20 things the Perfect Firefighter doesn’t tell you

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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. 

they’re cocky- yet humble. They’re funny, well liked and the person you want on the bad calls.

Sound about right?

Or do you really know them as well as you think?

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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. and someone asked them why they got injured so they had to hang their head in shame or just lie about it.
  2. They’ve also forgotten to do to something important, from gear to a checkoff. They also probably lied about it- or had some major apologizing to do.
  3. They burp. And fart, and maybe they snore. Like the kind of snore where people want to hit them with a pillow.  
  4. At one point in their life, they skipped a training day, and they will never tell you, because it was actually a training month.
  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. It’s 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 it’s 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. Even if they are the funniest one in the room. They can’t all be winners.
  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 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 😉

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