Texas Firefighter

by Anonymous EPFMS
(El Paso, TX)

I am a father with 3 healthy and beautiful children. I am now a paramedic and firefighter.

In the beginning, I worked for a local EMS system responding to 911 calls as a paramedic. I worked long hours and earned lots of overtime that was mandatory prior to splitting up with my ex. I sacrificed my time serving the local community to provide for my family.

Then the mother of my children and I split up. I continued working as a paramedic and went to court and I was ordered to pay child support. I didn't mind paying because it was for my kids and I was able to afford it.

Our local EMS was taken over by the local Fire Department. I then cross-trained as a firefighter and now I do both jobs at work. When I cross-trained I went from a 12 hours shift 4 days per week with built in 8 hours of overtime at the 40hrs. rate. I then went to a 24hrs schedule working 56hours per week with no overtime. I was now working more hours for the same base pay of the 12hrs. shift schedule. My overtime disappeared over night and my stress level increased for having to do both jobs at work.

My child support payment came out automatically and I took a huge cut in pay per week instantly. It has taken me 5 years of cost of living and seniority increases for me to finally start taking home what I used to take home after the child support was initiated. I also pay family rate of medical insurance and it doesn't even count as support. Combined I pay almost $1100.00 per month.

I survived on loans and credit cards over the years and over time my pay has gone up, but so have my monthly bills. It now costs double to drive to work.

I married a wonderful woman and I am embarrassed because I can't even qualify for a home because of credit card payments, my car payment and rent for my apartment. Also we have a baby on the way.

I was told that only if I had my car paid and no credit card payments then I would qualify for a home. And that is because I am a Texas Veteran and could apply for VA financing.

My debt to income ratio is too high according to lenders. My credit score is low, even though I pay all my bills on time each month.

I feel I am paying for all those deadbeat fathers who never pay a cent or even spend time with their children.

The only people who seem to understand are other fathers that work for the same department in a similar situation. I'm broke, but I'm still happy. I take pride as a father, a devoted husband, as a firefighter, as a paramedic and as a Texas Veteran. Just wanted to share my story.

Comments for Texas Firefighter

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Overpaying child support
by: TX Firefighter

My soon to be ex wife and I have a 2 year old, she filed for divorce almost a year ago. It has been very difficult emotionally, physically, and financially. I work as a Firefighter/Paramedic and it is very important the judge understand our schedules and rank structure. My child support was based off of my previous 4 months of income prior to her filing for divorce. In that 4 months I had incurred 2 shifts of overtime (time and a half) and many shifts of "out of class pay'' (Riding up to driver rank for the shift) and receiving the differential pay. If you do not clearly explain that (which I didnt at the time) Your child support can be overwhelming when you receive your check that does not have overtime and out of class pay. Divorce is terrible but know your rights and find a good attorney that understands our schedule.

by: T.L.B.

Thank you for your service to the community and congrats on the new baby and your new marriage.
May you be blessed always. As for the bills go check out genus.com for credit management IT's not consolidation but it will call all your creditors and get late fees removed and work it out with you for them to make the payments for you but they will debit one time per month in a lump sum from your account. IT's tough because they will close all the accounts but it helps you rebuild your credit. They will give you a certain amount of time like how many years to pay it off in. If you have any other ?'s email me


RE: firefighter
by: Anonymous

thats how it is the good fathers get shafted because all the worthless dads are just that worthless, i know exactally what you mean but i do it because it is for my litttle girl.

Texas Firefighter
by: Disabled Mom

Congratulations on your ability to articulate your story. Congratulations on being a ff/paramedic, I'm an old paramedic myself from 1977, I understand your stressors. Congrats on maintaining your integrity, dignity and self-respect of your career during the most trying of times. I hope your ex and your children appreciate the sacrifices you were forced to make, hard as they were. I had a year old daughter while in training. Keep your head up, it's gonna get harder.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Texas Child Support Law.