Friendships within Firefighters

Although working nights and weekends cuts down available socialising opportunities, it is important to keep some perspective and balance to your civilian friendships, which are essential for work-life balance, good mental health and lower stress levels.

The Fire Fighting Family

The shared understanding that comes with being a emergency services responder can lead to forming tight knit friendships within the organisation. This is essential for partners and families to understand, especially surrounding the need for responders to debrief with their colleagues. Research suggests the formation  of a family is due to three factors:


Trust is paramount to a good working relationship and can result in close friendships forming. Responders need to have each other’s backs and know that no matter what situation they encounter, they have someone next to them that can keep them safe and help them come home to their families at the end of shift.


Over time, emergency services responders tend to develop a sense of solidarity that brings them closer to their colleagues. This can also create a unification of the firefighting  family against the organisational aspects of the job they feel are onerous or that they feel are taking them away from doing their core business


A key part of being part of the firefighting family is the ability to talk to other responders who understand the stressors of the job. It is valuable and important for the responders to have this opportunity to talk with their colleagues.

Article supplied by Alongside, who hold a shared interest in supporting the health and wellbeing of the emergency services community.