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Wounded Fort Worth officer returns to work in unit that saved his life

Wounded Fort Worth police officer Matt Pearce returned to light-duty work this week in the unit that helped save his life seven months ago.

Pearce, who was shot multiple times as he chased two suspects March 15, will work a couple of hours a day in the Police Department’s Tactical Medical Unit while he continues rehabilitation.

For Pearce, light-duty work will mean sitting behind a desk and filing paperwork. But he’s OK with that.

“I’m so excited,” he said Friday at the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show.

Pearce, who uses a walking cane less every day, hopes to return to full-time duty by March.

He was at the air show to watch officer Brandi Kamper fly with the Air Force Thunderbirds. Kamper was nominated as the air show’s “Hometown Hero” for her efforts to save Pearce the day he was shot.

Kamper, a tactical medical officer, was one of the first people on the scene of the shooting and rendered first aid to Pearce even though the area was still an active “hot zone,” police have said.

Before Pearce was flown to a hospital, Kamper applied a tourniquet to his right leg, dressed three bullet wounds on his chest and shoulder, and used a pressure bandage on his right arm.

Kamper received extensive medical training in the Tactical Medical Unit before the unit was dismantled last October.

After the shooting in March, department officials decided to bring back the unit, placing full-time medic officers in each of the city’s five patrol divisions.

“I have thought it was extremely important since day one,” Pearce said. “It literally saved my life.”

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