to make a comeback - Simon Hawkins|
When Simon Hawkins became
a firefighter, he achieved his childhood ambition.
Growing up in Worcestershire,
it had been his aim to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Sam and join
the fire service.
But in July 2004 - after 12 years as a fire officer -
Simon's career appeared to be in ruins.
A high-speed motorcycle crash left
him with severe injuries and doctors were forced to amputate his lower left leg.
recovered from the accident, but the amputation put in doubt his ability to work
as a firefighter.
Inside Out joins Simon twelve months after the crash.
Challenge of a lifetime
fit - Simon proves his physical abilities|
He has returned
to work at Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade.
But while colleagues are
tackling fires, Simon is restricted to administration and community work - his
disability preventing a return to active duty.
"When I do see them
on parade, and see them working together, I do feel left out
I feel like
I'm a distant cousin," he said.
"I'm doing a totally
different job. What I'm doing now is non-operational."
is, however, determined to return to the sharp end of fire fighting.
do so, he must prove he is an equal to his able-bodied colleagues - and complete
a series of fire service assessment tests.
We follow Simon as he attempts
this challenge - and we speak to those close to the 31-year-old about his accident
and the impact it has had on his life.
stations - finding inspiration from Bill Henry|
also travels with Simon to America as he seeks inspiration from the world's first
amputee firefighter, Bill Henry.
If Simon succeeds, he will become the
first amputee firefighter in Britain - and possibly even Europe - to return to
If he fails, the rest of his fire service career will be
served behind a desk.
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