Hubby is a dedicated CFA volunteer. We chose to stay home and forgo a lovely Christmas lunch with family as he was on standby for a total fire ban day. As you would expect this decision has put us in a very difficult place . Did we do the right thing? Anyway I made a lovely dessert for me and hubby. Vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate topping then a couple of teaspoons of Frangelico poured over the top! Nicest ice cream treat we have had in ages.


Posted by robyn_smithwick, 25th December 2015


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  • Absolutely you did the right thing. These special people on call for emergencies are relied on by people and communities. Your families hopefully understand because there’s always a sacrifice in such a job. Good on you.



  • Absolutely. Being ‘on call’ for firefighting should be a priority, whether Christmas day or not. You can always have an early or late christmas catchup dinner, but you can’t turn back time and save lives that were lost. Firefighting is something you train for all year, the tax payer spends lots of money on training firefighters and giving them equipment, people rely totally upon the volunteer. I would feel sick to the core knowing I’d celebrated and someone had lost their life because of it. And one day it may be you waiting on that volunteer who was good enough to be ‘on call’.



  • You made a decision. No point in doubting it now.
    It’s wonderful that your husband is contributing to society in such a positive way.



  • Hubby was at it again! He was on total fire ban duty the other day.



  • I know this is a bit after Xmas, but I think you have to go with your gut. Sounds like it was a good decision for you guys. Thanks for all your volunteering help – both of you!



  • Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments about my hubby and the CFA . I respect and admire volunteers too. I am one myself in a different way. I play the piano for the residents at an age care facility about 30 kms from my place and they all enjoy a sing song.



  • back yourself – you chose to stay home, you don’t have to justify your decision. if family loves you they will understand. I work in EM as does my brother, so we were on call too. I just didn’t drink, and still enjoyed mates. Do what is right for your family. Chrissy is bloody expensive!



  • Another big thank you to your wonderful hubby Robyn. It is because of him and folk like him that some folk actually have a home to celebrate in.
    Christmas is a time for giving and hubby, comrades, and partners are giving up a lot but receive the knowledge that they help in such a wonderful way.
    God Bless all our volunteers and selfless folk ..from firer’s, ambo’s, police, nurses and doctors and any in-between. Our life would be nothing if it was not for you. xx



  • Of course you did the right thing – that is what volunteers do!
    As a mother of CFA volunteers, I know how you felt – but all of us take our hats off to the CFA during times of need – just thank your hubby for caring enough to volunteer.



  • Both my husband and I are in the medical field and we understand the sacrifices you have to make. It is very difficult at times to not wish your situation were different especially at special times like Christmas when its supposed to be a time to celebrate and be with family. Just know that without volunteers like your husband and the sacrifices you make, we would not be able to live where we live and be grateful for such a privilege.



  • Absolutely the right thing to do. We cannot thank you enough. The CFA (CFS) volunteers are all heros in my opinion. Big thank you to you all.



  • I am thrilled to bits that there has not been one negative comment on this question I asked. I is very heartwarming and no doubt we would do the same thing again. Love to you all x x



  • Sometimes you have to do things that are best for yourself, and stop worrying about what others think! And well done on your hubby for being a volunteer! He and others in his position are our true heroes of this season!



  • In our family there are a number of people on call or doing shift work. I found the key is to be flexible, having people Come to us or celebrate over a number of days works well.



  • One Christmas we had visitors for tea. All of them were on standby with their employment. They were all reasonably close to hwere they might been needed and had supplied our phone number. Mum and looked atg each other and said “OK, it the one rings one of you are answering it” Fortunately non e of them had call outs. I know a guy who volunteers for an emergency service (not fire) subject to availability. That is the agreement as she works for an essential service – shift work. He arranged to only be available after a certain time as his wife is employed in a health capacity – and was working. It was decided the single men and women would be the first called out. However on another occasion he went and helped hose down hot spots where a bushfire had gone through earlier. Luckily his wife wasn’t working then. On a couple of occasions friends have taken care of their children so he could go to the base on standby during bad weather. Sometimes people don’t discover the damage until they get up in the morning. Sometimes they have no idea how many hours they are likely to be needed for. He is subject to being available also because the work he does may need to supply the others on the sites.


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