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FireLife is dedicated to all things “off-duty” that are of interest to firefighters while they are not working/training. Some of the regular columns we will feature in the family section include:

  • What Every Firefighter's Spouse Should Know

    -- Anne Gagliano is the wife of Fire Engineering author & FDIC speaker Mike Gagliano from the Seattle (WA) Fire Department.  She lectures with her husband on how to build and maintain a strong marriage.  She will use this section of the site to counsel and advise firefighters and their spouses on common pitfalls of being married to someone in the profession. 

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Fire Life Family Articles

I'm a Firefighter Spouse—How Cool Is That?

I am so very proud to be the wife of a firefighter. It can be hard sometimes, but here are four reasons why it is—without a doubt—so incredibly awesome.

Firefighters: Your Loved Ones Get Cancer, Too

I guess "awesomeness" truly does run in families. Eddie Buchanan and his sister Cat Buchanan/Rosie Soul are a prime example of this.  Both are talented in their professional lives, and both are accomplished musicians. And now, because of Rosie's incredible courage, both are instrumental in saving lives.

Firefighter Marriage: Divorce Is Not the End

Firefighters, if you should find yourself going through a divorce, please remember that while it is indeed the sad end to a chapter, it is not the end of your story.  Recognize your vulnerability, and take steps to keep from utter despair which can lead to thoughts of suicide.  Here are five ways to get through a divorce.


Hold on Tight, Part 2

I write this in the hopes that it will encourage those of you who are at this moment facing dark circumstances. Hold on tight to hope, faith, and love and you'll be surprised someday how it sees you through.

Hold on Tight, Part 1

When life is overwhelming, when facing seemingly insurmountable problems--don't let go of each other. Things have a way of working out if you hold on tight.

A Firefighter's Kid

Fortunately for the world today, many of the traits inherent in firefighters seem to be passed on to their children.



Men do not typically need affection the same way that woman do, so it doesn’t come as naturally to them. But it can be taught, and it can be learned. Even the “strong, silent” types can do the following.

Firefighter Marriage: The Wolf Is Always at the Door, Part 2

The Wolf at the door hopes to destroy the firefighter family. He takes many forms. In this column, learn which ones we most often inadvertently let in and how not to do so.

Firefighter Marriage: The Wolf Is Always at the Door

Every couple has to be aware of the "Wolf" which threatens to rip their world apart, but none more-so than the firefighter couple. 

Living with Trauma in the Firefighter Marriage

Are firefighters traumatized? This is an important question, as exposure to trauma is the most impactful experience known to the human psyche. And if someone is traumatized, it can dramatically impact their marriage.

Firefighter Marriage: The "Bugsy Factor"

If you want your marriage to not only last but to thrive for at least 30 years in a profession that is typically tough on relationships, you have to add to it the "Bugsy Factor."

Re-Entry Time—Her Side

Re-entry time only works when it is either given willingly or graciously sacrificed. It is a concept that takes practice in an atmosphere of understanding from his side--and from her side.

Traveling with a Firefighter

As does anything regarding firefighters, traveling with one involves extremes. And these extremes are multiplied a thousand-fold when the destination is an event that is hosted by, planned by, and all about—firefighters.

What Every Firefighter's Spouse Should Know About Cancer, Part 2

In part 1 of this column, it was clearly demonstrated that firefighters are falling victim to cancer at higher rates than the general population. That's the bad news; the good news is that they tend to be toxin-related, which can be dealt with, and here are two primary ways to do so.

What Every Firefighter's Spouse Should Know About Cancer, Part 1

Cancer is scary stuff, but I think every firefighter spouse needs to know the stats, and the earlier in your firefighter's career--the better.