Hey Everyone. Im Mike and thanks for checking out my AMA. Like the Title says, I am a firefighter. It will be 4 years this upcoming October. Id love to field any kinds of questions, from work stories to if you are interested in being a firefighter and need advice on how to become one.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/XswhmlI

Hey thank yall for all the great questions. I will do my best to get to each and every one of them as soon as I can!

Comments: 1954 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

jcush313869 karma

Even though you get to use real hoses, do you still pretend you are a fireman when you pee outside?

Game_Blouses11975 karma

1000000% yes!

johnnynoname12486 karma

Pardon my frankness but how much of a pussy magnet is being a firefighter to any woman you meet?

Game_Blouses11673 karma

Alot of guys get laid just for that very reason. Im just not that type of guy

Tmrando469 karma


Game_Blouses11781 karma

I can only answer for the city I work in. We have an outside company thats under contract do our EMS. So In our case, a fire station is more than likely going to be able to respond quicker to a medical call. Every single firefighter in the department I work in is at least EMT- I (advanced) certified, so we are willing and able to handle the situation until the ambo arrives. Thanks for your question!

luiwis396 karma

Have you ever been called out to a cat stuck in a tree?

Game_Blouses11799 karma

Thats a bit cliche lol.. No never a cat, but a 7 yr old boy yes.

RunWithSharpStuff524 karma

My uncle is a firefighter he always explained that you never see cat skeletons in trees therefore the cats will always find a way down themselves.

Game_Blouses11364 karma

Thats a good one. Ill have to use that next time

BustedSanta25 karma

You don't see 7 yr kid skeletons in trees either..

Are you going to use that as well ?

Game_Blouses1117 karma

Wow buzz kill lol

DrunkNASA366 karma

What is one easy thing you can do to make your house safer?

Game_Blouses11983 karma

Purchase Carbon monoxide detectors. They are relatively cheap and you can buy good ones that plug directly into an outlet for easy install

teMptatiOn01287 karma

How does it feel going down a fireman's pole?

Game_Blouses11363 karma

Oh man I wish we had one! We have a single story fire house. So a pole isnt necessary haha

Spinax286 karma

How is the majority of your time spent when you aren't fighting fires?

Game_Blouses11586 karma

Honestly, the majority of the calls we get arent fire related. The district I work in has a major highway and a major street running right through it. We get a ton of car accident calls. But on slow days when we are just at the station, I like to work out, catch up on paperwork, do laundry, cook, watch tv, play cards with the guys.

fooloverb279 karma

What is the biggest difference between your job and the way firefighters are portrayed in movies and TV shows like Chicago Fire?

Game_Blouses11455 karma

They actually do a pretty good job of using correct terminology and what not. The biggest difference is the complexity of their calls. Some of them are just crazy, but make for good entertainment

danhawkeye191 karma

Chicago Fire always turned me off on how ridiculously good looking everyone is. Rescue Me is more like it.

Game_Blouses11395 karma

Hey all fire fighters are ridiculously good looking haha

mindshadow212 karma

Hi I'm diabetic and drink 4 Mountain Dews a day and don't take my medicine. I fell. LIFT ASSIST PLEASE?

(I hope that stressed you out) :P

My friend was a firefighter in Gwinnett County, GA., and was held hostage for a few days. Bad situation. Thanks for all you do.

Game_Blouses11255 karma

the 3 dreaded words.. LIFT ASSIST NEEDED

Facerless210 karma

How big is the rivalry between your house and the local PD? Is this mostly played up on TV/movies or is it a real thing?

How good is your house's cook?

Game_Blouses11368 karma

Well the rookies cook and most of them are awful at first haha I love to cook so Ill spell our rookie a lot of times and Im a dang fine chef! The rivalry is real. I have respect for what they do. But our rivalry is based on who each other thinks is in charge. Basically any call We as a FD are called out to, we are in charge of that scene. They dont like that haha

lucky_whiplash283 karma

The gym i go to is owned by a local captain in our fire department. One day a lady made a reference to him being one of the City's Finest. He goes "That's cops. I'm a firefighter, people actually like me..."

... Sounds kinda douchey typed out like that, he really was just joking around at the time.

Game_Blouses11200 karma

Its a true statement though lol

Kaidenside39 karma

What do you define a "rookie" as?

