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Profile Information

Type of Organization
Fire/Rescue Department - Combination
Job Function
Years in Fire/EMS:
21 years
Primary Fire/EMS Department:
towns county fire & rescue
Years With Department/Agency
Relationship Status:
Why I Joined Fire/EMS
to help people in need in times of emergency!!
Why I Love Fire/EMS
to help people

Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 1:54pm on August 18, 2008, Don Zimmerman said…
To be honest I have no idea where to begin. I am 54, started as a volunteer back in 1980, was with that department until 2003 when i got promoted to battalion chief with Hanford Fire. While a volunteer in the 80's I did a lot of fire, there were several areas of the county that had hundreds of the per 1975 mobile homes that were burning down at a rate of a couple per week and one winter we had 14 burn down in one week ( it was cold and they tried to keep the pipes flowing with torches). Summer time (April to November) we did a lot of wildland fire everywhere in the county with crews and engines (I was a ground pounder most of the time) digging line extending hose lays and on and on. Lots of over hill and dale. While doing this I was working full time for the Department of Energy Nuclear Site as a SWAT team member assigned to as facility that processed nuclear fuel into weapons materials. We were very physical in our approach to providing protection to the facility. All the above caused me to be working out and running a lot both at work and at home. I figure I was running about 1500 miles per yr to stay in shape.

In 1993 I moved from the security force to the fire department because the cold war ended and a lot of us were going to be out of work in a few years due to the lack of mission for the DOE site. I had the chance to jump to the fire department and I hopped quick to get there. At the time I had 13 yrs in with the volunteers.

In 2003 I had surgery for the right knee because what surgery I had done in 1979 needed to be repaired and the left knee needed arthroscope to clean it all up. Doctor then said I would be back in about 10 yrs for more surgery probably a replacement.

All was well until the last 4 yrs when I started to become bow-legged with the right leg, lots of pain, swelling, hurt all the time I was beginning to predit the weather changes and it gradually become worst. I did not know until after the surgery that my sons when we went fishing would always be walking close to me to keep me from falling because they always said it looked like i was stumbling across the ground all the time. I could not do yard work, and many activities at home and it was becoming an issue at work because we have a fitness test we have to take and for the past 5 yrs I was getting worst each yr. I quit working out ( it hurt) and going to do live fire training was pure agony ( I would come back to station go to bed early with bags of ice to ice my knee down (no one knew I was doing this).

Finally about the first of November I cried and said uncle, went to the doctor after checking out what kinds of surgery there were, what kinds of parts were the best and found a doctor local to do the work I trusted and that did at least 3 knees per day ( I did not want someone that did 3 per year for sure).

I was as nervous as you are now, there are alot of emotions running through your head about this, I would say read up on it big time, find a doc, make a list of questions, tell your wife (I did not tell mine until 3 days before the first doc appointment bad mistake on my part she was really mad at me for that), go in and ask the questions, get the doc's opinion, and then go home and think about what you heard for 2 weeks and then go back in and ask questions again. Now you can make a decision!!!! I based my decision on the quality of life at home and at work. My doc said that if I had not had both issues then the knee replacement probably was not best for me, but when I talked with her and she heard what I had to say about home and job (if I do not pass the fitness test I can be without job) I became an excellent candidate for the replacement. If replacement full or partial is what is needed then do it. Waiting will not make it go away.

Pick a good time to take it off, my wife works at a school, so I took the first 2 weeks at the Xmas holiday so she could be around to help, 3 boys old college types did not hurt either ( I could not drive, doc orders)

I had it done, and started that blog to get others interested in what is happening. It has been wonderful.. I work our nearly every day PAIN FREE YES PAIN FREE!!!!!! I wok out on the elliptical training at a club and at work. At least 2 times per week I lift weights for the leg to remain strong and get strong. It is wonderful to not have that old pain I had gotten use to gone TOTALLY GONE. The doc says the knee parts I have are good for 20-25 years. Check out the websites for replacement, the days of snip snip and get a metal knee are long gone. It has become very refined and precise in how it is done.

Do a lot of rehab, I did rehab for 2 1/2 months 3 times per week without missing one day and on days off I did the stuff they wanted me to do without fail. All the surgery in the world is nothing unless you do the rehab. I did rehab up unit a month before returning to work, And I consider workout now as rehab, I will have to do leg work till I am dead, which now will be awhile. My health has majorily improved I have lost 80 lbs and more coming off.

Hopes this helps. You can call me at 509-539-5533 most any time. I work on Thursday and then I am off for 4 days.
At 6:59pm on June 24, 2008, Tina said…
Thank you for adding me. Stay safe.
At 1:17am on June 24, 2008, Alyssa said…
haha thanks :)
At 10:48pm on June 21, 2008, Amanda said…
thanks for the add.
At 12:36am on June 21, 2008, Diane said…
Thanks for the request. Stay safe, and enjoy your weekend!
At 9:20pm on January 23, 2008, Mary Love said…
Hey whats up? Thanks for the add..Be safe and take care of you...
At 4:18pm on January 22, 2008, Marie said…
thanks for the add! stay safe :)

At 4:05pm on January 22, 2008, Jim aka Bick said…
At 3:26pm on January 22, 2008, Katreena said…
thanks for adding me! :) stay safe!!

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