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Firefighter suffers spinal cord injury after electric shock, falling off billboard

Garth Goodwin was working an off-duty job when he came in contact with power lines and fell about 10 feet from a billboard

By FireRescue1 Staff

WACO, Texas — An off-duty firefighter suffered second-degree burns and a severe spinal cord injury Wednesday.

Waco Tribune reported that Garth Goodwin, a 17-year Waco Fire Department veteran, was performing maintenance on a billboard when he came in contact with power lines. Goodwin was shocked and fell about 10 feet from the billboard.

“Unable to move his legs, he laid there for an extended period of time until someone who lives close to the scene discovered him and called for help,” a post on Caring Bridge said.

Goodwin was taken to a hospital with extensive injuries and burns; he was later airlifted to another hospital and is awaiting surgery.

Chief Bobby Tatum said Goodwin is a well-respected firefighter with a “unique sense of humor,” according to the report.

“One of the guys visiting him told him to keep his head up,” Chief Tatum said. “And Goodwin said, ‘Well, that’s about the only thing I can do right now.’”

The Waco Firefighters Honor Guard is accepting donations to help Goodwin and his family.