Game_Blouses11114 karma

any first year firefighter

BillionTonsHyperbole177 karma

How do you guys stay warm when fighting fires in the bitter cold and with all that water falling on you? It looks so miserable. I want to stop and pass out hot coffee when I see you doing this, but the area is cordoned off.

Game_Blouses11228 karma

Well I have really never encountered this. One perk of living in the South haha I would imagine its brutal to deal with elements like that

ZgMTZ168 karma

What was your proudest moment on the job?

Game_Blouses11653 karma

Besides all the normal stuff, like saving lives and what not. Id say the proudest day was the day I got my badge. My grandfather came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said "youre going to do great things, and I am so proud of the man youve become". The reason this is so special is because he passed away 4 months later

mpls_hotdish133 karma

Most memorable day on the job?

Game_Blouses11387 karma

Oh easy easy! The day I brought a baby into this world

gandr8128 karma

So what's the environment like at the firehouse? Relaxed when no fires, and serious when there is a fire?

Game_Blouses11189 karma

I would say it is overall very relaxed. You have to live with these guys 1 outta every 3 days. Its better for team morale to be relaxed

dagnabbit13120 karma

Hey Mike - thank you for your work. What was the scariest moment you've had on the job?

Game_Blouses11247 karma

The first working house fire I did. Yes we do a ton and ton of training. Watch tons of footage on fire behavior and see many demonstrations. But there is nothing like running into an actual burning house. Its terrifying and an adrenaline rush all wrapped into one big package

AntmystaMusic97 karma

What type of work did you do before becoming a firefighter?

Game_Blouses11151 karma

I didnt haha. I graduated from college and began applying at different departments right after.

tankfrank77 karma

Was your college degree fire related? I been thinking of going to school for emt/paramedic in hopes of it helping me land your job. Also is 28 too old?

EDIT: Thanks all for all the helpful replies.

Game_Blouses11133 karma

28 is not too old at all. You can apply all the way up to 35 in the city I work in. I have a Criminal Justice degree so nope not fire related. Yes go get the EMT cert it will help you a ton

Vilhaven92 karma

I live in a university residence with the wonder of being filled to the brim with drunken freshmen that cause the fire alarm to go off at least twice a week. Just wondering of you still act with the same amount of hustle each time?

Game_Blouses11166 karma

Yes we take every fire alarm call as if it were a working fire

Sherruf70 karma

Hey Mike, thank you for your service to the community and this AMA. I guess you see a lot of horrible things in your job, how difficult is it to come back home (family?) and leave your work behind?

Game_Blouses11152 karma

I am actually single with no kids. I live alone with my 3 labs haha They actually taught us in the academy on how to compartmentalize our work and family life.

bonzo4828029 karma

hey man, also a fireman here. just curious, I work the 24 on 48 off schedule, so what do you do with your dogs on your days when you're at work?

Game_Blouses1136 karma

They stay in my back yard. I feed them before shift then as soon as i get home

Pelusteriano62 karma

Hi, /u/Game_Blouses11!

Children are often see firefighters as heroes. Who do you see as hero?

Game_Blouses11127 karma

My fellow firefighters, police officers, military personnel, teachers

SanJOahu84222 karma

Paramedics all over the country just cried a little.

Game_Blouses11197 karma

I should have said all first responders!

SanJOahu8457 karma

No hassle about that beard in your department? ;)

Game_Blouses1192 karma

Hahaha well I had 3 days of vacation I had to use, so I get to have my beard for 11 days! Comes off tomorrow though :(

Orphan_Babies54 karma

What is your favorite movie, and why isn't it Backdraft?

Game_Blouses1196 karma

Hahaha this a question Ive been asked a million and 1 times lol The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie thank ya very much lol

EyeBallMonster50 karma

Have you ever saved someone's life? If so, what was the most dramatic experience of doing so?

Game_Blouses1196 karma

My team has saved a few lives over the years Ive been there. Its sad to say but anytime a child is involved, its very dramatic. Because you are concentrating on preserving the life of a child while a parent or parents are screaming and crying in the background

AlligatorRocket48 karma

I know your job is dangerous in general, but has there ever been a situation in your career where you thought "This is the end"?

Game_Blouses1197 karma

Fortunately, I have never felt like I was going to die knocks on wood

Mikereb44 karma

Firefighter here, what's ur policy on facial hair? We can't have any but a mustache.

