Joe Simz, 45, feels he “won the lottery” becoming a Chicago firefighter/EMT.
After taking the qualifying exam in the mid-90’s and hearing nothing back, he ended up working for a local utility company. Then one day out of the blue, the call came.
“It took them ten years,” says Joe, “but when they finally called, I jumped at the chance to join the Chicago Fire Department.”
In the meantime, Joe had built a full and busy life. He had married a police officer and they had two children, both competing on travelling hockey, baseball and football teams. Joe and his wife managed to keep all the plates spinning, despite crazy schedules - and physically demanding jobs.
Says Joe, “As a firefighter, it’s not unusual to carry up to 100 pounds in gear up several flights of stairs, then carry someone down.”
Unfortunately, in late 2012, pain began to impact Joe’s ability to keep up with work and life. As a runner logging eight to ten miles regularly for many years, Joe was familiar with normal aches and pain, but the groin pain he felt was different – and debilitating.