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Surgeons work to reattach injured firefighter’s arm

Lt. Ryan Emmons, with the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department, returned to surgery Wednesday evening following a nine-hour surgical procedure to reattach his right arm. Emmons was injured in an early morning crash on Wednesday along the Capital Beltway. (West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department)

WASHINGTON – A West Lanham firefighter injured in an early Wednesday morning crash with a tractor-trailer underwent nine hours of surgery to reattach his severed arm, ABC 7 is reporting.

The department says the Emmons was doing well Thursday morning, 12 hours after the surgery. He has “great blood flow and his skin has great color but still has a significant amount of swelling. The Dr. said he is doing great and hopefully in an hour or two he will be awake and breathing on his own again,” read a statement on the department’s website.

Well-wishers left messages of support and prayers for Lt. Ryan Emmons on the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page as Emmons returned for another round of surgery Wednesday evening for a small complication, the department reported on its website.

After the second surgery on Wednesday night, doctors said the next 72 hours were critical and that veins were taken from his legs to repair the ones torn in his arms.

Emmons was taken to MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore following the crash, which detached his arm from the elbow down, according to ABC 7.

“It requires repairing everything – the bone injury, the tendons, the veins, the arteries, the nerves,” Dr. James Higgins, whose surgical team was involved in Emmon’s procedure, told the station. “He is certainly doing great right now and we’re in a very watchful state.”

Doctors tell ABC 7 that Emmons faces several critical days ahead but that rescuers helped save Emmon’s arm by wrapping it in ice.

The 3 a.m. crash along the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway injured seven people including three other West Lanham firefighters, the tractor-trailer driver and two people in an SUV, which was also involved in the wreck. Police say that the big rig rear-ended the fire truck as the truck attempted to make a U-turn.

The crash investigation kept the Beltway closed for hours.

Here is ABC7’s report:

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WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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