1. #1
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    iamfireman's Avatar
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    City of Tulare Fire Department, Tulare, Ca.
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    Post I'm in need of some information

    Recently, our department suffered it's first major firefighter injury in the history of our department. One of our firefighter's came into contact with a 12,000 volt power line. After 9 surgeries and a 33 day stay in the hospital, he came home last week. Unfortunately, his lower left arm had to be amputated at midfore arm. What I would like to know, does anyone know of or have a person either working for them or has returned to work after such an injury? This person is of such mind and strength, as are all of us, his fellow firefighters, that if it is at all possible, he will return to work.


    Rick Wilson
    City of Tulare Fire Department

  2. #2
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    In response to your Thread, first I am glad to hear that your co-worker is on the way to recovery. Secondly you and your department seem to be offering alot of support for him. I do not know of any firefighters locally that have sustained a major injury such as this but I do know of an electrical pole worker in this area that came into contact with live wires. He too had to have his left arm removed due to the injury. He was not able to return to work in the power company but he did start to drive heavy equipment. He has a new style prosthesis that allows him to tighten the grip of the prosthetic hand to a point where he can use it to drive and carry light objects. Its all about determination and the will to keep going. Make sure that even if this person is unable to return to work fully in some capacity that he stays active and social with you and his friends from the department. Being isolated from a group can be even more devistating that the injury for some. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Diane E's Avatar
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    Question

    I believe there was a firefighter who had a leg partially amputated who went back to work -- firehouse.com reported on it last year -- does anyone remember where this fellow was from??
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  4. #4
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    My wife is a below the knee amputee and although she is not in the fire service she suffers from very few limitations. It's amazing how far prosthetics have come recently. I suggest that your fellow firefighter work closely with his therapist and find a prosthetition willing to work with him until he is happy and able to do those things that he loves. I've been to a few conventions sponsored by Nova Care and have seen some amazing prostetics.

    Be patient and work with the pros. I've seen a few reports of firefighters that were able to continue in the service once they found the right prosthetic and were used to using them. If you think that I may be able to help you please e-mail me.

    Good luck

    donh@spacecom.com

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    One of the Lt's on my dept got juiced by 20,000 volts of electricity
    over 20 years ago. He had a long stay in the hospital and lost one finger and had to have his hands sewn into his abdomen to regenerate tissue. He has had numerous surgeries to correct neurological problems caused by the jolt and to graft skin from the burns. He takes it all in stride. He returned 1 1/2 years later and is now a Lt. on the ladder. He is a master carpenter on his days off as well as a highly skilled modelist. He is on MA TF 1 FEMA USAR team and came up with the concept and design of the TOP JAKE ff action figure as well as the new FDNY action figure that FDNY Fire Zone and Target sells. He never let this incident affect him. He battled back under adversity he was told he would never be able to be a FF again or have much use of his hands, he proved the docs wrong. So to answer your topic YES it can be done with a HUGE amount of determination.

  6. #6
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    It probably has more to do with his mental determination than anything else. I've got a guy at my station who was born with one arm, the other stops at the elbow. He's never used any prosthetics, and there's really nothing he hasn't proven that he can do. Tremendous athlete, hard worker, positive attitude, etc. Encourage the guy; he can probably do what he sets out to do...
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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