Sunday, May 6, 2012

Things I Didn't Know about Firemen

When I first started writing about firemen, I didn't know a lot about their daily lives on the job. I've done lots of research since then and learned quite a few things. I've used almost all of these items in my books and love how they add some real fireman flavor. So here goes ...

10 Things I've Learned about Firemen 

  1. When a fireman does something for the first time (for instance, breaks down an oxygen tank during inventory), he owes the rest of the crew ice cream. Rookies end up buying a lot of ice cream.

  1. Speaking of rookies, it’s their job to make the coffee in the morning.

  1. You can’t gamble in a firehouse. Instead the firefighters bet each other sodas. 

  1. The shift starts with something called “lineup,” when everyone gathers in the kitchen and they go over the next nine days of scheduling, etcetera.

  1. A certain number of firefighters are adrenaline junkies. When they’re off-shift, you might them on a motorcycle, a snowboard, or a fast car.

  1. When a firefighter arrives at the station, the first thing he (or she) does is take the previous shiftmember’s gear out of the engine and replace it with his (or her) own jacket. That way if a fire breaks out in the next minute, he’s ready.

  1. Firefighters love nicknames. My fire advisor’s nickname is Captain Go-Go. Another fireman is called Psycho, though no one’s sure why.

  1. Most firefighters are also trained paramedics; they respond to quite a few medical calls.
  1. Firefighters love to play pranks on each other. It’s a way to relieve the tension and also the tedium of waiting for a call. Go on any firefighter online forum and you’ll hear some great stories.

  1.  On September 11, firehouses across the country honor the 343 firemen and paramedics who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attacks.

I also learned that firefighters have a great sense of humor that helps them cope with the terrible risks they take. It’s in that spirit that I made my Bachelor Firemen books light-hearted, sexy and romantic.

Do any of these items surprise you? I, for one, didn't know the extent of how much 9/11 is still with our firefighting forces. You'll be hearing more about that in Book 3, SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN! 

Yes, I'm almost finished!


  1. Fireman are courageous and most of them are crosstrained as paramedics since there aren't as many fires, but a heck of a lot of health emergencies.
    One thing that most people don't know is that firefighters don't make much money and many have side businesses like moving furniture and lawncare businesses.
    Thanks for writing about courageous men and women.

    1. Very good points, Ruby! Apparently up to 70% of their calls are medical. And I didn't know that about the side businesses. It seems sad that it should be necessary. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I'm a Fire Wife in Texas and just picked up your books this weekend! Can't wait to start reading them! I'm excited to for this series!!

    Hubby's nickname is Bam-Bam at work. He's one of the brute strength kinda guys, hence the name.

    Also his dept's tradition is if you get published in the media (newspaper, TV, online or otherwise) you bring ice cream.

    1. I hope you enjoy them!!! I love your husband's nickname, that's hilarious. It's funny how every department has slightly different traditions, isn't it? At least that means I can get a little creative as I write! LOL.

    2. Yes, that's what brings the brotherhood of firefighters together across the nation and even world. We all do the same job, have the same traditions.. We may be part of a diff dept across the world, but when we meet as a complete stranger to each other we know what each other have gone through to be where we are today and the type of calls we've been on. Similar traditions across the fire stations as buying the crew ice cream. If you're the driver and hit a curb you buy your crew ice cream or sometimes they'll settle for energy drinks for the crew. With us if we're photographed in the media it's dinner :) So complete diff depts with the same traditions! That's one of many things we love about the job..

  3. Interesting stop here.. I came across this site while searching firefighter stuff, or maybe researching is the word. I'm a Captain in Rochester and have really enjoyed the last 24 years as a career fireman, something of a second family. There's no other job, that i can even think of, that is built like the fire service. I thought I would leave you with some real firehouse talk...and yes, nicknames are very popular, as well as the actual firehouses or Unit names. Here are a few I can think of:
    - The Big House
    - The Alamo
    - Dawgs of Downtown
    - Barrio Boys
    - The Squad
    - Vinny the Rat (Downtown Confined Space character)
    - Condo Commandos
    - The Country Club
    - Guardians of the Ghetto
    - Big Red
    - Gator (He's short & stocky with short arms and legs, but strong as anyone)
    - Captain Disaster (The big ones always seemed to fall on his trick)
    - The Batcave
    - Smokeater

    I could go on....brings back great memories! Nobody quits the department and most stay 30 years or more, unlike cops, who are burned out at 20 and split. The side job trait is probably at 80% across the nation, which led me to finally launch my brainchild > - a web portal that combines 'Angie's List', Craigslist', and Firehouse cooking with career firefighters listings. The Trusted List. You would be amazed at some of the talents these guys have outside the job. Plenty of tradesmen, for sure...but jobs like artists, attorneys, restaurant owners, musicians, realtors, film producers and chefs are common as well.
    I'll have to give your books a try, Jen...they look pretty hot!

    Cap'n Dan

    1. ...and yes, before i made captain, it was Lt. Dan (picture Forrest Gump flailing his arms, yelling Lieutenant alot of humor from those snippets)

    2. Hi Captain Dan! I'm so glad you stumbled across my blog -- thank you for so much great information! (Hey, you don't mind if I steal some of it, do you? LOL) Those nicknames are great. I have to say that one of the best things about writing these books is getting to know so many great guys in the firefighting business. If you do try the books, I hope you enjoy them! And if you're ever interested in being a "resource" -- i.e. someone I can pepper with firefighting questions -- please email me. Best, Jennifer