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Firefighters and Community Come Together to Help Former Department Recruit

A benefit organized to support ‘the firefighting dream’ of Brandon Zinn received a great turnout at the department headquarters on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

The event fell roughly one year after Zinn’s goal to become a firefighter with the department was taken away from him. In late January of 2019 he was struck on his motorcycle by an alleged drunk driver. Zinn lost most of one of his legs in the collision, which prevented him from finishing recruit school. At the time of the incident he was just weeks away from graduation.

On January 18 firefighters with Columbia Richland Fire welcomed guests into department headquarters on Laurel Street for a community open house. The event featured firetrucks on display, firefighting gear demonstrations food and several items that were up for grabs in a silent auction. Several organizations that have played a part in Zinn’s recovery were also in attendance providing information to guests. These groups included MADD South Carolina, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Columbia and Hanger Clinic Prosthetics and Orthotics.

All proceeds raised from the benefit will go to support Zinn while he works through ongoing rehabilitation. Funds will also be used to find and develop the equipment needed to help him return to serving as a firefighter.

Since last year’s incident Zinn has made tremendous progress in his recovery. He is now able to use a prosthetic leg to walk and was able to attend the event alongside his wife Emily and infant son Charlie.

The benefit was made possible by staff at the fire department as well as members of the Columbia Firefighters Association.

For details on how to help Brandon Zinn click here.