Injured firefighter returns to work at Rochester Fire Department

Posted at: 07/08/2013 1:14 PM
Updated at: 07/09/2013 12:09 PM

It’s a big day for a West Webster volunteer firefighter shot on Christmas Eve. Joseph Hofstetter is back to work.

Hofstetter joined his Engine 2 crew on Hudson Avenue at 7 a.m. Tuesday. It’s a major milestone for his recovery.

This is his first time back to work for the Rochester Fire Department since the tragedy in West Webster.

Hofstetter was the first firefighter on the scene of Lake Road that day. He was shot in the pelvis by the gunman who set a house fire to lure emergency responders there.

He says he’s able to come back because of a lot of hard work and dedication plus the prayers and support from family, friends and the community. “I feel very lucky and fortunate to be here and blessed. This is the only job I’ve ever wanted and my goal from the beginning was to get back to work. I’m very happy and excited.”

Hofstetter’s father, Carl said, “His goal from the very beginning was to return to full active duty.”

Hofstetter says he thinks of the firefighters who lost their lives in the West Webster tragedy every single day.

Tomasz Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini were killed. Volunteer firefighter Ted Scardino also survived the shooting.