Captain Thornton Brown (left) is back on the fire engine after an accident during a climbing adventure left him injured.
A local firefighter injured six months ago in a 40-foot fall has returned to work.
Captain Thornton Brown of the Sisters-Camp Sherman RFPD was canyoneering in Hades Canyon in Death Valley with two other firefighters when he fell during a rappel. Captain Brown's injuries prevented him from continuing the hike out and he had to spend the night in the remote canyon. Rescuers with the California Highway Patrol Inland Division Air Operations (H-80) were notified of the accident and conducted an air rescue utilizing a helicopter.
A link to the video of the rescue may be found with the online version of this story at www.nuggetnews.com.
Since the accident, Captain Brown has endured medical treatments and extensive physical therapy. Throughout the recovery process Captain Brown was determined to make a full recovery and get back to work on the fire engine.
Fire Chief Roger Johnson said, "We are proud of the hard work and determination he has shown to get back to work."
Due to the physical demands of the job, injured firefighters must pass a grueling physical abilities test before returning to work. The test is designed to simulate firefighting skills that may be encountered at an emergency incident. Captain Brown breezed through the testing process without hesitation and reported for duty Saturday, November 4.
Captain Brown thanked all of the people who helped him through the recovery process.
"I am so thankful to be back to work and couldn't have done this without the help of the CHP rescue crew, my doctors, physical therapist, friends and family," he said.