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Firefighters pay respect to fallen brother

Cumberland County firefighters and other first responders stood atop the Exit 5 overpass near Springhill Saturday morning to pay their respect to Skyler Blackie, a firefighter with Truro Fire Services. Blackie passed away March 20.
Cumberland County firefighters and other first responders stood atop the Exit 5 overpass near Springhill Saturday morning to pay their respect to Skyler Blackie, a firefighter with Truro Fire Services. Blackie passed away March 20. - Dave Mathieson

SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Firefighters lined bridges along the Trans-Canada Highway between Truro and Amherst Saturday morning to pay their respects to Skyler Blackie, a firefighter with Truro Fire Services.

Blackie, 28, of Debert, passed away March 20 in a Halifax hospital where he had been undergoing care since he was critically injured in a training incident March 9 at the Nova Scotia Firefighters School in Waverly.

Blackie’s body was transported to the Amherst Crematorium Saturday morning, and is returning to Truro Saturday afternoon.

His obituary, posted on the Mattatall-Varner Funeral Home’s website, says Blackie was born in Kingston, Ont., and graduated from Lockview High School in Fall River in 2009.

“He was a certified life guard and received a medal for his life saving efforts,” reads the obituary.

“A volunteer firefighter since the age of 18, he was trained through Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services and served as a Lieutenant with Station 45 in Fall River,” the obituary continues to read. “During this time, he attended NSCC and received his HVAC certification and then began his career as a firefighter with Truro Fire Service on October 1, 2013.”

The obituary goes on to say that Blackie was ‘a charismatic, funny, outgoing and kind individual who touched everybody’s heart.’

“As lead of the charitable committee for the fire hall, he generously shared his efforts to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and prostate cancer, and participated yearly in ‘Movember,” said the obituary. “He enjoyed fitness and built the gym at the fire hall and instilled his passion with others through personal training.

“Although Skyler had a passion for firefighting and fitness, his passion and love for (his wife) Erin, and building a life with her, was unmeasurable.”

A regimental funeral service will be held March 30, at 11 a.m. at Colchester Legion Stadium in Truro.

Donations made in his memory will go to the Colchester SPCA or Prostate Cancer Canada.

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