Capt. Brandon Anderson of the Fishers Fire Dept. was presented the inaugural Tactical Athlete Comeback Award June 2 at the 17th annual Brady Sports Achievement Awards in Carmel.
The event was hosted by Forté Orthopedic Research Institute in partnership with the Indiana High School Athletic Association. The awards are named after the late Dr. Thomas A. Brady, a founder of Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics who many consider to be the father of sports medicine in central Indiana.
According to a Forté press release, the Tactical Athlete Comeback Award “recognizes individuals in service occupations such as law enforcement, firefighters, emergency responders and military service members who have overcome adversity or a significant injury and have returned to duty.”
Anderson had his right leg amputated above the knee after being involved in a motorcycle crash in the summer of 2016. By January of 2017, he was already back at the fire station serving in a lighter capacity.
Anderson, however, said he wanted to return to the level of service that he was accustomed to prior to his injury.
“One of the things I was looking for when I did it was trying to find somebody that did what I do in the fire service and looked like this,” Anderson said. “And it wasn’t there, so that’s kind of how I branched out and kind of shared how I got to where I’m at.”
Anderson is back to serving at the capacity he was prior to the injury, with a little help from a pair of prosthetic legs. He has two because he always keeps one inside his firefighting boots and overalls should he need to respond to a call.
Since returning to active duty in 2017, Anderson has passed every physical test to retain his badge. A lieutenant in the fire department at the time of his accident, Anderson was promoted to the rank of captain in 2018.
Anderson said he got into firefighting to help others.
“When we get called it’s not (a resident’s) best day,” Anderson said. “They don’t call us because they’re having a good day, they call us because they’re having a bad day. And being the person that’s gone through that and having those bad days, if we can get there as the crew on duty that day, and if I can help make something a little bit better about the whole situation, that’s my goal, (and) it’s to lead the team there and help them make something better out of that situation.”