Long-term care resident lives out his lifetime wish of riding in a fire truck

residents and supporters line the street in blue and yellow with signs and pom poms to cheer on Sim

Resident-centred program brings community together to help bridge one man’s lifelong dream

Thanks to a resident-centred program implemented at Queensway Long Term Care Home and the support of the community, Sim, a non-verbal resident, has realized his lifelong dream of riding in a fire truck during the Hensall parade. 

On Saturday, June 9th, Sim, outfitted in his very own fire department jacket, helmet and replica radio, became an honourary member of the fire department and joined his fellow firefighters in a ride on the fire truck which travelled through the town. 

Sim sits in a fire truck, dressed as a firemanThe staff at Queensway Long Term Care Home worked closely with Hensall’s fire department in order to bridge the barriers and bring Sim’s dream to reality.  The parade route, decorated in blue and yellow (the colours of Down syndrome awareness) courtesy of local businesses, the Hensall Kinettes and children from Blue Water Coast Public School, was lined with cheering crowds.

Operated by Southbridge Care Homes, Queensway Long Term Care Home has implemented Bridge to Dreams, a resident-centered initiative developed by Southbridge Care Homes in partnership with the home.  Sim is the first resident at Queensway Long Term Care Home to have his dream fulfilled under this program and was nominated by his fellow residents.

the crowd cheers on Sim as the fire truck drives by“We are immensely grateful to the Hensall Fire Department for the care and respect they have shown Sim by accepting him among their ranks as an honourary fire fighter and working with the home to see his lifetime wish realized. The Bridge to Dreams program is a purposeful way for us to honour our residents in meaningful ways, and together with the direct support of the community in Hensall, we were able to do just that,” remarked Keith McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer of Southbridge Care Homes. 

Queensway Long Term Care Home is home to 60 residents in Hensall, Ontario, and has an adjoining retirement community onsite.  

In photos (top to bottom): the community cheers on Sim along the parade route; Sim, outfitted in his fire department gear, rides along in the Hensall fire truck; supports cheer Sim on as he rides by them. 

This story was originally published by Southbridge Care Homes. Reposted with permission.