May 22, 1998
HEROES HONORED AS PART OF EMS WEEK
SPRINGFIELD, IL The state honored 28 people today for acts of courage as part of the Illinois Department of Public Health's 11th annual Emergency Medical Services Awards.
"These individuals are being honored not only for their selfless acts of courage but also for their compassion, their humanity, their quick wittedness in a crisis and, in the case of firefighters and police officers, their extraordinary dedication to service," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "Each person placed the safety of another above his or her own. In so doing, they set a standard to which all of us should aspire."
Those recognized received certificates, signed by Governor Jim Edgar and Dr. Lumpkin, from the Department as part of Emergency Medical Services Week, May 17-23. The special week, which was designated by Governor Edgar, provides an opportunity for communities and organizations to honor those involved in emergency medical services.
"A career in emergency medical services is not for everyone. It requires an exceptional person with an unflagging dedication to assisting others during critical situations," Dr. Lumpkin said. "It is comforting to know these highly trained and professional men and women stand ready to assist Illinois citizens and visitors to our state."
Nominations for the awards were solicited from Department staff, police, firefighters, paramedics and others from throughout the state.
EDITORS NOTE: Following is a list of honorees and brief descriptions of their deeds.
EMS Week Awards
Debbie Pickup Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team, Barrington
For the past nine years, Debbie Pickup has coordinated the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team, assisting rescue personnel who have been dispatched to suicides, deaths of infants/children, mass casualties, disasters and other incidents. She is leaving her position to pursue a teaching career.
Mark C. Jackson Illinois State Police, District Chicago
In the morning of October 20, 1997, Illinois State Police trooper Mark C. Jackson made a traffic stop near Calumet City. After completing the stop, he was monitoring his radio when he heard Calumet City Police Department officers discussing a pursuit that ended with the subject driving his automobile into the Calumet River. Jackson responded to the situation and, upon arrival at the scene, dove into the cold water and extricated the initially resistant subject.
Captain Richard Dory Chicago Fire Department
Robert Huggins Bicycle courier, Chicago
On May 12, 1997, Robert Huggins, a bicycle courier, radioed his messenger service to call 911 after seeing a woman floating in the Chicago River. He then jumped in the water and attempted to rescue the woman, but his legs cramped and he had to struggle back to the shore. Huggins, whose 13-year-old son drowned in Lake Michigan in 1986, then attempted to break a lifesaver ring from its cage. Fire Captain Richard Dory and Engine 42 responded to the 911 call. Before the rescue unit arrived, Dory jumped into the river and was able to pull the woman to the bank. The woman, who police believe was attempting suicide, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Battalion Chief Robert Hoff Chicago Fire Department
On November 24, 1997, Battalion Chief Robert Hoff was returning to his station from a fire when he spotted flames coming from a two-and-a-half story apartment building. Hoff called emergency services from his car and rushed into the building and rescued 4-year-old twin boys from a second story bedroom. The twins and four other children between the ages of 7 months and 10 years were in the building. All six children suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to area hospitals.
Zacarias I. Imala Illinois State Police, District 15 (Downers Grove)
Patrick E. Kimes Illinois State Police, District 15 (Downers Grove)
On November 5, 1997, troopers Zacarias Imala and Patrick Kimes responded to an incident on Interstate 294 in which a car had left the roadway and went down an embankment. The victim was disoriented and refused to exit the vehicle, even after it caught fire. Because the victim became combative with the troopers, they were forced to physically remove the victim from the vehicle, placing their own lives in danger.
Richard Decker Illinois State Police, District Chicago
Henry Spight Illinois State Police, District Chicago
Douglas Zalesky Private citizen, Lemont
On February 7, 1998, Illinois State Police troopers Richard Decker and Henry Spight were on patrol near 95th Street and Archer Avenue where they discovered a burning vehicle that had crashed into a tree. The two occupants of the car were unresponsive and were trapped in the car. Douglas Zalesky stopped to assist the troopers. Using two fire extinguishers, they were able to free and pull the driver to safety. The rescuers were fighting the flames with their jackets and with snow from the ground as they attempted to free the passenger whose leg was pinned under the dash. They were nearly overcome by the heat and flames when the fire department arrived, extinguished the fire and removed the victim from the car. Both victims were transported to a hospital in critical condition.
