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FDNY's Only Amputee EMT Gets Promoted To Lieutenant

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A father, triathlete and New York City EMT is beating the odds and inspiring his fellow FDNY coworkers.

On Wednesday, he was one of 15 promoted to lieutenant. What makes him so special is that he's the only one of them doing it as an amputee.

As David Kruysman crossed the stage to be promoted, there was a slight limp in one of his legs. It is, he said, the result of a birth defect that left him having to use a prosthesis all his life.

The 43-year-old emergency medical technician has spent his career in Brooklyn and him becoming a lieutenant came as no surprise to the fire commissioner.

"I remember when Dave came on the department with prosthetic leg and 'Could he do the job?' He's not only done the job, he's surpassed all our expectations," FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano told CBS 2's John Slattery.

From his childhood, people saw him do the unexpected and set and reach new goals.

"Extraordinary young man. Extraordinary child. Never had a handicap," said Kruysman's father, Will.

Kruysman's wife is equally impressed.

"No words to describe; He's an extraordinary man," Amy Kruysman said.

It is extraordinary because he's the only member of the Fire Department who is an amputee.

"Little anxious, nervous. I'm looking forward to the challenge," Dave Kruysman.

The people he works with and the commissioner said they were not surprised he had risen through the ranks. Neither was his biggest supporter.

"No, not surprised. I really would love to say that one day Dave will run the Fire Department," Amy Kruysman said.

Dave Kruysman had to overcome even more when he lost his Long Island home and the family's belongings to Hurricane Sandy.

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