One-handed Illinois firefighter defies odds

  • Source: KFVS-TV 12
  • Published: 10/22/2015 12:00 AM

Anthony Smith learned early on, challenges come in all forms. He was born without his right hand. "The cord got wrapped around my wrist whenever I was in my mom's stomach," Smith said. "And it ended up cutting my hand off." In the past, people have wondered if Smith was capable of completing certain tasks, like when he joined the Horseshoe Lake Fire Department nearly 11 years ago. "Whenever I got on here, some of the guys were like 'I don't know, he may not be able to do some of the things,'" Smith said. Fire Chief Michael Honey vaguely remembers the first fire the two fought together. However, he distinctly recalls watching Smith work. "It was different," Honey said. "I'm like there's no way he can do what other people can." But Smith defied the odds, and did it all with one hand. "He can do anything that everyone else can do and probably better," Honey said. He's been on the volunteer fire department since he turned 16. "I fell in love with it," Smith said. "That first fire we went to, the lights and sirens going down there, fighting fires, it was an adrenaline rush and I loved it, and I've been hooked ever since." Smith says his missing hand is just part of who he is. It's never stopped him, even when it came to learning how to ride a bike or to drive his five-speed truck.


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