Here, our fire department is ran as a paid on call department. Basically, a call is dropped, if you are available, you drop what you are doing, drive to the station and jump on the truck. If it is still there, that is. Once sufficient personnel has shown, if any others have shown, hang at the station in case a second call is dropped. There are two or three full time officers at the station between 6am and 6pm. We also have a platoon night, where a group of firefighters are assigned to that night, Monday thru Friday, from 6pm till 6am, and are "on call". Here, you do not have the choice to go or not go. That way the county knows there should always be two to three people available on a scene. Then the officers take turn having an "on call weekend". This weekend is ours.
It was off to a hot a start, when at 5:58, a tone started screaming from my husband's pocket. I looked at the clock, he looked at me and smiled. "Gotta go!", after he kissed me a quick woodpecker of a peck and was on his way. I knew even though it wasn't quite 6, it didn't really matter. Thinking to myself, "Oh well. What's for dinner?" Returning to my cupboards, hoping something would jump out and make itself, I stared for a minute. (Remember my ultimate goal in life? To be a floating across the floor, dinner on the table by 5:30, Mrs. Cleaver or Brady, oh wait- she had a maid, sort of house wife? Well this third pregnancy is making this goal rather challenging. I could see tonight was not one of those nights. There would be no floating going on anywhere near this kitchen tonight. But there indeed, would be pizza.
Being a paid on call officer is a little different. Instead of having a schedule during the day, which would be divine, you normally go on as many calls as you can catch, then doing all the stuff for your own life on the fly, in between. At least that is how it is in our life. Owning our own seasonal business, having the flexibility to make your own schedule or leave in the middle of a job, allows for him to do that. It also allows him to teach at the schools fire safety, and train the new guys in OJT, and learn how to be a fire marshall. Of course that leaves our family greatly enjoying the moments we have together. He is in and out all the time. Something I really had to get used to. Now my expectations are that he simply is not here and when he is the kids and I take advantage of it. We try not to overwhelm him, by asking him a million things when he walks in the door, or give a list of things he needs to do. Other than that I am just always super grateful if he is here to kiss the kids goodnight.
It is funny how it works though. There could be weeks that are so busy we hardly see each other, and others when it is like, OK, you are messing with my routine, don't you have to go the fire department or hunting or something. Though honestly that hardly happens. On many of my fellow fire wife blogs, I hear of many different type of schedules, that some of them I long for. Some get excited when their spouses have OT, because they will be gone, or some take full advantage of the girl time they have. Maybe it is because we are paid on call, but I am so excited to have my hubby be on call all weekend, because I know he will manly be around the house. He can't leave or be further than two minutes away from the house. That means he can't go in the woods, or teach a class, or on another adventure. Hooray! He is basically stuck at home! Is this completely evil and selfish, to have a secret list of things I hope he could get done while around? Nothing that can't be dropped at a seconds' notice, but still? What do you think? Any other ladies feel the same way? Even if your man is just a popular guy, who gets excited to have their man, or woman, trapped at home?