Game_Blouses1156 karma

Same policy here. I have been off for 10 days, hence the growth that I never get to have

Emilia_Bedilia_42 karma

Dear lord, I can't tell you much I love firefighters. You bad asses have saved my house so many times. I live in some socal mountains that have a habit of lighting up.

So, will you marry me?

Haha, but really my question is what do you think makes a firefighter successful, and how would you like to see other people implement that in their jobs? You never really see firefighters break apart like at other jobs. Well, not as often I guess.

Game_Blouses1145 karma

The answer is Of course Ill marry you!

Hmm good question. Ive never met a firefighter that was passionate about his work. We dont get paid a huge sum of money to put our lives on the line, so you have to love what you do. I think people are always searching for something better. Something more rewarding. Firefighting is a very rewarding job and thats probably why FFs stay FFS for a long time

Emilia_Bedilia_20 karma

This is the happiest day of my life. Minus that one time I stood next to Bob Dylan in an elevator.

Seriously though, I can't thank you enough for what you do.

Game_Blouses1120 karma

Ahh Thanks I appreciate that

quantum_slipstream37 karma

How do you overcome fear?

Game_Blouses1194 karma

I believe having some bit of fear is a great thing. That means you have the will to live and survive. Once you lose that fear you become almost useless and reckless. But to answer you question, we overcome fear by being trained in just about every situation we will encounter, over and over and over until it is second nature like tying your shoe


What percentage of your calls is fire related?

Game_Blouses1135 karma


spybot291528 karma

How big is your hose?

Game_Blouses1186 karma

either an an inch and a half, an inch and three quarters, 2 and a half, or if im lucky 6!

ryanocerous12323 karma

How often do you get a call for a fire? I don't hear fires breaking out on the news every other hour, so what do you do when you're not on call?

Game_Blouses1143 karma

The station I work at goes on 2500 to 3000 calls a year. Only about 25% are fire related calls. We do medical calls and the vast majority of what my station does is mvas (motor vehicle accidents)

Alas12362328 karma

How many of those fire calls are "OH GOD THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE" vs "this trash can is burning"?

Game_Blouses1169 karma

Id say 80-20 in favor of hey look what happens when I put a match in the dumpster

Mercury_NYC19 karma

Would you challenge Prince to a game of basketball?

Game_Blouses1139 karma

No hes too much of a baller

shimmyeay18 karma

What was the scariest moment you had while working?

Game_Blouses1133 karma

My first working house fire for sure. You do all the training and you are ready, so you think. Its very intimidating to run into an actual building thats on fire

Ipoopbabiez17 karma

How fun is your job?

Game_Blouses1135 karma

Oh my goodness.. So much fun! I mean yes, there are some bad things that we have to deal with. But man I sure enjoy what I do.

7bucksofhoobastank16 karma

How often do you interact with second responders (i.e. Red Cross volunteers) and what does that normally look like?

Game_Blouses1115 karma

Ive never had that opportunity. Sorry!

moniqueu14 karma

Hi Mike! Thanks for fighting fires! Appreciate it. One of my questions is what is it like at the station when you aren't out there risking your lives? Did you always know you wanted to be a fire fighter? What's your favorite part about your job?

Game_Blouses1136 karma

Very relaxed around the station. I always knew I wanted to do something to help people. When 9/11 happened, I saw what those brave men and women sacrificed to safe strangers thats when I knew for sure. One of my favorite parts of the job, is going to elementary schools during Fire Prevention month

boilmesomehotrum12 karma

Have you ever had to break a car's window or something of the similar sort because resources had been blocked by some unthinking civilian?

Game_Blouses1125 karma

Im not sure i totally understand what youre asking. So what the heck, heres my answer haha Yes we have to break glass often when it comes to car accidents. During fires, this is not a great idea tho

boilmesomehotrum17 karma

I meant like someone was blocking a fire hydrant, or they were parked in front of a house and not allowing for the best access of a truck to get to the fire.

Game_Blouses1133 karma

Oh duh. Yes we have. Ive personally seen it twice. This actually just happened at a different station. And it was a fairly new BWM I believe

nicholasdaa7 karma

I think he's talking about a hydrant being blocked by a vehicle, and either breaking the windows to move the car or run the hoses through the windows.

Game_Blouses119 karma

I know I think I had a minor brain fart while reading that haha

doopercooper9 karma

How is it decided on how many units shows up to a call?

For example, someone has a heart attack and there is a 911 call. Why do 2 ambulances, a firetruck and another fire vehicle show up? What is the purpose of more than one ambulance to a call for one person suffering a heart attack?

