By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

I lost my mom several years ago to cancer. That was a tough time – it still hurts. I’d give anything to spend just one more hour with her. Every public servant certainly has seen their share of tragic calls. It is an honor to help those in need, however, nothing hurts more than when tragedy strikes in our home and our immediate family.

Mother’s Day is approaching. When I think of all the various positions in the fire service, not too many can effectively be filled as much as a mom can. A Mom is the ultimate Incident Commander of the home and fills most all positions and duties in the fire service!

Moms do not apply for all these positions; they just assume them without complaint. For most moms they become a permanent position. Most of us can promote or test out to another department, division, or battalion, but Moms don’t have that option. Even after we are grown up and out of the house, Moms are always there for us. Rarely will you hear a request for a mayday.


Look at a few of the fire service positions below. Only a mom can effectively fill those duties and without complaint. They receive no acting pay, overtime, or bonuses. Moms certainly deserve a medal of valor!

Moms are like the:

  • 18-year Rookie(sometimes longer depending on when a child leaves home) – Mop or broom in hand, permanent cook, dishes, laundry, cleaning toilets, sinks, showers – anything that needs cleaning – Moms do these with a smile!
  • Administrative Assistant– Ensures accurate accounting, record keeping, house dues, IT specialists, screen calls, allowances issued on time while listening to our stories about how cool we are or how bad we feel. Mom always demonstrates patience. Mom knows just as much (if not more) about what’s going on around the house than the Chief (Dad). He just won’t admit it!
  • Perfect Firefighter– First in – last out. Up early, makes morning coffee, brings in the newspaper, cooks’ breakfast, ensures trash is emptied, assumes the role of the union rep, knows where everything is and in order, makes sure everything is locked up at night. Mom also gets blamed when things fail.
  • Peer Assessment – Supports us duringemotional break downs, difficulties such as break ups, unexpected break outs, weight gain, or did not make the team. She knows exactly what to say and how to keep us calm.
  • Paramedic – Bee stings, bike accidents, tree falls, scraped knees, stomach aches any boo – boos that occur. Always first on scene to administer first aid and ensure we are safely tucked in at night for rest & rehab.
  • Engineer/Apparatus Operator – Always on time while safely driving us to school, little league, soccer, music, dances, swim lessons etc. Safety is her #1 priority, and no one can handle that mini-van better than a mom in all sorts of traffic. Is everyone belted in?
  • Captain– Ensures all the personal household equipment (tv, computers, iPhone, back-packs, toys) are properly maintained and running. Uniform inspection: Ensures we are properly dressed with that shirt tucked in, combed hair, and teeth brushed and flossed. And please take that t-shirt off and put your nice collared one on. Many times, running interference from the Chief (Dad).
  • Haz Mat Technician– Diapers, poop, vomit & boogers. Little time for decon and always ready for the next spill.
  • Training Officer– Don’t put that in your mouth, watch before you cross the street, say please and always say thank you. Did you do your homework? Let me check it. But always asking – how can I help?
  • HR Director– Stop crying, you weren’t hit that hard. Let’s get checked by the doctor. Will you two stop fighting! Let’s meet and confer – but you are not getting any more allowance.
  • Battalion Chief – Planning for the worst, praying for the best. Organizing & managing day to day activities, while supervising the house, guests, family, and friends.
  • Policy Developer– Sets the policies and procedures for bedtime, waking up, school, curfew, chores and how to act properly in front of others. Why? Because it’s policy and we have standards in this house!
  • Assistant Chief– Fills in when the Chief (Dad) is gone.
  • Chief (Dad)– When things go well, they get all the credit. When things go bad, it’s Mom’s fault!

So, there you have it. Mom really does it all and truly is the most versatile employee without complaint!

This Mother’s Day take a little time to tell your mom ‘Thank you’ for all the roles and responsibilities taken on past, present and future.

The best gift you can give your mom is to be a good example to your children and teach them how to love, respect and appreciate themselves and other. Thank her for all that she has done and accomplished for the family.

Moms perform all these duties and never ask to meet and confer at the bargaining table. They just get it done and are always smiling!

Happy Mother’s Day!