From the Fire Chief: The Most Versatile Fire Service Employee – Mom

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

I lost my Mom over three years ago. That was a tough time. Our career exposes us to so many tragic calls—what an honor to help those in need—but nothing hurts or delivers a feeling of helplessness like when tragedy hits home.

Mother’s Day is approaching. When I think of all the various ranks in the fire service, not too many can effectively be filled as much as a mom can. 

Moms do not apply for all these positions; they just seem to assume them without complaint. For most moms, they become a permanent position. The rest of us can promote or “test out.” Moms do not have that option, even after we are grown and gone. Moms are always there for us!

Look at a few fire service positions below and replace those duties with what your Mom did or does for us. They receive no acting pay or bonuses for these positions. Mom certainly deserves a medal of valor!


Moms are like the:

18-year rookie (sometimes longer, depending on when we leave home)—Mop in hand, doing laundry, dishes, toilets, sinks, showers that always need cleaning—moms does these with a smile!

Administrative assistant—Ensures accurate accounting, records, financials and budget, IT specialists, screens calls, and issues allowances on time, all while listening to our stories and how cool we are. Mom always demonstrates patience. Mom also knows just as much as the chief. He just will not admit it!

Firefighter—Makes morning coffee, cooks, ensures trash cans emptied, the union rep, knows where everything is and in order and is blamed for when things fail. 

Peer assessor—Supports us during emotional breakdowns, difficulties such as break ups, zits, and weight gain, and comforts us when we did not make the team or during any troubling stressors personally (at home) or professionally (at school).

Paramedic—Bee stings, bike accidents, tree falls, scraped knees, stomach aches and assorted boo-boos—she’s always first on scene to administer first aid!

Engineer/Apparatus operator—Always on time while safely driving us to school, little league, soccer, music, swim lessons, etc., in all sorts of traffic. “Is everyone belted in?”

Captain—Ensures all household equipment and tools are properly maintained and employees are properly development and nicely dressed. “Why is your shirt dirty/torn/not tucked in?” “Please take that t-shirt off and put your nice one on.” “Who broke this?” “Who said you can do that?” “Do this, not that, how many times do I have to tell you?”

HazMat technician—Diapers, poop, vomit and boogers. Little time for decon. What more can I say here?

Training officer—”Do not put that in your mouth,” “watch before you cross the street,” “say please, say thank you,” “did you do your homework and did you floss?” 

HR director—”Stop crying, you were not hit that hard!” Dispute resolution (breaks up fights).

Battalion chief—Constantly planning, organizing, managing and supervising the house, guests, family, and friends. 

Policy developer—Sets the standards and time for waking up for school, bedtime, curfew, chores and how to act in front of others. Why? Because it is policy!

Assistant chief—Fills in when the chief (Dad) is gone.

Chief—When things go well, they get all the credit. When things go bad, it is Mom’s fault! 

So, there you have it. Mom really does it all!

This Mother’s Day, take a little time to tell your Mom “Thank you” for all the roles and responsibilities taken on for you. 

The best gift you can give your mom is to be a good example to your children and teach them to love, respect and thank their mom for all that gets accomplished without complaint or overtime!

Would you do all the above without negotiation, extra pay or a need to meet and confer?

Happy Mother’s Day!