WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A firefighter recovering from a serious on-duty injury was given a hero’s welcome during the Westport’s Fourth of July celebration.
Hundreds showed their appreciation Friday for Firefighter Steve Lopes, who was named grand marshal of the town’s annual parade.
Lopes spent months in the hospital after he broke his back, ribs, nose, and dislocated his shoulder when he slipped on an icy roof while battling a fire and fell 30 feet to the ground.
“We were very happy that Steve was able to survive his injuries,” said fellow firefighter Andy Ferrarini, who helped fight that same house fire. “They were pretty serious injuries.”
The parade was Lopes’s first time in a fire truck since the accident.
“I always enjoy the Fourth of July parade. I’ve been bringing the kids since they were little,” he said.
Even though he wasn’t able to drive the truck, Lopes said he has no reason to complain.
“I feel extremely lucky to be alive. I had angels with me that night, and I had all my guys there that are all firefighters and paramedics that took great care of me, and if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be here,” he added.
Lopes said he takes physical therapy twice a week in hopes of returning to his department soon.