2013 Valor Awards

2013 Valor Awards Photo Gallery


2013 Award Recipients

Lieutenant Anthony Bucci, Firefighter/Paramedic Thomas Simon and Firefighter/Paramedic Edward Kofoed, Wilmette Fire Department
The Wilmette Fire Department received a call for a house fire on Monday April 8, 2013 at 1:11 in the morning.  Wilmette Fire Department personnel responded from Fire Station 26 and Fire Station 27.  Police arriving on the scene reported a large volume of fire on the southwest side of the home.   Responding crews were notified there was at least one occupant trapped by the fire inside the home. The alarm was upgraded before fire crews arrived on the scene.

Engine 27 and Ambulance 27 arrived on the scene finding a large volume of fire showing.  Lieutenant Bucci from Engine 27 immediately ordered FF/PM Simon and FFF/PM Kofoed from Ambulance 27 to darken the fire from the exterior while the crew from Engine 27 prepared to enter the structure to search for the trapped occupant.  Lieutenant Bucci also ordered FF/PM Simon and FF/PM Kofoed after attacking the fire from the exterior to start a search on the first floor.  Lieutenant Bucci led his crew to the second floor area to search the bedroom area for the trapped occupant.

The conditions upon entry were untenable with dark black smoke to the floor and zero visibility.   Crews realized that without the exterior attack on the fire, entry the fire building was likely to flashover.  Lieutenant Bucci and the crew from Engine 27 found the stairs leading to the bedroom area and made the accent up the stairs to the bedroom area to search for the trapped occupant.  The second floor had zero visibility at the floor.  Engine 27 crew vented as they searched the bedrooms.  FF/PM Simon and Kofoed extinguished most of the fire from the exterior using the hose line for about 30-40 seconds.  They advanced the hose line into the fire room to extinguish the remainder of the fire and found the occupant on the first floor.

Incident Command was established by Duty Chief Robertson.  Tower 26, Ambulance 26 and Winnetka Engine 28 had all arrived on the Scene.  FF/PM Simon and Kofoed located the trapped occupant in the dining room area on the first floor unconscious.  They quickly radioed to the other crews they had located the victim and were in the process of rescuing her from the structure.  Tower 26 crew FF/PM Blomquist and FF Luke Lapke removed the victim to the waiting stretcher.  Once outside the structure the ambulance crew began CPR and moved her to a waiting ambulance.  FF/PM Jason Wilk and Rob Hughes continued CPR and advanced life support treatment and transported the victim to Skokie Hospital.  The victim had a pulse and respirations assisted with an advanced airway before arriving at the hospital.

The additional responding companies arrived on the scene. Ventilation of the fire building was performed and the fire was brought under control.  All utilities were secured and the cause and origin investigation began with the assistance of an investigator by the State Fire Marshalls Office.

As of April 14th the victim has been taken off a ventilator and is breathing on her own and was later released from the hospital.  In addition to smoke inhalation the victim suffered 20% 2° burns, a sub-arachnoid fracture and a fractured orbit. The heroic actions of the first arriving companies resulted in the victim surviving.  The recent education of personnel  led them to darken down the fire from the outside undoubtedly prevented the first floor from flashing over on both the victim and the crew making their way up to the second floor.

Lt. Bucci, FF/PM Simon and FF/PM Kofoed should be commended for their heroism and bravery as they risked their lives in dangerous fire conditions to rescue a trapped occupant.

Officer Frank Lacny, Chicago Ridge Police Department
I would like to submit Office Frank Lacny for the valor award.  We presented officer Lacny with our medal of valor in December of 2012 for an incident on November 13th of 2012.

Chicago Ridge Police were called to an apartment on west 108th St. in the early morning hours of November 13th 2012, for a subject attempting to make entry, who had an active order of protection against him.  Officer Lacny arrived first to observe the door slightly ajar with the frame damaged.  Officer Lacny entered and observed a male subject sitting against a wall holding a female victim in a choke hold.  Officer Lacny ordered the offender to release the victim to which he did not reply or comply.  Officer Lacny deployed his Taser and struck the offender in the neck with one of the prongs and completed the circuit by placing the Taser on his thigh.  The offender did not release the victim.  Officer Lacny then physically pulled the victim away from the offender.  The offender refused to comply with verbal commands and had to be Tased twice more before being secured as other officers arrived on scene.

