Behind the Badge: Fishers firefighter returns to work after leg amputation

FISHERS, Ind – As any firefighter might tell you, there is no such thing as a “typical day.” But that suits Fishers Fire Department Lt. Brandon Anderson just fine. After all, he’s not your “typical” firefighter.

Last year, Anderson, a 15 year veteran firefighter, was in a severe motorcycle accident. The damage to his right leg resulted in an above knee amputation.  While he was recovering, Anderson knew he had a choice...walk away from the job, or defy the odds.

“And when I came to that fork in the road, I knew it was about taking the narrow hard path. Which I knew would be difficult,” Anderson said.

Anderson spent 10 months working his way back to the department. He endured intensive rehab sessions and grueling training just to get his strength back.  Fishers Fire Department Captain John Mehling said at times there were plenty of people who doubted he could return.

Mehling said many of those doubters called and ate their words when Anderson proved them all wrong.

“Someone drew the line here of what physical ability was, and Brandon said no, that’s not the line, we’re going to move that line,” Mehling said.

Anderson resumed full duty in June. He’s proven there’s nothing any firefighter can do that he can’t. While Anderson’s story is certainly one of self-determination and perseverance, he says his return is not all on him. He says he couldn’t have made it without tons of support, particularly from his family.

“I can do the physical stuff. It may take me a while but I can figure it out, I can push through that. But the three of them have just been a huge rock of support for me,” he said.

 Now Anderson says he hopes his journey can inspire others.

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