Game_Blouses1119 karma

We would never have that many alarms for 1 heart attack victim. Im thinking maybe thats a problem with the dispatcher.

kajoo9115 karma

sir, my fire burnt down 2 years ago, I have two questions one of the main fireman took our names for some reason why ? Secondly who conducts the inspection of the fire at the end cause he just saved a lawsuit against us pooor students?

Game_Blouses118 karma

Because after any fire, their is an investigation thats why he took your names. To the second part, an arson investigator will do that job

lolfrijoles3 karma

What did you have for breakfast, sir?

Game_Blouses116 karma

I had an EAS lean protein shake with silk. haha

DasBar3 karma

How much fire could a firefighter fight, if a firefighter fought fire?

Game_Blouses117 karma

2 fires

trublood3 karma

I'm closing on a house soon. What should I do to prevent a fire in my new home? Thanks!

Game_Blouses115 karma

Check the wiring for sure

th3An0nyMoose3 karma

what percentage of your calls are actual fires vs other things like car accidents, children stuck in dumbwaiters, etc?

Game_Blouses115 karma

Thanks for the laugh! 25% fire related calls

Hau5Headd2 karma

How do you cope in a situation where someone has passed away? Wether it be in a fire or car accident.

Game_Blouses114 karma

If you did all that you could to save them, theres no shame in that. Death is a part of the job. The first few were really tough

ArchDucky2 karma

Have you ever had anyone refuse to leave a burning home?

Game_Blouses114 karma

No I have not. But we are authorized in my city to use any means necessary to remove someone from a burning building.

WeJustFixedTheGlitch2 karma

What is the most dangerous thing you regularly see in houses as it pertains to fire safety?

Game_Blouses114 karma

Exposed attic wiring. So dangerous

Mrflawless52 karma

Today i heard from someone who is a volunteer. How much does his volunteerwork differ from your professional work? Ty for the ama! (On phone atm sorry for bad layout)

Game_Blouses112 karma

the volunteer department where I live, which I try to help out when I can, is essentially on call all the time. The send out text tones for calls. As a paid guy, i work 24 hrs on and 48 hrs off

at3oclock2 karma

Are you a professional firefighter or volunteer?

Game_Blouses113 karma


Embyrwatch2 karma

Has being a firefighter put any strain on your relationship with your family?

Game_Blouses115 karma

Since I am single, no it has not. The stress of the job can be very hard on a woman tho. It takes a very strong person to be with a firefighter or police officer

BLK851 karma

Do you ever use the fact that you are a fire fighter to get laid?

Game_Blouses112 karma

Hahaha actually no not at all. If you knew me, youd believe it lol

Alas1236231 karma

Have you ever driven the a firetruck? What's it like? How fast are you allowed to go on normal roads?

Game_Blouses113 karma

We are allowed to go 15 mph over the posted speed limit. Im not an engineer so no I dont drive it regularly. I have driven it before tho and its pretty awesome lol

GetCapeFly1 karma

Two questions. What made you want to become a firefighter? You said in one of the comments that your degree is in criminal justice so it is quite a jump.

Obviously a firefighter requires a high standard of physical fitness, how do you like to maintain it?

Game_Blouses111 karma

I run.. ALOT haha I also lift when I can. Light weight high reps. I also do triathlons and play sports. Gotta mix it up, keeps things interesting. Oh I have wanted to be a firefighter for a very long time. Just to try and make a difference in the community.

YahNasty1 karma

So I have an uncle and cousin who are firefighters in Boston, they both love their job. The passion they have for their careers is something I don't see very often, is it like that in your department?

Game_Blouses111 karma

Yes it is the same way. You have to have passion to do a job like this

Horus_Lupercal1 karma

During your off-work hours, do you ever stop and think, "I wish I were out there(working) instead of just lounging"?

Game_Blouses112 karma

Umm sometimes. I have a second job that keeps me pretty busy on my days off though

Prostitoot1 karma

What's the best way to get your foot in the door? are you college educated?

Game_Blouses113 karma

I am college educated. Most departments dont require any college. Best way would be to get your EMT cert before starting to apply. Also make a few friends at your local department. It helps to know people

rauer2 karma

And volunteer, if there are opportunities nearby! I used to be a VFF and lots of my fellow volunteers went on to go pro.

Game_Blouses112 karma

Exactly this right here!