Burned Fireman 'Fans the Flames' of Life Long Dreams While Recovering

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- "I'm accident prone this month," Jackson County Fireman and EMT, James Freudenberg said with a laugh. If laughter is the best medicine, then Freudenberg was giving himself a healthy dose- and apparently he needed it.

"I was cooking last night and had a little accident and cut my finger pretty deep and severed a couple of tendons and went to the ER, had to get a couple stitches and went to an orthopedic surgeon today."

Luckily, he said the new wound was on track to heal just as well as the rest of him.

"You can't tell that I was burned on my ears, my neck, or my back,” he said. You can see I have a couple burns on my hands- I do have a skin graft on my right wrist. [Doctors] say it will be [scarred] like that for a couple years, and then slowly blend into my normal skin."

A couple of years, for wounds that took only a couple of seconds.

Freudenberg was battling a house fire in Cottondale. He was on the second floor, when another fire crew sprayed water on the flames. The steam caused Freudenberg's severe wounds. When we met Monday, he was using his medical training to treat himself- dressing his skin graft site and strapping on a splint.

After just a few weeks, we had already jumped back in his paramedic classes at Chipola College and had made plans to participate in a camp for burned children this summer. Freudenberg said he was just waiting to be able to go back to work.

"I can’t actually go on calls or do anything, but I'm there. I'm part of the brotherhood. I get to hang out, interact and socialize."

Freudenberg said he would complete his classes in December, but would have wait for his had to heal before taking his clinicals. He said Doctors told him it would probably be a year before he would be able to fight fires again.


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