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Hawbaker is out of intensive care unit

January 06, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

As he enters his second week hospitalized with a rare immune system disorder, Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker has been moved from the intensive care unit at Frederick (Md.) Memorial Hospital into a stepdown unit, a nursing supervisor confirmed Sunday night.

Hawbaker was hospitalized after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barr Syndrome, in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system, Hagerstown City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said last week.

Hawbaker, 54, was admitted Dec. 29 to Washington County Hospital after noticing a weakness in his legs, Zimmerman said. He was later transferred to Frederick.

Despite the move, Hawbaker is still in serious but stable condition, hospital officials said.

In Hawbaker's absence, Deputy Chief Rick Kipe is in charge of the fire department. Hawbaker has been Hagerstown's fire chief since 1985.

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