Minneapolis Fire Department Capt. Shanna Hanson was off-duty when she heard of the I-35 bridge collapse in August 2007. Nevertheless, she grabbed her gear and dove into the Mississippi River in hopes of finding survivors. Television coverage of the disaster made Hanson a local hero.
Now, accumulated injuries have taken their toll on the 19-year veteran, so she is taking a $113,000 workers’ compensation buyout and hanging up her fire helmet.
Hanson became a celebrity in the aftermath of the bridge collapse. Then-First Lady Laura Bush personally thanked Hanson for her efforts.
She was a featured speaker at the 2008 Republican National Convention.Injuries suffered while fighting a fire in 2009 led to Hanson’s retirement. She was on light duty at the time, battling nagging injuries that accumulated after almost two decades of service.
Note: The city’s workers’ comp settlement with Hanson helps the fire department trim its ranks to meet budget constraints. The Minneapolis City Council directed the department to cut 32 of its 400 positions this year.