Bruce Merrifield is a retired fireman who can’t get firefighting out of his system. Over a lifetime, what has made the biggest impression in Bruce’s heart and mind are the heroic acts of his fellow firefighters and first responders, the support and sacrifice of their friends and family, and all the lives that were both saved and lost.
You may call your story “Just doing my job.” Bruce calls it your “LEGACY”, and he’s made it his mission. Bruce started Legacy Launchers as a fast and easy way for his brothers and sister – newbies, veterans, and retirees alike – to preserve their legacy story for generations to come in the upcoming amazing book “Ultimate Firefighter, The Hero’s Journey.”
Wanting the best for his brotherhood, which means doing everything possible to make their legacy book a #1 best seller, Bruce has teamed up with Tracy Repchuk to publish and market the book. Tracy is a 5 Time International Best Selling Author, highly sought after writer, and internet marketing genius. You can find out more about her at www.TracyRepchuk.com
Bruce’s honor and respect for firefighters and their stories began in childhood, when he dreamed of becoming one himself. Born and raised in Los Angeles, his first experience was battling forest fires in Montana and Idaho. After exhaustive preparation, he was hired by the Palm Springs Fire Department, but before he could report for duty, he was drafted by the U.S.Army and served at Ft. Wainwright in Alaska. The Army, wonder of wonders, trained him as…..a fire fighting engineer!
After the Army, Bruce still had the burning desire to become a professional fire fighter, and in 1969 he was hired by the City of Escondido as a probationary fireman. This launched his 22 year career with them. During his tenure he was awarded “Firefighter of the Year” and later “Engineer of the Year”.
He also spearheaded the 7 year restoration of Old Betsy (the 1926 American LaFrance), which went on to win a few awards as “the best original restoration” at many fireman musters and local events! This required working closely with volunteer firefighters from days gone by, active firefighters, city businesses and citizens of the community. Through that experience, Bruce was really struck by how important fire fighter stories are…to everyone!
What makes firefighter legacy stories so powerful? They represent HOPE. That’s why the firefighter documentary movie “9/11” was viewed by 39 million people in one day – it helped heal a nation shaken to its core.
You never know where your story will lead – how many hearts it will heal, how many more lives it will save. That’s why it’s important to record it now, while you are still able and the events are somewhat fresh in your mind.
What’s YOUR story? Bruce would love to hear it – give him a call at 760-522-5219 or email him at Bruce@LegacyLaunchers.com
The History of Bruce
Bruce is an Los Angeles boy, born and bred. He grew up around the communities of Glendale, West LA, Torrance, and Palos Verdes. He had a reasonably normal childhood….schools, bicycles, hi school football, track, gymnastics. Very few people have any idea that our Bruce has twice performed at the Hollywood Bowl…on the trumpet, no less.
After high school, Bruce knew that he wanted to become a fireman. Becoming a fireman is an very competitive undertaking…needing a ton of study to qualify for even an interview. Finally, after exhaustive preparation, Bruce was hired by the Palm Springs Fire Department. BUT, before reporting for duty in Palm Springs, good ol’ Uncle Sam came calling with a “Dear Bruce, Come on up to Fort Ord for U.S. Army basic training” letter. Finding this invitation compelling, Bruce reported to Fort Ord on the day the JFK was assassinated.
Bruce spent his entire Army career in Alaska where the Army, wonder of wonders, had sent him for duty as…..a Fireman! Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks was his home for the Army years….which saw many adventures that we would expect for being in Alaska….fishing, hunting for bear (without success), some skiing….and another adventure we wouldn’t expect….he began learning to fly.
After mustering out of the Army in Seattle, Bruce came back home to Los Angeles. A chance encounter with a high school friend whose father worked in the movie industry, resulted in a job at Technicolor. He worked in most departments at Technicolor and stayed in the special effects (pre-computer generated) department for the balance of his time there.
The passion to be a fireman kept burning….and he was hired by the Escondido, California Fire Department. He had a very rewarding career there…doing what he had always dreamed of from childhood. During his tenure with the Escondido Fire department, he was awarded “Firefighter of the Year” and later the “Engineer of the Year”.
After retiring from fire fighting, he learned the business of powder coating and opened his own company in San Marcos, California. That company, Small Parts Powder Coating, Inc., was very successful and Bruce operated it for many years. His company always had the reputation that, if one wanted the highest quality coating, bring your material to Bruce at Small Parts. He always had the highest standards and the highest level of technical expertise.