April 26, 2022, marked the 19th anniversary of the Line of Duty Death (LODD) of Firefighter Bruce Spaulding. Firefighter Spaulding died tragically in an accident at the fire station while on duty. Bruce was loved and respected by many. Bruce started his career with the Bradley Fire Department and taught fire science classes at the Kankakee Area Career Center (KACC is a vocational school) in Bourbonnais. After retiring from Bradley and while teaching at KACC, Bruce joined the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District as a paid-on-call member. Bruce was a mentor to many and especially enjoyed teaching others.
On Saturday, April 26, 2003, Bruce Spaulding was injured while on-duty for the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District. He died later that day at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. Spaulding was mowing the fire station’s lawn on a riding mower when the mower hit a retaining wall. Spaulding was thrown off of the mower and tumbled into a ditch where he suffered fatal injuries.
A native of Bourbonnais, Spaulding had served for 21 years with the Bradley Fire Department, before an injury forced him into early retirement. In 1994, he started the Fire/Rescue training program at the Kankakee Area Career Center, and he spent the next decade training and mentoring young firefighters. He remained a part of the cadet program for the Bradley Fire Department, and he joined the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District as Cadet Advisor in January 2000. In January 2002, his injury had improved enough that his doctors lifted their original restrictions, allowing him to return to firefighting as a paid-on call firefighter with the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District.