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Injured paramedic Ben Schultz welcomed home at Anchorage gathering

  • Author: Bill Roth
  • Updated: May 31, 2018
  • Published May 31, 2018

Anchorage paramedic/firefighter Ben Schultz gets a hug from his 10th-grade chemistry teacher Deb Fancher during a welcome-home gathering at ChangePoint on Wednesday.  (Bill Roth / ADN)

Anchorage paramedic/firefighter Ben Schultz was welcomed home Wednesday by hundreds of people at ChangePoint almost a year after he fell about 100 feet down an aerial ladder during a training accident.

Schultz, in critical condition with a brain injury, was taken by fellow firefighters to Providence Alaska Medical Center after the accident at Station 5 in Spenard on June 5, 2017.

He had emergency craniotomy surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and spent nearly a month in a coma at Providence before being transported to Craig Hospital in Denver for acute care and rehabilitation.

Schultz then went to Quality Living Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska, to learn further independent-living skills before he returned to Anchorage last week.

Schultz talks with John Sheffrey, an engineer at Station 5. (Bill Roth / ADN)

At the ChangePoint ceremony, Shultz said, "To see all these people here is exhilarating. I'm very appreciative of all the people who have supported my family."

When asked about going back to light-duty work, Schultz said, "I'm looking forward to serving the wonderful community of Anchorage in any way I still can."

Schultz, third from left, watches a video about his recovery with fellow firefighters from Station 5 who helped save his life. (Bill Roth / ADN)

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