NEW BERN -

A New Bern volunteer firefighter was injured in a training accident Saturday, when he fell 20 feet from a ladder.

According to Reelsboro fire chief Dwayne Croom, 23-year-old Freddie Sadler Jr., who is also the assistant chief at Reelsboro VFD, was doing fire fighter training at a training academy in New Bern when the fall happened. Sadler was sent to the hospital with a broken back.

The fall happened at 11:00 a.m.

"He was over training with the city of New Bern, because he's a volunteer with them," Croom said. "He fell off the ladder, down on the airpack and broke his back."

Croom said Sadler broke one of his vertebrae in his lower spine. Luckily, Sadler was not paralyzed because of his injuries, but put in a back brace.

"Freddie is one lucky gentlemen to be alive today," said Croom.

According to Croom, Sadler's recovery will take a while, but expects Sadler will be a firefighter again. Croom said, Sadler has walked since his injury. To help the family, a fund has been set up at State Employees' Federal Credit Union under Sadler's name.