Amputee Firefighter Working To Inspire The Disabled

PATERSON, N.J. (CBS 2) — Isaac Feliciano fought to become a firefighter. It was his dream, ever since firemen saved his family when he was four-years-old, Randall Pinkston reports.

“I was going to be a type of guy to give back to the community,” he said.

However, he faced a big challenge: a childhood infection cost him his leg from the knee down.

“A lot of people didn’t think I was able to do certain things,” he said.

When the Paterson, New Jersey Fire Department refused to give him a chance, he went to court and won.

“I knew getting on the job, people did not know me. I had to show and prove myself,” he said.

What do you think? Leave a comment below

Deputy Chief Joseph Murray got to know Feliciano at the Fire Academy. “He never made excuses. He never backed down. He was a leader,” he said.

After five years on the job, Feliciano has proven he can handle the job and gets no special treatment. Now he sports a special prosthesis made of kevlar that can handle extreme temperatures.

Feliciano hoped his experience would motivate others with disabilities, especially veterans, to pursue their own dreams.

“I try to encourage them, to let them know it has been done. They can do it,” he said.

There are an estimated 1,500 amputee firefighters on active duty across the nation.  Firefighting is one of the toughest jobs around.

  • Coloradoman

    Homie, obviously you are not a fireman, because if you were you would know the extensive mind set needed on the fire ground far exceeds jut carrying a hose. If this man can pull his weight like anyone else on the fire ground he deserves the right to be their. Lets just hope you are not opinionated if another amputee comes to save your life someday.

  • Paula Llanos

    Isaac is iron man in my eyes!! He’s unstoppable! I bet “homie” is a huge Woolly Mammoth, that just sits in front of his computer hating himself…

  • Diana Tapia

    We are soo proud of you!!!
    Neil and Diana

  • Homie

    It kinda seems like a liability considering he’ll have other people that would rely on him in a bad situation. I believe the city just did this to be politically correct and show that they’re an “equal oppurtunity employer”.

    As for firefighting being one of the toughest jobs around, that’s highly unlikely considering more people died in construction accidents than an actual fire.

    • bob the builder

      maybe firefighters dont make as many mistakes as construction workers. It doesnt take too much brains to get hired in construction.

      • Homie

        Neither does walking around with a hose.

    • Isaac Feliciano

      Hey Homie….. I would like to challenge you in any sports or obstacles of your choice!!! BTW I also do construction work!

      • Dr. Football

        G-D bless you Firefighter Feliciano! You are an awe inspiring person for your choice of career, and to me as a Disabled Veteran who also did not back down and made a career in Education after military service…Do not let these “jackwagons” deter you!! They do not know what it means to impact a life each day…

    • UncleMoe

      Homie, I’ve seen him knock a few blocks off on the football field too. And as for fighting fires, don’t speak too soon until you see the flames talking to ya.

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