon. It happens to the best of us. Just remember to do better next time.
  16.  They’ve had to wear dirty clothes because they didn’t have a spare (Maybe they had fresh underwear, chances are they didn’t)
  17.  The Perfect Firefighter has days where they just don’t feel good enough. Everything they do is wrong. They want to go back to bed.
  18. They also have days where they question their life, their job and the choices they’ve made. 
  19.  Social media posts are not effortless. They spend time agonizing over the perfect shot, the perfect caption and the right amount of hashtags. Then they still question themselves. 
  20.  The perfect firefighter wishes they were more like you. 

So Basically…

Think the Perfect Firefighter doesn’t have bad days? Think again!

You need to remember why you are even doing this job in the first place.


Ultimately, this list was meant to show you, that no matter how “perfect” a certain firefighter is, they still have rough times.

It has something to do with this condition called ‘being a human’ and the side effects include sucky days and making mistakes. 

This list was meant to highlight some humor and a whole lot of seriousness. People (especially firefighters) tend to be really hard on themselves, and for good reason.

Firefighters and other first responders know that they literally hold peoples lives in their hand.

And that makes it really hard for them to not compare themselves, because they want to be the very best so that they can help others. Which is kinda cool, till you realize the mental damage that comparison does to self confidence.

Maybe you know them in real life, maybe you’ve only met them for a minute at a training.

I’m thoroughly convinced that half of the ‘perfect firefighters’ live on Instagram and aren’t even real.

 So let’s build up our brothers and sisters. Too many of our family suffer from stress and bad memories. 

Do you know a Firefighter you could share this with? Drop them a link or share it on social media! Maybe we can all be perfect firefighters together 😉

Collection of Firefighter Movies

Firefighter, Movies, Firemen, Thin Red Line

Long list of firefighter movies (with family friendly options!)

Hey Fire Family!

Movies. We love em. We hate em. They make us cry, laugh and groan. Often times they are insanely inaccurate of how fire life really works. But we still watch them! Which leads me to this list.  I wanted to make a list of movies so I can fall back on them whenever (especially the kids ones!) and though it would be nice to share. (since sharing is caring)

These movies are in no particular order- because how can you rate the awesomeness of some of these movies!

I tried not to list anything before 1940, because I’m not sure where you get get it at. I also did NOT LIST ANY TV SHOWS. 

You can hate me for that, but they are so full of drama (and we have enough in our real lives) that I just couldn’t bare to list them. Maybe I’ll make another blog post about them one day, I’m sure more will come out, as the general public just eats them up! 

So grab the popcorn, many of these can be streamed but some will require some preplanning to purchase online and have delivered.

We’ll start with the family friendly options

Firehouse Dog

Commander Courage in the Fire Station

Elmo visits the Firehouse 

FireMan Sam (Alien Alert and Ultimate Heroes)

Planes: Fire and rescue 

Chugginton- the train show on Netflix, in later episodes one of the trains becomes a First Responder.

The Ultimate list of Movies (tv shows not included)

Pre 2000

Ablaze

Backdraft

Firestorm

Fire! Trapped on the 37th floor. 

Crash landing: the rescue of flight 232

Hellfighters 

The bells go down

Always- 1989

City on Fire

False Alarms (FF)

Firehouse (1987)

The Towering Inferno

After 2000

Blue Smoke

Collareral Damage

Fireproof

Ladder 49

Only The Brave 

Burn 

Fire with Fire 

I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry

Granite Mountain

Frequency

Fahrenheit 451

Hallmark/Made for TV movies (watch for these around christmas time!)

A firefighter for christmas 

The nine lives of christmas 

Second Chances

 A Firefighter Christmas 

One True Love 

Firefighter 

Not in English 

As the light goes out

lifeline

A dangerous summer (??)

The Tower

Out of inferno 

Burning Flame 

Didn’t see one of your favorites listed? Leave me a comment!

I know that Netflix and Amazon are always adding new movies these days! So maybe we’ll see some more great additions to our collection of flicks.

Until then- watch the classics!

P.S. Want to know how you can help out Firefighters. Check out our LODD and Mental Health Resources here.

Firefighter, Movies, Firemen, Thin Red Line
The Ultimate List of Firefighter Movies (with Family Friendly Options!)

LODD and Mental Health Programs for Firefighters

Firefighters, LODD, lodd, suicide, thin red line, line of duty death, PTSD, mental health awareness

Firefighters, EMS and other first responders face a lot of risks on the job, and a lot of risks that follow them home. Sometimes these risks are minor and sometimes they grow into physical and mental problems.

The more we talk about this, the more brothers and sisters we can help. Before I did research on this topic, I had only seen a few of these services, and my Firefighter husband had only heard of one. 

