Leadership

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LEAVE?

Issue 6 and Volume 147.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LEAVE? VOLUNTEERS CORNER One of the biggest stresses on membership in volunteer and on-call fire departments is the impact department activities have on family life. If we are not aware of these effects on our personal life when we first join the fire department, the realities soon teach us. Being a member of a volunteer or an on-call department means an unplanned life, missed events, cold meals, and interrupted sleep. Social events and vacations are scheduled around the department. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant events often are put on hold when the pager activates. While members with spouses and children are greatly affected, single individuals with no children also can become stressed by the demands of the job. Not all of the effects, however, are obvious or understood by the firefighter. What 1 discovered in my household when I returned from fighting a fire one…

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