Volunteer Spotlight: Dee Denehy

Name: Dee Denehy
Title: Lieutenant
Department: Gilsum Fire and Rescue
Location: Gilsum, NH

Why are you an NVFC member?
I am strongly committed to volunteer fire departments. I am a fourth generation volunteer who grew up at the fire station. I know the sacrifices we make in order to volunteer. Community is more than where I live; community is what we create. Choosing to help and support others is how we do this. The NVFC understands these values. I primarily joined the NVFC for the training opportunities, but after becoming part of this organization, I realize how much more they provide. I have found support and helpful information on the Volunteer Voices forums. The NVFC is also speaking on our behalf in the nation’s capital. I am truly appreciative of the efforts that the NVFC staff and members put in for us.

What is your occupation?
Landscape gardener

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
If my children were in an accident or needed help, I hope someone would be there. Therefore, I have chosen to be there for those who need help. I grew up in the fire station. With a November birthday, also known as chimney fire season, it was not unusual for my father and grandfather to get toned out during my party. I feel blessed to be able to help my neighbors.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
I have been fortunate to assist a woman giving birth and have also been present to provide support at the end of someone’s life. My most profound memory is arriving for an elderly woman who was found deceased and her daughter was so grateful that I was the first person there. Through tears, she said, “I am so glad that you are here.”

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
At the onset of the COVID-19 shutdown, our regional school district stopped providing meals to our town. I was able to get the sheriff’s department to bring the meals to town and then I delivered them to the families. Our department supports most town events, such as Halloween, the Memorial Day parade, and driving Santa Claus to the Christmas tree lighting. We have also been fortunate to conduct fire prevention talks in our school.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.makemeafirefighter.org.