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  1. #1
    K9brando's Avatar
    K9brando is offline Fun In The Snow!
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    CHP Trooper returns to work on two "Bionic" Legs!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Associated Press/Don Thompson
    WEST SACRAMENTO – A California Highway Patrol officer who lost both legs in a traffic accident last year is returning to work on “bionic legs” after proving his fitness with tests such as running the 100-yard dash in 20 seconds.

    “I probably still could outrun four or five guys in my office, even on these legs,” Officer Mike Remmel joked Wednesday after demonstrating his new protheses at the CHP training academy in West Sacramento.
    Remmel, 47, is the first double amputee ever to be cleared for field duty after passing the CHP's 14 difficult “critical tasks” test using what officers call his “bionic legs,” said CHP spokesman Tom Marshall.
    Besides sprinting the length of a football field, new cadets and veterans returning from injuries must run 550 meters in two minutes, climb a steep hill, drag a weight and complete several agility tests.
    Remmel spent more than a year in rehabilitation and training before passing the last test and getting his doctor's clearance Aug. 10, exactly 19 months after he lost his legs. He quietly returned to work four days later. CHP brass recruited him to give a motivational talk to cadets Wednesday and invited the media.
    Remmel was completing a traffic accident investigation just after dusk Jan. 10, 2006, alongside Highway 49 in the Sierra Nevada foothills near his hometown of Sonora. A confused 80-year-old driver struck him at 45 mph, sending him flying 23 feet over a tow truck.
    He lost his left leg above the knee, his right leg below the knee. Tow truck drivers used tourniquets to keep him alive until he could be flown by helicopter to a hospital.
    Three days later, Remmel came out of sedation after a near constant series of surgeries. He almost immediately began telling the CHP officers crowding around his bed that he would one day rejoin them on patrol.
    “I'm setting my goal to return to the field, to field duty,” Remmel recalls saying. “No one believed me then.”
    He learned to use a $40,000 computerized leg that can gauge his stride and react accordingly – technology recently developed largely for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq. A $10,000 carbon fiber leg fills the spit-and-polish black uniform shoe on his right leg.
    To pass the CHP's running tests, Remmel used a $30,000 pair of lighter, springier metal legs. He's run the 100 yards in 17.2 seconds – 18.6 seconds when he's wearing his bulletproof vest and gun belt.
    “When I first started doing this, I was falling every 10 yards or so,” Remmel said in an interview. Now he is so fast that he is considering competing in sports events for athletes with disabilities.
    Remmel is two inches shorter now than his original six feet. Though he asked his prosthetists to make him an extra inch taller, they opted instead for a lower center of gravity.
    Using his computerized legs, Remmel played golf again for the first time Monday – and shot a better score than before the accident. In June, he kayaked five miles up a lake, then hiked the last mile to one of the prime Sierra fishing lakes where he and his buddies used to backpack before he lost his legs.
    “I needed my old life to come back as much as possible,” Remmel said of his internal motivation. “I needed to know that nothing 'ended' – and so far it hasn't.”
    With 20 years in the CHP, Remmel could have retired on disability. But he said his experiences as an officer helped drive his determination to put on the uniform again.
    “I've watched people's lives change in a moment through no fault of their own,” Remmel said. “It was just my turn.”
    Remmel never sued the driver who hit him, although she was cited and lost her license.
    “Money's fine. But I needed to feel like I was doing something with what I had after the accident,” Remmel said. To sue, “you'd have to ask what's a leg worth? And I couldn't come up with an answer.”
    This man has major heart. What a true hero!!!!
    I'm ready for spring!

  2. #2
    bird1's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9brando View Post
    With 20 years in the CHP, Remmel could have retired on disability. But he said his experiences as an officer helped drive his determination to put on the uniform again.
    “I've watched people's lives change in a moment through no fault of their own,” Remmel said. “It was just my turn.”
    Wow! What an inspiration.

  4. #4
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    He is a true hero!!
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  5. #5
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    What an inspiration for us all.
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  6. #6
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    That's truely impressive. It shows what real determination can do.

  7. #7
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    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    SDPD had an officer return to duty after losing one leg to a DUI driver.....I think he finally retired two or three years ago.

    Bravo!
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  8. #8
    Buttercup's Avatar
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    That is amazing, he really is an inspiration.




  9. #9
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    That's awesome. I surely wouldn't want to mess with a man with that much heart and determination!!
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  10. #10
    Resident Smart Ass's Avatar
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    This is truly an amazing story..thanks for posting
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  11. #11
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Wow. And think about it, if this guy decides to kick your ass, he won't be stopping because his foot got tired.

    All kidding aside, this is incredible. Makes you rethink what constitutes a disability.
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  12. #12
    CTR man's Avatar
    CTR man is offline Officer First Class
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    Yes, Ofc Remmel is a great inspiration to us all. He works out of the Sonora office which is just 50 miles from me. When upon hearing of his accident, I immediately went to go and donate a pint of blood for this great man in his name. Along with hundreds of others in the Modesto area. I wouldn't be able to rest until I did so. It is amazing what todays technology can do. I am so glad that he had the resolve to return back to work. Mind over matter really does work. This is an extraordinary example of it. I am honored to have been just a very minute part of this mans return. We could all learn from this hero. May Ofc Remmel continue to serve many more years for the California Highway Patrol.


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