A Launceston policeman's positive attitude and eagerness to return to work after a fiery plane crash that almost claimed his life has been inspiring, Northern Commander Brett Smith says.
Inspector Darren Hopkins returned to work full-time less than nine months after he was forced to jump from his burning plane while on a regular leisure flight in October.
From March to early July, Inspector Hopkins was on a slow return to work program, which initially saw him back in the office two days a week, four hours a day.
Commander Smith said Inspector Hopkins' positive attitude and his passion for the job were the main drivers behind his inspiring and speedy return.
"His approach to life has underpinned his recovery," Commander Smith said.
Getting members back to work after being off sick or injured was a high priority for Tasmania Police, with a pro-active approach to recovery always at the forefront.
While transitioning back to full-time hours, Inspector Hopkins worked with the commander to develop Tasmania Police's inaugural fatigue management policy.
The senior officers spent a number of weeks visiting members across the state as part of the consultation process for the future policy.
Commander Smith said it was important for a member's recovery that they felt valued and their skills were utilised when they returned to work.
"A mistake employers sometimes make is they don't give people meaningful work when they return in a reduced capacity," Commander Smith said.
Both officers said they enjoyed working on the future policy and meeting with members across the state.
"I think it was also helpful for his recovery," Commander Smith said.
"I noticed how quickly he was improving each day."
Police worked closely with the inspector's medical team to ensure expectations were manged and his recovery was always the priority.
"We were able to provide the right environment to maximise his recovery," Commander Smith said.
"Now Darren is back contributing as he normally did, it's like he never left."
Inspector Hopkins suffered burns to 34 per cent of his body and he would likely wear his compression bandages for another 12 to 18 months, but overall he was healing well.
He also spent 11 days in an induced coma.
Pain is an issue Inspector Hopkins needs to manage daily, with the inspector meeting regularly with his plastic surgery team and acute pain review team.
He returned full-time on July 8.