River is doing very well. He still has some weakness on the left side and 
some minor balance issues,  but all in all he is doing ver well. He started 
back at school Monday, and if all goes well, will be back full time next
week minus his therapy.  He is almost caught up to where he was before 
the accident, but is slowly making progress with his school work. It will be
tough getting him caught up to be ready for second grade, but we are 
confident we can get him pretty close.  Thank you all for your prayers and

Recently tragedy struck the SMFR family when the wife and son of one of our firefighters (FF. Brian Ross) were involved in a vehicle accident.  While Brian’s wife suffered many injuries which landed her in the hospital, it was their son River who suffered a traumatic head injury.  River, who is only 6 years old, has been in Tampa’s All Children’s Hospital since the accident.  He suffered a fractured skull that led to multiple brain bleeds.  He recently underwent surgery to repair his fractured skull.

Like every good father, Brian hasn’t left River’s side since the accident.  He’s been there waiting and watching while River lay in the hospital in a coma.  Through every heart wrenching beep of the monitor, he waits for his little boy to open his eyes and see his daddy waiting for him.  As a father myself, my heart breaks for him.

Like most family’s do when one of their own needs help or support, we have rallied around Brian and his little boy River.  In an effort to help offset the cost of the loss of wages now and the future costs that will be associated with River’s full recovery, his brothers and sisters at SMFR decided to start a fund to help them in their time of need.  Click here to see the Fox 13 News story on River.

The outpouring of support he has received from those in our community and beyond has been nothing short of inspiring.  It’s the kind of thing that makes Southern Manatee firefighters proud to serve such a great community.  If you would like to help River with his recovery, click here for more information.


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