Often times we don’t know of the help we need, when we need it. Together we can be aware of the options and end the stigma around mental health and fitness, so that our Fire Family can avoid some of these preventable losses.

We can also bring more awareness and highlight resources in our diligent effort to prevent LODD’s. 

Here is a list of non-profits and organizations that can help support those who risk their lives for others. This list is not exhaustive, I will update as I find new information. I am not affiliated with any of these groups nor did I receive any incentive to list them. If I have missed a group or charity, please leave a comment or send me a message! 

Stay Strong Fire Family!!

firefighter, PTSD, mental health.
 

Mental Health Awareness, Suicide Prevention, Family Help

Main Suicide Hotline-
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Share the Load Program
Fire/EMS Help line- 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)
-The NVFC’s Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems.

Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance
-The mission of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is to collaborate, develop and implement behavioral health awareness, prevention, intervention, and post crisis strategies to provide firefighters with an easily accessible and confidential source of information.

Next Rung
-Ultimately we strive to make an impact in the First Responder Community… It’s that simple!!! So our goal is to provide resources to help combat the mental health issues that plague Fire, EMS, and Police personnel. We serve so faithfully, now it’s time to be served ourselves.

10-33 Foundation
-10-33 Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a dedicated mission of providing
​stress management & mitigation education & training (S.A.M.M.), consultation services, emotional and spiritual support services,
and follow up care to the first responder professions, military members and their families.

Safe Call Now
Safe Call Now is a CONFIDENTIAL, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral  service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide.

Suicide Sucks
Nobody knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. But there are some who’ve walked similar paths. Check out their stories to see how they faced suicide, and conquered.

LODD and LODD prevention for Firefighters 

National Fallen Firefighter Foundation
OUR MISSION IS TO HONOR AND REMEMBER AMERICA’S FALLEN FIRE HEROES, TO PROVIDE RESOURCES TO ASSIST THEIR FAMILIES IN REBUILDING THEIR LIVES, AND WORK WITHIN THE FIRE SERVICE COMMUNITY TO REDUCE FIREFIGHTER DEATHS AND INJURIES.

Everyone Goes Home
-Fire Life Safety Initiatives by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 

Close your door
-The Close Your Door safety initiative comes as the result of over 10 years of research by the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI). After proving that a closed door could potentially save lives in a fire, UL FSRI has committed to share this finding with the world.

Firefighter Near Miss
-Lessons Learned Become Lessons Applied

Hoarding awareness-
 https://chamberofhoarders.com and www.hoardingcleanup.com 

First Responder Center
-First Responder Center for Excellence for Reducing Occupational Illness, Injuries and Deaths, Inc. The First Responder Center for Excellence is an affiliate organization of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Cancer Resources and Prevention

Take No Smoke

-This website supports the Take No Smoke campaign and shares information on our efforts to mitigate exposures whenever we can. Share these videos, use the Contact Us page to ask questions, and learn about our initiatives.

Not in our House

-Not in Our House asks firefighters to sign an online pledge of safety on the website, www.notinourhouse.com, and provides downloadable resources, awareness statistics, and an outlet to share personal firefighter cancer stories.

Extinguish Cancer

-Extinguish Cancer™ was created to be an extension of Bob’s reminder, to continue the conversation, and bring action and awareness to cancer in the fire service. Sadly, cancer is the most dangerous and unrecognized threat to the health and safety of our nation’s firefighters.

Firefighters and Asbestos Exposure

Firefighters are at risk of Asbestos Exposure when they are dealing with older housing and commercial structures. This extensive guide covers information pertinent to Firefighters and their family to reduce and prevent exposure, as well as resources and information following an exposure. 

Additional Resources:

Infographic- https://www.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/six-minutes-for-safety/Firefighter-Health-and-First-Aid/6MFS_FirefighterMentalIllnessSuicide.pdf

For the Fire Wife LODD- https://firefighterwife.com/blog/2013/07/13/that-knock-on-the-door-lodd/

IAFF Behavioral Help- http://client.prod.iaff.org/#page=behavioralhealth

LODD Awareness- https://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/firefighters-take-suicide-prevention-training/

International Suicide Program- http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/resource_firstresponders.pdf

https://www.sprc.org/resources-programs/qpr-ems-firefighters

Suicide Awareness-

https://www.firehouse.com/safety-health/news/12173198/soaring-firefighter-suicides-focus-of-documentary

http://client.prod.iaff.org/#contentid=1748

https://www.floridafirefightersafety.org/mental-wellness/mental-wellness-resources/suicide-resiliency

https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/saving-those-who-save-others-retired-chief-aims-stop-firefighter-suicides

http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/sites/actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/files/Press%20Release_Firefighter%20Video_FINAL.pdf

20 Weird but Effective Questions for the Fire Station

New to the Job? Or did your station just hire on a Probie? Either way- you need to learn about your newest coworker. Firefighter’s risk their lives and you can’t have someone on your team that you don’t trust.

