Community rallies around firefighter who lost both hands

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RONKONKOMA -

A Lakeland volunteer firefighter and Navy veteran is struggling to recover from the loss of both hands and other injuries he suffered while working for Amtrak earlier this year.

Rob Zimmerman, 45, needs help from his wife Christine to do almost every basic task. He says his fellow firefighters and other community members have been supportive, too. 

"They come by all the time," he says. "Anything I need they do. I really don't even have to ask."

In January, he was working at Penn Station. He says the crew was headed to Track 12.

"The power guy said the power was out on the wires, so we went up," he says. "I came into contact with one of the wires."

VIDEO: Hear more from volunteer firefighter Rob Zimmerman.

The electric shock gave him life-threatening injuries and cost him both hands and a portion of one arm.

"The first few months he was at Cornell, we didn't know if he was going to live," says Christine Zimmerman, his wife. "He actually died twice, and they brought him back."

The Zimmermans are hoping to renovate their home to be more accessible with the help of a GoFundMe campaign.

Zimmerman's attorney tells News 12 he is working with Amtrak to make sure his client has the best care.

He says that if the two sides can't come to an agreement the Zimmermans will pursue legal action.

Amtrak says the cause of Zimmerman's injury is under investigation.

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