True Life- Our Parents are First Responders

The children of first responders include those with parents who are fire fighters, EMT’s, dispatchers, police officers, and tow truck drivers. They do not have the “average” childhood most other kids experience and it can have its challenges. Children could go days without seeing their parents due to an emergency. Being a first responder child, they have to make tough sacrifices such as going days without seeing their parents are legal guardians and giving up their loved one to save someone else’s life.

There are many unusual things that can happen in a first responder household that not many people know about. For example, when the tone drops on the scanner, the house becomes quiet, TV’s are muted, conversations are stopped, and until the call is fully read out on the scanner, the household is completely silent. Parents start running out of the house in the middle of a family dinner to make it to the call in time to help is normalized. Dance recitals, sport games, and family events are missed due to emergencies.

Jessica Wright

“My dad is a Capital police officer. He is gone most days of the week and if he comes home during the week it is when I am asleep. The only time I get to spend time with my dad is on the weekend which isn’t always the best. He misses my soccer games and practices sometimes which is something that I really want him to be at.” said junior Caitlyn Butler. 

“I have five kids, two boys and 11 year old triplets my sons think it’s cool so do my daughters, but it is kind of different for them. Because of my job I am not home often and sometimes I go days without seeing them which they hate,” said Deputy Meyer. 

Having parents as first responders makes the kids life difficult at times. They tend to spend a lot more of their time without their parent(s) around. 

“My dad is a K-9 state trooper and when I was younger I would only see him about half of the day, when he gets called out for something it makes me nervous because his job can put him in danger but I know nothing can tear my dad down.” said sophomore Katelynn Lewis.

Jessica Wright

Everything is different with first responder children. Each has their own outlooks and interesting stories. Some kids love seeing what their parents do and want to grow up just like them. 

“I was at my dad’s firehouse as much as I could be there, I loved everything that he has accomplished and growing up in that environment has really shaped me into the person I am today, but I hated every time he went out because I couldn’t go with him,” said sophomore Hunter Edwards. 

Even though first responder parents can be a part of different branches of the first responder team, they all go through the same fear, excitement, rules, and the same feelings.  

“When my mom gets put on a call it’s heartbreaking not knowing if she would come home at night. If she had been put on a call at night I wouldn’t sleep because I was so scared for her safety. But she always will come back home to me and my family,” said sophomore Lily Martin. 

Growing up in a first responder family, the children spend a lot of time with other first responder kids. They grow bonds with them and sharing stories about what our parents accomplish is something they most likely enjoy doing. Knowing that their parents are heroes and keeping the community safe is the greatest pride we feel. Even though they aren’t first responders themselves, the sacrifices they make for their  parents help make them a part of the team also.