Lt. Reece Chambers of East Jefferson Fire Rescue has a lot of heart.
He’s now on his second one.
Chambers, 42, is believed to be the first firefighter in Washington state to return to front-line duty after receiving a heart transplant. He went back on Jan. 2.
“New heart, new start,” Chambers said Friday while working at the Chimacum fire station. “I get a new start at life.”
Chambers received the heart of Kevin Irby, 42, in 2018, after he was diagnosed first with cardiomyopathy — an enlarged heart — and six months later with heart failure.
Since then, Chambers has established a relationship with the Irby family, who live in Washington and California — Kevin’s parents, three older sisters and two sons — and is immensely grateful for Kevin’s heart.
Before receiving the heart, Chambers worked as much as his body would let him, until even light duty managing paperwork was too much.