Surgeons Re-attach Maryland Firefighter's Right Arm

The right arm of a Maryland firefighter was re-attached during surgery at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Ryan Emmons, a volunteer at West Lanham Hills Vol. Fire Dept., lost his arm when the fire truck in which he was riding was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Capital Beltway early Wednesday.

Emmons and three other firefigthers were returning from a call when the driver of the fire truck decided to use a crossover to turn around. That's when a tractor-trailer crashed into them, sending the engine into the concrete barrer.

Responders on the scene reported that Emmons was trapped, and that his arm was severed.

He was flown to Union Memorial, a trauma center that specializes in limb injuries.

One of the surgeons praised the responders not only for Emmons' care, but for preserving the arm so it could be re-attached.

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"It requires repairing everything - the bone injury, the tendons, the veins, the arteries, the nerves," Dr. James Higgins, whose surgical team was involved in Emmon's procedure, told reporters. "He is certainly doing great right now and we're in a very watchful state."

The other three firefighters in the engine were released after treatment. Also injured were the drivers of the truck and an SUV.

Firefighters are keeping members and the public aware of Emmons' condition on their Facebook page.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, they announced: "Ryan is doing well this morning after 12 hours with only improvements. Great blood flow and his skin has great color but still has a significant amount of swelling. The Dr said he doing great and hopefully in an hour or two he will be awake and breathing on his own again."