Everybody Has to Eat!
It makes absolutely no sense to me, but firefighters have to do all their cooking themselves. And pick up the expenses as well. You’d think that nourishing meals would be one of the perks in the daily life of a firefighter, but no.
Sure there are variables that exist, but for the most part, they’re on their own! Every station and every captain do things a little different, but here’s what we’ve experienced here in our town….
We have one “state” station and two regular “city” stations. During fire season at the “state” station, the seasonal guys do all the shopping and cooking on the state’s accounts at the local butcher, market, etc. That sounds great, but it doesn’t always work out so well.
- they take the cost of the meals out of your paycheck
- If you don’t like what they cooked you’re on your own
- If you were out on a call and there’s no leftovers, you’re on your own
At the two other stations and when it’s not fire season you bring your own food and cook your own meals. Some captains like to rotate amongst the crew, with each member cooking the evening meal in turn and insist on eating at the table like a family. I think those are the ones who make the best captains and have the happiest crews. Others don’t really care.
There was a period of about a year when Johnny was working weekends that I cooked dinner every Sunday and took it to the station and all the firefighters sat down to eat with the kids and Johnny and I. And every Monday my boss would ask what I fed the fire department the night before.
Invariably, though, they are about to sit down to dinner and the tones go off and they don’t come back for hours (or they run back to back calls) and end up stopping for fast food. Nasty. (One of the reasons firefighters don’t always look like those calendars!) I remember one Thanksgiving Dinner when there were THREE calls during the meal. It’s a good thing turkey tastes good cold!
I’ve stumbled upon a new (and so far so good) solution recently – I’ll share tomorrow!