Amputee Fulfills Dream of Becoming a Firefighter

An East Texas fire academy has ‘one for the books’, as an extraordinary cadet comes through its ranks. Over the years the Kilgore fire academy has trained thousands of cadets to become firefighters, but a recent cadet, 28 year old Cris Brown, a volunteer with San Augustine VFD, is one they'll long remember.

“I received a phone call from a young man who was inquiring about the fire academy, and he said I have a prosthetic leg. And I said man that’s a new challenge that I have never experienced but it seemed possible. So I said man if there’s nothing holding you back and you want to give it a shot, sign up and lets see what happens,” said academy instructor Mike Simmons.

Brown lost his right leg after a motorcycle accident in 2015, but didn’t let it slow him down. “And from day one, I just refused to give up and let life pass me by. I would say the biggest obstacle faced would have to be mentally. Because you’ve got to convince yourself that I can do this,” Brown said.

Going through the physical demands of firefighting is hard enough for those with two legs. Brown fought through the pain and willed himself through. “I’m capable of doing it, I can keep up with the other guys. I just want to thank everybody at the academy for the experiences,” he said. “He’s hard working and it was a pretty cool moment to see what he was accomplishing and pushing himself to do. He’s definitely a no quit kind of guy,” Simmons said.

“You just can never give up, you just got to push,”Brown said. Brown has finished his training at the academy and is back with the San Augustine Volunteer Fire Department as a lieutenant.

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