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July 28, 2015, Beamsville, Ont. - As a follow up to my last posting, my nephew received his prosthetic leg yesterday. Although he went through a period of feeling useless after the motorcycle accident, he now appears to be doing well. He still has a long road ahead but I’m confident he’ll excel.

As for me, I’m doing better as well. My books have been revised in line with fire code revisions and my projects are coming together.

I was slightly unnerved by my difficulty dealing with my nephew’s accident. After all, I have 25 years in the fire service and have responded to numerous MVCs. Further, I am a chaplain and assist others with their trauma. I am usually cool during these types of events. This just shows that traumatic events can affect anyone. Running calls and helping people can overwhelm a person. Don’t go into denial. Deal with your emotions and then you can move on with life.

Every now and then in life we hit bad squalls and spend most of our time bailing out our sinking boats. Yet as fast as we bail out our disconcerting thoughts, others flow back in. We need to take what life offers and make it positive. So instead of just bailing out our boats we need to repair the leaks. As a chaplain, when a squall blows in I turn to my faith and a couple of favourite authors for comfort. Where or to whom do you turn? Just any port during a storm is not always a good idea.

I wish no one harm, but people often do stupid things that perhaps seemed like good ideas at the time. Accidents happen and fires occur, so first responders will always have vital roles to play in society. Fighting fires and saving lives is the greatest job on the planet, but it’s not easy; it takes physical and mental preparedness.

I do a lot of my writing in a café and just as I was finishing this blog, and my dark-roast coffee, a beautiful young woman walked in with her boyfriend. The woman had a prosthetic leg and it did not appear to deter her from life and happiness.

Remember, you are more than just the job and more than just flesh and bone. You are a full and complete human being and you can grow through traumatic events.

Stay safe.

Bruce Lacillade is retired from the Burlington Fire Department in Ontario, where he spent 10 years on the floor as a firefighter and the next 15 years as an inspector in fire prevention. He’s also a U.S. Navy veteran and the chaplain for the American Legion in Ontario and the United Council of Veterans (Hamilton and area). Bruce helps first responders, military personnel, veterans, and their families deal with what he calls moral injuries, or internal conflicts. Contact Bruce at

July 28, 2015 
By Bruce Lacillade

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