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North Carolina firefighter loses leg in work accident

Any job in North Carolina carries at least some risk of injury. For example, desk jobs can lead to repetitive stress injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome. But most readers will agree that some jobs have the potential to cause more serious harm than others.

Among the most high-risk jobs that workers might have is firefighter. Firefighters rush toward scenes, such as blazing buildings, that most people run away from. Even when the firefighters are equipped with safety gear, they can suffer permanent disability if things go wrong.

A North Carolina firefighter lost his leg recently after being the victim of a work injury at the scene of a forest fire. This injury could put his future as a firefighter in doubt.

On the afternoon of April 3, he was part of a crew that responded to a forest fire in Montgomery County. He stood by the fire truck, which was parked near a rural road, as others went around to the back to unload hoses and traffic cones. Smoke from the fire made visibility low on the road.

Suddenly, a passing Jeep hit the fire truck, pinning the firefighter between the two vehicles. Both of his legs were crushed. His left leg seems to have sustained the worst damage. It was later amputated by doctors. He was scheduled to have surgery on his right leg, possibly in an attempt to save it.

Amputation injuries can change your life in the blink of an eye. A lost leg may be replaceable, but it may take a lot of rehabilitation before the injured worker can return to work with a prosthetic. That could mean months with no income.

Source: The Asheboro Courier-Tribune, “Montgomery firefighter seriously hurt in accident,” Kathi Keys, April 4, 2014

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