Fireman who fell 30 feet begins Hudson Valley rehab

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A FDNY firefighter from Slate Hill who fell 30 feet fighting a Bronx blaze began his long road to rehabilitation Monday.

Amateur video shows Brian Smith, 43, plummeting from the bucket of a ladder Nov. 18 while fighting a fire in the Highbridge section of the Bronx.

Smith, who was first treated at St. Barnabas Hospital, was released Monday from Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery. Smith spent 19 days in intensive care and endured two surgeries to repair broken bones. He is currently in a halo brace to stabilize his neck.

Smith got a round of applause from fellow FDNY firefighters as he arrived at the rehabilitation center of West Haverstraw's Helen Hayes Hospital.

"He's doing great," said Smith's wife Pamela. "He's got a lot of support ? his spirits are really good. We're hoping he'll be home for Christmas," she said with the couple's two daughters by her side.Friends and family hope Smith will walk again. The FDNY is probing the circumstances surrounding the fall.

For footage and interviews on fireman's move, go to iO Extra on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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