One year ago, the Julian Fire Chief stopped to assist a car on Interstate 85. This night would not be like any other though for the off duty volunteer firefighter from the town 15 miles southeast of Greensboro.
The night was dark and the Fire Chief did not realize that he had stopped to assist another car on an overpass bridge. That is why when he jumped over a guardrail to avoid a hydroplaning car as he was helping the stranded motorist, he did not expect the 25 foot fall that awaited him. The fall broke nearly everything on the left side of his body.
The injuries sustained in the fall required multiple surgeries and the Chief had to endure infections and intense pain while he relearned to walk. It was in May of this year that he was once again able to walk – a mere 6 months after the injuries were first sustained.
He continues to have difficulties with this left side. His left arm cannot quite fully bend, limiting his range of motion, and his left leg is now shorter than it once was which causes its own problems. He says that stairs and uneven terrain are particularly difficult on him.
Perhaps the most devastating part about all of this though is the fact that he can no longer fight fires as he once did. He is still the Julian Fire Chief, but when a call comes in, he must be content to lead from the back while others rush to the trucks and into the danger. His body will not yet let him do either, but he is hopeful to at least be able to ride the trucks soon.
While his injury occurred off duty, it is the type of work that he is trained in that made him stop in the first place. The incident could have just as easily occurred while he was on duty. Workplace injuries can be detrimental to ones way of life and cause immense pain and suffering both in the immediate and throughout one’s life. Should you find yourself in a situation where you were injured on the job an attorney who practices in the area of workers’ compensation can help you navigate the options available to you.
Source: MyFox8.com, “Injured fire chief thankful to be alive,” Nov. 23, 2012
•· To find out more information regarding workers compensation and injuries in the workplace, please feel free to visit our Greensboro Workers Compensation Overview.