Firefighters in Louisiana donating annual leave time to help coworker diagnosed with cancer

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Alex Bourque drives a fire truck for the Lafayette Fire Department. He’s assigned to Station No. 2 on Mudd Avenue. He’s been off the job for a while now, because he just found out he has cancer.

Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit says the department is coming together to help Bourque and his family.

“Firefighters are donating their annual leave, to off set his annual leave time within the organization,” said Benoit. “We are giving him anything we can, monetarily, food, whatever they need.”

Alex was diagnosed with cancer after having leg pains, and then broke his leg due to complications. He’s a full-time firefighter in Lafayette, and part-time in Broussard. The Scott Fire Department recently held a blood drive to help.

“It’s going to be a long, slow recovery for him. In the meantime, we are doing as much as we can on this end to support him and his family,” said Benoit.

Firefighting runs in the Bourque family. Alex joined the Lafayette Fire Department in 2015, two years after his brother, Josh, joined. Their father, Mike, joined in 1987, and is now assistant chief.

“This situation can be a setback. We have faith. His family is a religious family. They believe in God. So, all of that together with the prayers we’re giving, as well as the public, we’re going to see him through it,” said Benoit.

Alex is married, with a young son and another baby on the way. Chief Benoit says firefighters in Houston are helping the family with living arrangements, as Alex gets medical treatment at a hospital there.

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