Excerpts from MyFoxChicago.com:

Derek Hogg, 32, walked out of the Kankakee Public Safety building for the last time Friday. His six and a half year career as a firefighter was cut short by ALS.

“I like putting on the uniform. I like going to work. I like the way my boy looks at me when he sees the badge on,” Derek said.

Derek, his wife Holly and their two young boys are now faced with trying to get by on a social security disability check of about a thousand dollars a month.

“Not only do I have to worry about losing my husband, the father of my kids, I have to somehow figure out how we’re going to support our children. I have no idea,” Holly said.

On June 1, Derek would have achieved seven years on the job and qualified for a disability pension of $3200 a month, which is money that would go to holly after his death.

However, Kankakee city officials say Derek has to leave now, because he can no longer perform his duties as a firefighter, and his time on light duty has run out.

Derek’s co-workers had volunteered to work his shift until he qualified for the pension, but Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein refused to allow it, saying that would be bending the rules and set a dangerous precedent.

“Derek is a great firefighter. Outstanding firefighter,” said Kankakee Alderman James Stokes.¬†Alderman Stokes, who’s also a firefighter, said many residents are angry the city has seemingly turned its back on Derek.

Derek and Holly are also hiring a lawyer to explore whether Kankakee violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and they’ve filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

However, that could take months, even years to litigate, which is time Derek simply doesn’t have. He left work Friday for the final time, but is still hoping for a miracle.¬†“I’m still optimistic that one day I’m going to be a fireman again,” Derek added.

thanks Dan

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