Today we’re going to hear from Denise Walsh.  Denise is married to John and he is a FT paramedic for Palmer Ambulance, a volunteer on North Brookfield, and is currently trying to get on Hardwick FD for volunteer FF. They live in Hardwick, MA. They have been married for a little over a year. They have a fur-kid and her name is Carley and she is a 4 month old kitten. Denis is a high school teacher at a boarding school in Hardwick teaching Chemistry.  Let’s see what she has to say about being a Firefighter’s Wife!
1 2

How did you two meet?

John and I met summer of 2010 at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. We were both teaching at a summer enrichment camp, and I gotta say it was basically love at first sight, but it took about 6 months before we started dating.

Was he a fireman when you met or did that come after?

John was a paramedic before we met and he got his FF 1&2 last year.

Do you remember your initial thoughts about him being in the fire service?

Honestly, I was scared. My grandfather was a FF and retired around the time I was born and all I ever thought of was the worst when I learned that John wanted to be a FF.


Have those thoughts changed? If so, how?

Sort of, it depends on the day…

What helps you keep worrying at bay?

The first Valentine’s Day that we had, he made me a bear that I always have with me when he is on shift. It is one of those Build-A-Bears and I honestly love it.


What is your favorite way to pass time on shift days/nights?

Movies, hanging out with friends and family, and honestly there are times that I just stay late at work. Watching sports also helps. We both love Boston sports!


Several of our wives in the Sisterhood love being able to hog the bed at least every third day. Do you enjoy being able to have the bed to yourself?

Oh yes! Especially since there are times that I get little to no space on the bed ?

How do you think you would feel if any of your children followed in his footsteps?

I would be scared but ultimately if it makes them happy, then why not?

Do you have any rituals about saying goodbye when he leaves for shift or if when you end a phone call when he is on shift?

I just make sure I always say “I love you.”


What is the best advice you could offer anyone in a relationship with a fireman?

It is worth it! All the times that the pager goes off when you were just about to sit down and have dinner are worth it. It takes time to adjust, but when all is said and done, you can make it work!

What does the Sisterhood provide for you and would you recommend it to all fire wives?

I have a place to talk to people that understand what I am going through at that moment. I have a place to air my concerns and praises.

We know what your firefighter’s passion is, but what sets YOUR heart on fire?

Science. Music. A bright crisp fall day, walking hand in hand through the changing leaves.


Has there ever been a time in your relationship that you thought the fire service would ruin your relationship? What helped move pass that?

Not necessarily ruin it, but I used to be very “controlling” and wanted to know everything about why he was late, calling 5 minutes after he should have been home demanding where he was. Since joining this group, I really believe in my heart of hearts that I have changed so much and I thank each of the women in the group for this.

Tough and often touchy topic… Have you had “the talk” with your fireman about his last wishes if he were to ever die in the line of duty?

No… I know I should but no I have not.


Thanks so much for sharing a little bit of the Behind the Scenes Denise!

The following two tabs change content below.

Jessie -

A small town girl from Southwest Georgia who happens to value your marriage as much as she does her own. She is married to a firefighter who was a volunteer for several years, then transitioned into a career fireman the same month they married in 2008, and he is now a Captain at his full-time Department. They have two daughters, have been in the FFW family since 2012 and know marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.