Mike Wilbur

TX Firefighter Back after Apparatus Rollover

A firefighter from a community to the west of Austin is back on the job after spending six weeks recovering from injuries she sustained in an apparatus rollover.

The Lake Travis firefighters union announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that Lt. Rachel Zambrano was cleared for full duty last week and is back in charge at Fire Station 604.

“We’re excited to have Lt. Zambrano back in service and out serving our amazing community,” the post says.

Lt. Zambrano was hurt May 16 while returning to quarters when the driver of the engine she was riding in suffered a medical emergency. Zambrano and firefighter Joel Niemeyer both unbuckled their seat belts in an attempt to stop the apparatus, but the vehicle hit a light pole and rolled before they could.

Because she was no longer restrained by her seat belt, Zambrano sustained numerous injuries that included a concussion, fractures, bruising on her ribs and femur, and she also required numerous stitches.

While she is still experiencing some discomfort, the Facebook post lauds Lt. Zambrano for being a “tough” firefighter.

“Damage to her occipital nerve continues to cause her discomfort and headaches, but Lt. Zambrano is one tough (firefighter),” the post says. “To put this in perspective, she’s a triathlete who even ran the Austin Marathon in full firefighter gear with an air bottle strapped to her.”

Brian Kaz

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