GLENDALE, OH (FOX19) - An area firefighter is working to get back to the business of saving lives after nearly losing his own in a motorcycle accident.
That accident cost firefighter Matt Hicks his left leg, but adversity has only made Hicks stronger.
This is a story about courage, ambition and overcoming challenges to pursue one's dream. That dream was nearly destroyed for firefighter Matt Hicks when he was involved in a motorcycle accident just last year.
"I did not have a helmet on. I'm lucky, I'm very, very lucky to be here today," says Hicks.
Hicks remained conscious after striking a car at 60 miles per hour and he says knew he was in bad shape.
"I looked down at my leg, and being a firefighter EMT, I knew it was bad," says Hicks.
Hick's leg had to be amputated. He spent six weeks in the hospital and says he had doubts about ever being able to fight fires again.
"That was the first thing that went through my mind I thought it's over I'm not going to be a firefighter anymore. That was the worst feeling I've ever felt in my life."
Those doubts vanished after talking with a fellow firefighter from the Columbus area who also had a leg amputated. "After seeing him, seeing him walk in and telling me that he has no problems working, he can do the job that boosted my confidence exponentially. It was amazing," adds Hicks.
Hicks is determined to get back to firefighting, but he needs another prosthetic.
"It's going to be identical to this foot. The only difference is it's going to sit inside my fire boot and stay in my fire boot at the fire house. Therefore, I can take this prosthetic off, step into the other one and pull up my turn-up gear and be out the door," says Hicks.
Throughout his ordeal, Hicks has been getting plenty of support from his fellow firefighters. Glendale Fire Chief Kevin Hardwick says Matt is part of the family of firefighters.
"I know he can do it. He sets a great example for our people to see what we do for each other, the importance of being that family in the brotherhood of the fire service," says Hardwick.
Once Hicks gets another prosthetic leg, he expects it will take a few weeks to build up his strength enough to resume fire fighting.
Since insurance won't pay for another prosthetic leg, Hicks and his fellow firefighters are trying to raise the $40,000 needed to get him one. Friends have set up a website at gofundme.com.