Injured AFD firefighter headed to special treatment center

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Anchorage Fire Department firefighter-paramedic Ben Schultz, who was critically injured a month ago, will be flown Thursday to a hospital in Colorado that specializes in treating patients with spinal cord and brain injuries.

AFD firefighter Ben Schultz with his family. Photo by Charlie Loc Silvers

In an email, Schultz's father, Jeff Schultz, says his son will be taken to Craig Hospital, near Denver, for treatment and rehabilitation.

The hospital's website says the facility "provides a comprehensive system of inpatient and outpatient medical care, rehabilitation and long-term follow up services."

Ben Schultz was injured on June 5, when he fell during a training exercise at AFD Station 5 in Spenard. He was found next to a fire engine that has a 100-foot tall ladder.

Fellow firefighters have been at, or near, his bedside, since the accident.

"We've been holding a vigil - if you will - or a stand-by at the hospital 24/7, to support the family," said Mike Stumbaugh, president of the Anchorage Firefighter's Union. "So they can go home and take a break, and know that Ben is being looked out for by his brothers and sisters."

"We have been able to get sleep, because they have been here," wrote Jeff Schultz in an email to Channel 2 News. "Someone has always been with him. They are amazing, and we have been so blessed because of them."

The Anchorage Firefighter's Union is holding a fundraising event to support Schultz's family on Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m., at Elite Sports (801 E. 82nd Avenue).

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