For the thousands of firefighters on the front lines across the west, many of them have left families behind back home to help strangers in their time of need.
Those firefighters are gone for weeks if not months at at time and that can put a strain on a relationship; when one person is left to handle everything back home it can be hard.
The spouses of firefighters will tell you all that is forgotten because they get to spend their lives living with a hero. Dorothy Ackerman of Blanchard, Idaho knows that all to well. Her husband Adam has been fighting fires for 16 seasons. She says every time the phone rings she knows the goodbye isn’t going to be easy.
“You never get use to it,” Ackerman said.
The Idaho couple is raising two little kids and for them it’s a total team effort.
“I guess raising a family with a firefighter in the house is you just keep the routine the same,” Ackerman said. “There is a little more weight to pull, there is a lot more that goes on but it’s all part of being a good team.”
She says she relies on a support group of other spouses who know the challenges and others are facing.
“We’re there for each other and we have fire sisters who have lost their husbands in our group and trying to be there for them in any way that we can,” Ackerman said.
When the firefighters leave she says its best not to think about the “what if,” but rather focus on the hours of extensive training these men and women go through and trusting in their skills.
“You just pray that God gives them wisdom and guidance and they are going to come back just fine,” Ackerman said.
She says these brave men and women are heroes in many ways, for what they face everyday on the fire lines and what they sacrifice to keep complete strangers safe.
“They leave their families, they leave their homes to go and protect the dreams of other families they don’t know and it takes a tremendous person to do that,” Ackerman said.
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