After Breaking His Neck, Menlo Park Fire Chief Returns to Work

By NBC Bay Area Staff
|  Monday, Jan 6, 2014  |  Updated 8:00 PM PDT
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Menlo Park Chief Harold Schapelhouman returned to work Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, nearly eight months after breaking his neck in a fall at home.

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Freak Fall Puts Menlo Park Fire Chief in Wheelchair

Harold Schapelhouman has been with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District for more than 30 years. Last month, while trimming bushes at his San Jose home he fell off of a ladder and broke his neck. Marianne Favro reports.
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Menlo Park's injured fire chief returned to work Monday after a paralyzing fall.

Chief Harold Schapelhouman was back at his desk Monday, nearly eight months after breaking his neck in a fall from a ladder at his San Jose home.

He spent 66 days in the hospital and had multiple surgeries.

Schapelhouman is still in a wheelchair but has said he is making progress.

“I may not look the same mentally, but in terms of contributing a lot I can still contribute,” Schapelhouman told NBC Bay Area back in June.

Schapelhouman, a 52-year-old search and rescue expert, has been with Menlo Park's fire protection district since 1981 and has served as chief since 2007.

While he was undergoing rehabilitation, the department arranged to get him a modified chief's vehicle for him to drive.

Doctors estimate it will take up to two years before they know how much his health will ultimately improve.

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