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Famed surgeon reattaches firefighter's arm

The most seriously injured firefighter in Wednesday's apparatus crash with a semi had his severed arm reattached, with the next 72 hours critical to its success

By FireRescue1 Staff

LANHAM, Md. — Lt. Ryan Emmons, a 30-year-old volunteer with the Prince George's County Fire Department, sustained the worst injury of the four firefighters riding in a apparatus that was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer and flipped on its side. His arm had been severed at the elbow.

Thanks in part to rescue workers who quickly packed the arm in ice and to a renowned surgeon, Lt. Emmons' may regain use of that arm.

Dr. James Higgins, head of the hand institute at MedStar Union Memorial hospital, performed the surgery. He was one of 16 surgeons who recently performed a double-limb transplant on a war veteran.

Dr. James told local media that the next 72 hours will be the most critical for Lt. Emmons, who had veins removed from his leg to rebuild the veins his arm.

Lt. Emmons is an 8-year veteran who had just been promoted last weekend. The other firefighters in the rig were Lt. Jack Lesqure, 24, Lt. Michael Simmons, 29, and Firefighter George Hirsch, 22. All four are volunteers.

The crash occurred around 3 a.m. Wednesday when the PGFD rig was leaving a minor vehicle incident on an interstate. The apparatus made a U-turn at an emergency crossover and was struck from behind by the semi. The impact pushed the apparatus into an SUV and flipped both vehicles on their sides.

Police told local media that the semi driver was the "favored driver" but did not elaborate on if that meant the apparatus driver was then at fault in the collision. Favored driver typically means that person had the right of way, but police are still investigating the collision. Police said the apparatus did not use lights and sirens during the U-turn

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Serena Leblond Serena Leblond Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:40:03 AM Many prayers going up and what ever meant to n hugs to all..stay safe <3.
Eric Strauss Eric Strauss Thursday, January 31, 2013 11:07:54 AM Lots of people pulling for ya brother....
Alicia Simmons Norton Alicia Simmons Norton Thursday, January 31, 2013 11:45:06 AM Prayers going up for this firefighter and his family!
Virginia Sattler Waterson Virginia Sattler Waterson Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:28:48 PM Prayers for great success with the arm and speedy healing!
Kent Klingenberg Kent Klingenberg Friday, February 01, 2013 9:16:05 AM My greatest wish for a recovery to a fellow brother.
Friedrich VonDeitsch Friedrich VonDeitsch Saturday, February 02, 2013 1:15:52 PM The medical profession has made so many giant strides in my lifetime. When my generation was in junior high school and we heard of the first organ transplant we were..shocked..even a little sickened that "you could remove organs from a dead guy and use them in someone else". Now it is just accepted as a typical medical procedure! I am so happy for this doctor and his team who are making such historic achievements in this area of medicine. Thank you Doctor James Higgins! Quick and safe recovery to our Brother in service Lieutenant Ryan Emmons. AMEN
W Joseph Lacks W Joseph Lacks Saturday, February 02, 2013 1:38:06 PM great! hope these 72 hours prove effective.
Ron Handke Ron Handke Saturday, February 02, 2013 2:04:33 PM Prayers are being said my many, we truly hope that it is a sucess.
Robert Lenentine Robert Lenentine Saturday, February 02, 2013 2:08:08 PM Get well Brother...Pitman, NJ FD District 28 all send out big ups for a speedy recovery!
Dawn J Daisey Dawn J Daisey Saturday, February 02, 2013 2:24:44 PM Get Well Brother........... thoughts and prayers going ou to you and your family.... Speedy Recovery........
Dawn J Daisey Dawn J Daisey Saturday, February 02, 2013 2:25:21 PM Out******
Rich Cooney Rich Cooney Saturday, February 02, 2013 6:25:38 PM Surgeons are true unsung heroes. Society is lucky to have them. I95 runs through the heart of my city and I have used any a turn around. No criticism to the injured but those reading this would be wise to do as I do: lights blazing and I don't pull out unless I see nobody in my lane. We'll sit there all day. Personally, highway runs are the scariest things we do. Ill take a fully involved structure all day. God speed to the injured and thanks to the medical staff who cared for our Brother.
Rich Cooney Rich Cooney Saturday, February 02, 2013 6:26:58 PM Many*
Jason Plesetz Jason Plesetz Sunday, February 03, 2013 12:38:44 AM That just goes to show you how we as people can overcome anything if we put our minds to it and have a great surgeon! Hope your recovery is quick. God bless!
Place OfMiracles Place OfMiracles Sunday, February 03, 2013 12:59:13 AM Wel done to surgeon Dr James Higgins for helping firefighter Ryan Emmons by reattaching his arm.
Friedrich VonDeitsch Friedrich VonDeitsch Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:56:03 PM GOOD NEWS, Lieutenant Emmons is home from the hospital!

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