International Firefighter Day

In honor of International Firefighter's Day, we took a peek inside the lives of Tim and Brittany Smith -- the husband and wife duo behind R. Riveter's candles -- to share their story and what it's like to be a fire family.

R. Riveter is proud to support all first responders, including our brave firefighters. 



Tim Smith, a fireman for 15 years who was forced to retire after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, joined R. Riveter in 2020 as a product developer. 

Due to the side effects of his cancer treatment, Tim is limited on the number of hours he can work. His role at R. Riveter allows him to have the flexibility to work when he's feeling well rather than have strict or set hours. 

Tim was promoted to Lieutenant shortly before his diagnosis in November 2018.

Brittany has also joined the R. Riveter team, helping to launch a new product line of handmade candles. 

Could you please share what inspired your husband, Tim, to become a firefighter? 

‌Tim's older brother, Chris, had been a firefighter for a few years before Tim graduated high school. Tim has always been led to serve others. Firefighting was a way to serve his community. He knew he would never be suited for a 9-5 office job.


How has Tim's role as a firefighter impacted your life? Can you describe a typical day in the life of a firefighter's family, including any unique challenges?

We were always a proud fire family, but it came with challenges. Tim worked 24 hour shifts then was home for 48 hours. We used to joke that we were ships passing in the morning as we would pass each other as I was on my way to work and he on his way home. There were several birthday parties, sporting events, and family gatherings that he had to work. In our house, holidays were about the day we celebrated rather than the calendar date.

‌On the weekends or summer days, I would take the boys to the station to see Tim. They would ask questions and climb through the fire engines. There were a few times we would pull in as he was leaving for a call. The boys were disappointed, but still excited about the lights and sirens.


How do you handle the uncertainty and stress that comes with the territory of your partner's job, especially during emergencies or long shifts?

I had to put my trust in his training. Part of Tim's daily routine at the station always included time for training. Tim would also call or text often either before or after a significant call to check in.

What support systems or resources have you found helpful in coping with the demands of being part of a firefighter family?

I was exceptionally lucky to have a very supportive family and neighbors. My parents and sister helped with babysitting and shuffling kids to different events. My neighbors opened their homes early in the morning to make sure my son got on the bus.

I also befriended several other fire wives. We shared an understanding of the demands the job puts on our husbands and families. We shared strategies and supported each other during difficult shifts.


Can you share any memorable or impactful experiences you've had as a firefighter's spouse that have shaped your perspective on the profession?

‌Tim was recognized by his department and outside agencies several times for his quick and decisive action. It’s impressive to see the impact one individual can make during someone’s worst day.

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