This firefighting dad never has to miss a “first”

Being a loving and devoted father comes with more than a few challenges when you’re a firefighter. It’s a career that pulls you from home for days in a row, over the holidays, and during many of your children’s first experiences in life. But Jon and his wife, Chelsea, have found a way to make sure that Jon doesn’t miss out on anything.

“As a firefighter, I’m at the station for two days at a time,” Jon tells us. “And this year, I’m missing pretty much every holiday at home. Big milestones happen when I’m gone, and I want to be that dad who’s there for all of it. It can feel impossible to balance a career that I’m passionate about and quality time with the family I love.”

“Our schedules don’t often work out the way we’d hope,” Chelsea says. “Jon’s out of the house before sunrise, and it’s rare that he gets time after work with the kids because they’re usually in bed by the time he gets home. Days can go by with Jon only hearing stories about what they’ve been up to.”

“I’ve had to miss most of the kid’s ‘firsts.’ These are the important things that I really want to be there for, like Thanksgiving dinner and Easter egg hunts,” Jon says. “My oldest is at an age where he’s getting into sports, but I’ve barely been able to attend any of his games in person.”

“Our youngest is ten months old, and Jon would have missed all of her big moments if it weren’t for Marco Polo,” Chelsea says.

“I’m so grateful to our sister-in-law for introducing us to the app,” Jon says. “And honestly, it’s so much more than just an app. It’s been a lifeline.”

Kids with fire truck

“Jon was able to watch our daughter crawl for the first time over Marco Polo and was there for her first Christmas morning,” Chelsea says. “Watching her rolling around with a gift might not mean much to anyone else, but for Jon? It was emotional!”  

“And it goes both ways,” Jon says. “When Chelsea sends me a Polo from our son’s lacrosse game, I get to share it with my crew. All of those guys – my partners, my captain, my engineer – have loved getting to know my kids. We’ve become part of each other’s extended family. I’m so lucky to be able to bring together the two worlds I love the most.”

“You might think this would all sound sad, with Jon seeing his kids’ lives unfold over an app,” Chelsea says. “But it’s honestly been amazing. Marco Polo allows Jon to experience what happens in their world every day. That means everything to him.”

“I’m honored and blessed to be able to do a difficult job that not many people could do, and I love my career. But I love my family even more,” Jon says. “Marco Polo has made it so much easier to have both.”

4 thoughts on “This firefighting dad never has to miss a “first”

  1. Being a retired firefighters wife I can say from experience it was often lonely and frustrating trying to raise children without their father close at hand. How nice it would have been to be able to have a feature like this back when we only had flip phones.

    1. Lorie, you’re so right. Communication technology has come a long way, and it’s wonderful to have access to tools that help bring us closer. Thank you for reading Jon & Chelsea’s story, and we hope you’re enjoying Marco Polo!

  2. Reading this gives me all the feels! Thank you for putting this together, and telling our story. We love Marco Polo!!

    1. Chelsea, we are so happy to be able to share your story! You and Jon are making big sacrifices every day for work and family, so hat’s off to you both. <3

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