In every Fire Department you have those salty dogs that have been around and usually have a poor attitude.
The truth is that one point or another this will be you.
You will be fed up with the bull shit with the department, with the calls or anything else within that realm and you will be just done.
Everyone faces it. Sometimes that makes you feel like you don’t want to be a firefighter anymore, and I get that. Why?
Because I’ve had those confessions.
It’s no secret. This job isn’t a frolic in the park, and I don’t care what any school, college, or die hard FDNY guy tries to tell you.
This job can break you, but luckily, we’ve got some tips up our sleeves (like all good firefighters) and there’s some things you can do to help with these salty feelings.
For the Firefighter who is fed up with the job
For starters, take as fucking vacation.
That’s right, I said the ultimate taboo for some of you diehard fire junkies.
Oh and while your add it, turn off the notifications. I know you’re still checking them even when the job drives you crazy. This is a tip from the old saying, “if you can’t change your situation change you environment”.
So take this to heart. Take all that time you have accrued and take some time off. It can even be a stay-cation at home.
Number two would be to Focus on your mental health. This is not a woo woo statement or one where you need to go find the closest medicine cabinet.
This is just a straight up statement.
Find a passion outside of the job.
Get a hobby.
Something to fill your proverbial cup.
Make it something that you can look forward to on your off days. That’s a huge part of mental wellness that people are afraid to do because it labels you as some softy or some shit.
Oh, and while we’re at it. Number three is to Seek help. Burnout is all too common in this job.
Counseling shouldn’t be a taboo topic and meeting with a counselor doesn’t make you any less than or unstable.
Consider it preventive mental maintenance.
Maybe it’s opening up to peer support, or finding the time to talk to your spouse about what’s really bothering you and causing you to be an asshat at home. Maybe it’s more serious and you need to consider that PTSI or significant job related stress is eating you alive.
I don’t know who or where you’re talking to, but you can’t do this alone.
Number four (if your still here and haven’t jumped ship because I’m telling you everything you need to hear even when you don’t want to hear it is) Don’t start a rebellion…
start a revolution.
Don’t bitch and complain about your situation. Don’t bring everyone down and be a terrible example to younger guys.
INSTEAD- If you have a problem with something try and fix it or change it. Be tactful and convince others to want what you want. Make your life better. You only get ONE!
Lastly, Maybe its time to move one from your department or even the job in general.
Now this is very difficult and takes alot of time and reflection to figure out if its what you need.
Sometimes departments can spiral down and be truly unpleasant and become an overall unhealthy department.
Don’t be afraid to consider other departments. If the department isn’t the issue… it might be you and that’s perfectly okay. Sometimes firefighters retire early, and I have a few brothers that have moved on that will always be written on my sleeve. This job will break you if you let it. Be honest with yourself and maybe talk it over with your loved ones.
Final thoughts about everyone on of us that’s been fed up with the fire life
Look, I could have made this post a total sob story and shared with you all the times I wanted to quit.
Like when my mom died the month before paramedic school graduation and I didn’t even see her the last year because medic school is so crazy.
Or the time my buddy got fired (rightfully after warnings) but that shit hurt! Thankfully he’s on at a nearby station, but in those few weeks, I was DONE.
Let’s not even dive into the mix of feelings I get after calls, ESPECIALLY when it was stuff that could and should have been prevented. I’m talking about neglect, negligence, malpractice and good people being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We are ALL going to be fed up with the job. But we never signed up to do this job for selfish reasons.
This is your pep talk. Now tell me. What are you going to do about it?