Longtime firefighter battles terminal cancer after retiring

A drive-by parade was held in Barrie on Monday afternoon, honoring a local firefighter who is battling terminal cancer.

For just over 44 years Grant McCulloch dedicated his life to public service while working as a firefighter at Base Borden until his retirement in late 2020.

Mcculloch was only a few months into his retirement when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer which doctors say is progressive and his time is short.

As a sign of support for McCulloch, on Monday those who stood by his side on the job found a way to connect with him from a distance, as dozens of fire trucks and vehicles lined the road outside his hospital room at RVH, where he watched from his window.

"It is exciting and great to see their support," said Mcculloch who talked to CTV News from his hospital room.

A ladder was lifted up to the window where McCulloch was watching above, as two of his former colleagues presented him with a plaque honouring his years of service.

"Grant was looking forward to his retirement party but because of COVID-19 we couldn't have a send-off for him, so we came with this idea to do a drive-by and it just ballooned and we wanted to show our respect for him," said Jim Brown, Deputy Fire Chief, Base Borden.

McCulloch is expected to remain in the hospital while receiving support from his medical team. He will also spend time with his wife, two children, and 7 grandchildren.