The world's shortest firefighter at just 4ft 2in tall

Posted on 8:17 AM by Sameer Shah

Firemen are often admired for their large stature but one man is proving that size really doesn't matter.

Standing at just 4ft 2in tall, Vince Brasco, 19, has been a volunteer fireman in his area for four years.

Whilst he has yet to pass the necessary exams that allow him too enter burning buildings, Brasco is responsible for manning the water pipes when on call in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Vince can bench-press over three times his own 6st 3lb (87lb) weight, lifting 19 stone (265lb), and cites his upper body strength for his ability to handle the department's' heavy-duty equipment.

He said: 'I work out a lot - as much as I can down at my gym. It really helps on the job. You need to be strong.

'Because I can lift so much I'm handy at salvage jobs where we have to move heavy bits of metal debris - like after car accidents.

'And it means I can be part of the line of men using a hose. If you weren't strong enough that thing would fly out of control.'

Vince wears a custom-made fire suit. He said: 'We had to take a normal suit and have it reduced down to fit me. It was great when I put it on for the first time.'

The teenager works part time in an electronics store and is studying to become a nurse to help others with health needs. Whenever he can, he responds to calls for the volunteer fire service.

'If I am in the area then I just drop everything and run,' he said.

He was born with achondroplasia - a type of dwarfism that affects bone growth.

He said: 'I'll never let having achondroplasia stop me from doing anything.

'I just set my mind to something and I go out and do my best. I wanted to be a fireman as a child so as soon as I was old enough to volunteer at 16 I did it.'

Vince is now looking to complete his Firefighter Essentials exam which would allow him to enter burning buildings.

'Until then I'm happy to just fight fires from the outside, and attend other emergencies, but I know I've got what it takes.'

His greatest challenge was when a neighbour's house caught fire last year.

Vince, who lives with dad Bill, 50, who works for the local government, mum Lesa, 49, an executive assistant, and sister Adele, 15, said: 'It was near my home and I knew the family inside.

'I was part of the crew outside and was firing water in through a second-floor window.

'It was the first time there was an accident involving someone I knew and I was really worried.

'Sadly they lost their two German Shepherds in the fire but all the people got out safe and I knew we did everything we could. I felt proud to be part of the crew that saved them.'

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