#63 – Secret Tears (There’s No Crying in Firefighting)


As firefighters we usually try to portray ourselves as tough and capable. And for the most part we are. But even tough firefighters have emotions. This story isn’t about all the bad things we’ve seen and the emotional toll it takes on our mental health. But it is about the emotional let down that we may experience after a long two or three week wildland fire assignment. Everyone is different of course. This week’s story is just about my own reactions to the stresses of a long stressful fire assignment. I’d love to hear your comments about your own experiences. Please leave a comment.

Episode 63, Secret Tears, BobbieOnFire.com, December 31, 2020

2 thoughts on “#63 – Secret Tears (There’s No Crying in Firefighting)

  1. I’m replying to Secret Tears. I am a male recently retired after a 42 year career; highest quals DIVS, ICT3, FBAN. I have experienced the same emotions and crying after the majority of the fires I ‘ve been on. I suspect that we are not alone by a long shot; it is a well kept secret. In addition to the reasons you talked about here are my theories. We love the job and when that ends it is sad even though we know we will be going to another one sooner than later. It’s similar to being on a wonderful vacation in Hawaii and then you have to go back to the grind of 40 below zero and snowbanks or 2 straight weeks of rain. We also establish a deep emotional connection with firefighters and the support people, the landowners, etc. and also that same connection, for me at least, with the land, trees, homes that we are trying to protect. And there is a natural release when it is over. And lastly, I am always deeply relieved that nobody on my watch got hurt. What about dreams. Have you done an episode on fire dreams?


    1. Mike,
      Thanks for your comments. Such an interesting perspective on why we might get emotional after a big incident. You bring up ideas that I hadn’t thought of. I wish we had a better way to communicate between everyone who listens to the story. It would be great to hear from others as well.
      I have not done a story about dreams. But that’s a great idea. Now that I’m retired, I have a ton of dreams about being back at a fire station where I’ve gone back to work. All the young firefighters wonder who I am and what I’m doing there. And of course everything is so different I barely know how to pump an engine. I’d love to hear about your dreams too. I’ll give some thougth to a story about dreams.
      Thanks for writing and maybe we can keep in touch. Take care Mike.


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