Mysterious Ways: The Firefighter's Coat

It was a favor for a firefighter’s widow, but it turned out to be so much more.

By Chief Bob Kissner, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

Darrell Ellwood wasn’t just any firefighter. He served with my department for 11 years and the City of Windsor for another 18, and had a reputation for being “the man with the plan,” always looking out for his brothers. He was the provincial firefighters association’s best advocate as a member of the provincial labor department’s firefighter health and safety committee.

He was a husband, and a father to three children. He was also one of my best friends. His death at age 50 from multiple myeloma, a cancer, shocked me. How could someone with such a profound influence be taken so soon?

Featured Product

Mysterious Ways Magazine - August / September Issue

Mysterious Ways Magazine

Be inspired by everyday miracles when you claim your FREE ISSUE of Mysterious Ways magazine today!

When his widow, Kelly, called to ask a favor, I told her I’d do anything. “We want to display things from Darrell’s life for the wake,” she said. “We have his old fire helmet and boots from his days in Kingsville, but we really want to have an old fire coat like he wore. It looks like something’s missing without it.”

I wanted to help, but there was a problem. I knew we had some photos from back then, but the old black ¾ length fire coats we all used to wear had all been disposed of when the safety standards changed in the late 1980’s, more than 20 years ago. Any coat like the one Darrell wore with us would be at the bottom of a landfill. Unless maybe there was someone who collected ancient fire gear?

There was somebody who might know. A retired captain who owned an antique fire truck.  I gave him a call, and told him what I was looking for. “You’re in luck,” he said.  “I grabbed a few from a huge pile of them before you threw them away. I’ll see which are in the best shape and I’ll send them over.”

One was a later model we’d worn after Darrell moved to Windsor, but the other—that style of reflective striping, the length, yep, that was it. Same style as in the old photos.

Then I looked at the label inside the coat… “Darrell Ellwood #52.”

The retired captain swore he had no idea. That’s simply what he had on hand. Exactly the thing Kelly and her family needed right now.

I thought about my friend Darrell, always looking out for the health and safety of others. Always the man with the plan. Someone still was.

Leave a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Your Comments (5)

This wonderful story is also incredibly important for others in coma for whom hope has been abandonned. The ear is the seat of states of consciousness, something very few doctors know much about as yet. Stimulating the ear with musical sound produces the same effect as when we awaken in the morning: it makes the ear more able to transmit sound to the brain, the energy that produces learning, sanity, and self-control. I healed our son's schizophrenia with music. Hundreds of thousands of people have been healed of a range of disabilities from dyslexia and autism to bipolarity, depression, and Asperger's by listening to amplified music: the Tomatis Method or Dr. Guy Berard's version of the Tomatis Method or some other technique. Our son used ordinary CDs of classical music and ordinary headphones. I have researched this subject and have published two books and two shorter works. The miracle of healing that comes through stimulating the ears (in this case, most likely her right ear) with musical sound should be spread throughout the world. Thank you for publishing this important story.

Please help me , what type music should , I use for depression

Hi, Joanne,
My post above was supposed to go with a different story! I thought it had been deleted; I am happy to meet you here.

Music rich in violins -- high-frequency sound -- is the kind used in the Tomatis Method. Some practitioners use a wider range of music, including vocal music. Our son (and hundreds of thousands of others) used classical music: Bach and Mozart and Vivaldi. While depression is usually based in the left ear, according to Dr. Guy Berard, sometimes the right ear is the one needing the most stimulation. To be on the safe side, you could start by using both earpieces of your headphones. Use headphones for no longer than two hours per day. You can over-exercise your ears and end up back where you were! If you decide to experiment with music, I would really like to know more about you. Especially, I would like to know how severe your depression is and how long you have felt depressed. You should not depend on anyone online (including me) as your sole help for depression. I can share my experience and learning with you as you tune in to music. I would be happy to contact your doctor or other counselor to explain my unique learning and research, as I have sometimes done for other people I meet online. You can reach me at The administrator of this site has my permission to share my personal email address with you. Praying for you, Laurna

it seems to me the best music when I feel down is "old hymns & Christmas carrols"; you find many different interprets on
I pray you feel better soon

God is always near us and answers our deepest desires. He takes care of all our needs. Thanks be to Him.