What would surprise civilians about 'downtime' at your fire station?

Some firefighters said they tidied up the firehouse, while others mentioned they use the time to train and study


There always seems to be a pocket of the general public that believes firefighters sit around, watch TV and binge eat when they're not responding to a fire, rescue or medical call.

We asked our fans on Facebook what they do on their downtime at the fire station that would surprise John Q. Public. Some said they tidy up the firehouse and others mentioned they use the time to train and study.

There was also one constant in all of the responses — there was no mention of sitting around, kicking back and relaxing all day. Perhaps it's the value and necessity of relaxing that would most surprise those in our communities.

Check out the responses below and add your thoughts if you haven't already in the comment section.

"Start the day with cleaning and preparing equipment and apparatus, clean the station, dorms and bathrooms. Grocery shop, cook and clean the kitchen after eating. There is yard day when we mow and clean the outside, then apparatus and station day where we clean each. After the morning duties are done, we train. We also often try and get a nap in the early afternoon in the event of late night calls. There is no such thing as a day where we do nothing and just sit around." — Willie Acklin

"Train, play kickball, clean up the house and trucks, study, stay up-to-date on all the gear compartments." — Dee Poole

"When we’re not getting slammed with EMS calls, I try to study up on SOPs and protocols and get a workout in. When we can, we try and relax so when we do get a big or long call we are able to do our job and not be too tired. It's all a matter of being productive with the 24 hours you are on shift." — Richard Pye

"Most of our guys are college students, so there are impromptu study sessions in the training room." — Brad Sherman

"Workout and prep for the next training class." — Jerry Mills

"Helping train the recruits." — B Allen Thomas

"I am a volunteer with two jobs and a family. That means that even though I love to spend time at the station, there isn't much time to spend. There are many others like me. Most of us have way more duties than we have time: training, maintenance, reports, planning … the list goes on." — Allen John Cameron

"Got berated by a woman who stopped by the firehouse when I was washing my pick-up. She went on and on how all she ever sees are guys washing their vehicles and hanging around 'while firefighters were on the clock and getting paid.' When she finally paused for a breath, I informed her that we are a volunteer fire department and that we feely give up our own time without pay to protect our community. I offered her some applications for her family members to join us. She mumbled something, not an apology, and left." — Scott Leslie

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