FDNY firefighter makes remarkable comeback after nearly losing arm

By Tim Fleischer
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 06:05PM
CORONA, Queens (WABC) — Suiting up for another tour of duty, Sean O’Rourke barely gets into his turnout gear when the first alarm comes into the station house of Tower Ladder 138 and Engine 289 in Corona, Queens.

Climbing behind the wheel of the tower ladder truck, O’Rourke is the muscle driving the giant truck answering the call of the smell of gas at a home. He blasts the horn as he heads out into traffic.

With sirens blaring, he nimbly weaves through traffic like he’s never missed a day, although this is one of his first days back after nearly having his arm amputated.

I ask to see his injury now and he shows me his scarred shoulder, arm and forearm.

“I was partially amputated all the way around and into the bicep,” O’Rourke said.

In August 2016, he was driving back from a reassignment in the Bronx when he started to make a left turn under an elevated subway.

“The I-beam hits this,” he said, pointing to the side view mirrors. “This kind of got torn off, slid right up into my arm.” Pointing to his shoulder, he said, “That’s where it sliced into my arm into the bicep and partially amputated my shoulder.”

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