But sitting down and grilling them (or hazing them) is really frowned upon- especially if you’ve ever made somebody quit. Gotta stop being a salty dog and change your tactics!

So when you have all these firefighters together, most of the time they crack inappropriate jokes. Which is funny… the first 50 times. Now you want to get to know your shift (wether they are a bunch of salty dogs or the newest jake), but you don’t know where to start?  As great as it is to enjoy some humor, it doesn’t always fit with the needs of the fire department crew.

Well your in luck! I’ve got lots of HR experience, so I compiled a list of things that you can talk about besides  picking on the probie and cracking ‘whose your daddy’ jokes. I promise that only half of them are related to the fire service!

The first 5 are Fire Related

20. Should we bring back firefighter calendars? 

And no, it doesn’t have to be all muscle-bob-buff-pants, lots of people are rocking a dad bod. If you don’t believe me just check out instagram. 

19. Speaking of Instagram, should firefighters be able to post picture of the job on their personal social media accounts? 

Although this is probably more of a generational thing, its still good to talk about. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon.

18. Whats the value in having a station mascot or dog? 

Think Fido would help us with the public image. 

17. Whats next in terms of training? Do you plan to go back to school or attend any conferences? 

Which is a great question to ask, you never know what local training might be available. Never stop training! 

16. Did anyone else ever dream of being a firefighter when they were a kid? What caused you to join the fire service.

My Husband actually wanted to be a police officer *gasp!* so that he could follow in the footsteps of his grandfather. Thankfully he wised up and became a firefighter. 

15 other topics- not Fire related

15. If you could go to any country in the world, what would you eat while you were there?

We always talk about what we would see, but what are we supposed to eat. My Husband said his sister ate Mcdonalds chicken nuggets the entire time she was in Russia… 

14. What’s your favorite restaurant that most other people don’t go to? 

Which is a great question to ask, because firefighters love their food!

13.If you could have any superpower, what would it be. 

In case you are wondering, I would like to be invisible or to fly, preferably both. 

12. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? Would you still show up to work the next day?

While rare, it could totally happen. You should probably get it in writing that your shift mate said they would buy you a truck if they won the lottery though. 

11. When you retire what kind of person do you see yourself being? 

I’d like to live on a farm somewhere surrounding by lots of cute baby animals. 

Weird but effective conversation starters for the Fire Station

10. What is Happiness to you? And are you happy today?

While this is a loaded question, it can also help you keep tabs on your crew and their mental health. We need to do everything we can to help our brothers and sisters fight for their happiness. 

9. Do you have a secret recipe? 

Because their are some firefighters that can cook… and then their are some that can cook! You should be super friendly to that people that make you food. 

8. What do you do to reduce stress?

I can see some firefighters having some silly responses, but in all seriousness, this job can be stressful. Its cool to acknowledge it and maybe learn about a new stress reliever that fits in with your job. I’ve got some great suggestions of stress management you can do on shift too!

7. Do you sleep good when you’re at home? Where do you get the best night sleep at?

Again, something that could provide some needed conversations about risks of the job that no one really likes to bring up. 

6. Whats the most important invention related to our job? It can be equipment or a tactical skill.

This answer might surprise you! I’m a big fan of SCBA’s, but some could argue that a jacked up tower truck is the best thing since sliced bread.  

5. Whats the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone you liked romantically?

Once I went zip-lining, and then he proposed. If I would have said no, I’m pretty sure he would have pushed me to my death. But we’ll never know, because I said yes. 

4. Have you ever regretted a purchase? What did you do about it?

Yes. Her name begins with A, and she’s 50lbs of stubborn mutt. Naturally I kept her and made her apart of our family.

3. What was the best surprise you’ve ever gotten?

My roommate bought me a cat once. That was kinda nice. 

2. Do you have any secret talents?

If I told the internet, it would no longer be a secret. My husband does work with someone that used to be in a circus though… 

1.If you could only talk on the phone OR text for the rest of your life, which one would you choose. 

I’d have to choose the phone. It would be very lonely if I never got to hear my families voice. Texting is useful, just not the only option I’d want for forever. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can strike up a conversation (and not a match) with these conversation starters- or scare the new guy with your corny jokes.

Seriously, though. The Brotherhood is important- and it’s not dead or gone or bullshit. This job is hard, so we need to have each other’s backs!

If you like what you see, share it.

Or send it to that guy that always makes things awkward with his weird comments, maybe he can get a few fresh ideas.

If you liked this, you’ll love 20 things the Perfect Firefighter Doesn’t want you to know.