Bonnie Matthews Registered nurse, Decatur
On the morning of February 27, 1997, a person passed out while at the wheel of his car and crashed into a parked vehicle. A neighbor ran to the man's aid, summoning Bonnie Matthews and calling 911. They were able to pull the man from his car and Matthews started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Decatur Fire Department arrived and transported the victim to the hospital.
Susan Arachikavitz Stephenson County Health Department, Freeport
Edith Dadez Stephenson County treasurer
Pam Kirkpatrick Licensed practical nurse, Freeport
On January 21, 1997, Chester Miller, chairman of the Stephenson County Board of Review, was attending a meeting in the county assessor's office when he suffered an apparent heart attack and went into cardiac arrest. While a staff member called 911, Susan Arachikavitz, a registered nurse with the Stephenson County Health Department, rushed to the scene and started CPR. Edith Dadez, Stephenson County treasurer, and Pam Kirkpatrick, a licensed practical nurse, assisted. A Freeport Fire Department ambulance arrived and transported Miller to the hospital, where he recovered.
Damian E. Lanoue Private citizen, Bourbonnais
Joe Meno Private citizen, Chicago
On the evening of July 30, 1997, Richard L. Carson experienced a diabetic reaction while driving, was unable to stop at the intersection of Illinois Route 1 North and Illinois Route 17 East (Kankakee County) and struck a transformer pole. The vehicle immediately caught fire. Damian Lanoue and Jay Meno stopped and helped to extricate the unconscious Carson before the gas tank of his car exploded.
Jim Glass Private citizen, Grayslake
Allen Roberts Private citizen, Grayslake
On the morning of February 26, 1998, two Grayslake teenagers were injured, one critically, when the car they were in skidded out of control and struck a tree on a deserted stretch of road. When Jim Glass came across the scene, gasoline was leaking into the passenger compartment and sparks were coming from the car's still live electrical system. He instructed a neighbor to call 911. Allen Roberts, who lived near the crash site, arrived with a fire extinguisher, which he used to break one of the car's windows and then to fight the fire. Glass and Roberts pulled the boys one with a broken leg and the other with a head injury to safety. Both boys were transported to a nearby hospital.
Charles Canimore Saline County Ambulance Service
Paul Coffee Saline County Ambulance Service
James M. Duncan Illinois State Police, District 19 (Carmi)
Tom Leverett Harrisburg Police Department
Troy Martin Saline County Ambulance Service
Brian Mitten Saline County Ambulance Service
Shawn Rees Saline County Ambulance Service
Ken Schwerman Saline County Ambulance Service
On January 19, 1998, the Illinois State Police, the Harrisburg Police Department and the Saline County Ambulance Service responded to an automobile crash where the vehicle had overturned, trapping a 17-year-old girl underneath it. The girl's condition did not allow time for extrication equipment to arrive, so the personnel on the scene Charles Canimore, Paul Coffee, James M. Duncan, Tom Leverett, Troy Martin, Brian Mitten, Shawn Rees and Ken Schweman pulled the victim from under the car. Once the victim was freed from the vehicle, it was determined she was in full cardiac arrest. The young woman was transported to a nearby hospital where her condition was stabilized. She then was airlifted to a hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Raymond Lewis Private citizen, Lincoln
While traveling in conjunction with his job, Raymond Lewis came across a vehicle crash involving a transport van for elderly and disabled persons that was upside down in a deep ravine just outside of Dongola, Illinois. Lewis notified workers at a nearby Illinois Department of Transportation facility and asked them to call police before he returned to the crash scene. A fire had started and Lewis quickly removed a badly injured elderly woman from the van and began to administer first aid. After police and rescue workers arrived at the scene, Lewis continued to assist with the woman's injuries.
Kevin Jobe Private citizen, Marquette Heights
On the morning of March 12, 1998, 14-year-old Kevin Jobe was delivering newspapers on his Peoria Journal-Star route when he found Evelyn Edwards, 70, lying on her patio. Edwards had fallen and had been unable to get up because she had broken her right shoulder and had arthritis in both knees. She had been lying on the patio for about two hours in near zero temperature, and her body temperature had dropped to 94 degrees F. Edwards was transported to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where she was admitted in fair condition.
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