Almanac

News - January 8, 2014

Fire Chief Schapelhouman back on the job after crippling injury

by Sandy Brundage

About nine months after a paralyzing fall, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman is back at work, he told the Almanac on Jan. 6.

The chief tumbled off a ladder while doing yard work at home in May. After a months-long stay at the hospital, he left in a wheelchair, without the use of his legs and one hand.

He met with district representatives during the past several weeks to sort out any needed adjustments in the workplace, including the provision of a vehicle modified for his use. The chief will be putting in about four hours a day for the first two weeks of his return, then will discuss any changes with the board.

"Returning to work for this great organization and community is both an honor and a privilege that I don't take for granted," he said. "I look forward to continuing to contribute to the fire district's important public safety mission and the fire board's strategic objectives."

Chief Schapelhouman, 52, was hired in 1981 and has been chief for about the past seven years. The MPFPD serves Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto and portions of unincorporated San Mateo County.

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