The offender gave an oral and a written statement where he admitted that his intent was to kill the victim.  He was subsequently charged with Home Invasion and Attempted Murder.

We believe Officer Lacny’s quick, decisive actions saved the life of the victim and that he is deserving of consideration for this award.

Lieutenant John Silva, Chicago Fire Department
The following is a description of his actions from the arriving Battalion Chief, Edward Cerdan:

On June 26, 2012, at 0520 hours, Battalion 23, Engine 82, Engine 72, Truck 42 and Tower Ladder 34 were dispatched to a Still Alarm at 714 East 82nd Street.  While enroute, fire dispatch announced an escalation of alarm to a Still and Box with reports of people jumping from the structure. Upon arrival, companies encountered a four story ordinary constructed courtyard building, 100’ X 75’ with heavy fire and smoke on the 3rd and 4th floors and both stairwells from the front with heavy fire. There were occupants of the building on the 1st floor roof of the vestibule in Sector 1, screaming to be saved.  In addition, there were two occupants in Sector 2 that had climbed out of a 4th floor bathroom window now clutching onto the upper cross bracing of the electrical utility pole over 30’ in the air surround by heavy smoke emitting from the window they had just exited. The alarm was quickly escalated to a 3rd Alarm with an EMS Plan for additional ambulances.

Members of Truck 42, first arriving truck on the scene, under the command of Lt John Silva, quickly laddered Sectors 1 & 2 to affect the rescues those on the vestibule roof and these two civilians on the pole.

Lt. Silva cautioned his members of the high power electrical lines before he ascended to the top of the utility pole weaving through the maze of live electrical lines as well as the lower telephone and cable lines feeding the area. As fire erupted from the window Lt Silva was able to calm the two victims and get them orientated onto the ladder through near zero visibility and guided them one by one down through the maze of wires and cables to safety. Once rescues were completed, Lt. Silva and his members continued with interior searches and fire containment.

“As a result of Lt. Silva’s actions, these two civilian’s lives were saved. In my opinion, Lt. John Silva performed his duties heroically and acted within the highest tradition of the Chicago Fire Department and should be commended appropriately”.
Lieutenant John Manchester, Chicago Fire Department
The following is a description of his actions from the arriving Battalion Chief, Charles Niego:

On December 15, 2012 at 1047 hours, Engine 99, Engine 109, Truck 48 and Truck 32 were dispatched to 3950 West 26th Street.  Upon arrival, Engine 99 reported a one story ordinary commercial structure (50’ X 75’) with heavy smoke showing. Engine 99 proceeded to lead out a 2 ½ hand line to the front of the structure while Truck 48 commanded by Lt. Manchester gained entry into the structure from the front. Once entry was gained and Engine 99 initiated their interior attack, Lt Manchester heard screams at the rear of the building. Lt Manchester quickly alerted members around him and moved past the protection of the charged hose line and proceeded through thick heated smoke to the rear of the structure where he found a 42 year old female trapped in a utility room, barely conscious.  He then removed the victim from the utility room back through the dense smoke to the front of the building where he was assisted by the crew Ambulance 21.  Ambulance 21 treated and transported the victim to Mount Sinai Hospital in “condition red”, unconscious, clinging to life.

Lt. John Manchester displayed the finest traits of an Officer within the Chicago Fire Department.  His entry ahead of the fire attack line and his disregard for his own safety allowed him to save the life of this individual who has made a full recovery.

Officer Nyls C. Meredith, Chicago Police Department
Date of Incident: 29 August 2012

While on routine patrol, Officer Nyls Meredith and Sergeant Tyrone Pendarvis observed three males holding their sides while standing in a location that was known to the officers as having a high rate of shootings.  Believing the subjects were possibly armed, the officers exited their vehicle to conduct an investigation.  Seeing the officers the offenders fled on foot while holding their sides.  During a foot pursuit, Sergeant Pendarvis apprehended one offender.  While he was securing the offender and ensuring he was not armed, the second offender, who was hiding in a gangway, drew a handgun and fired at Officer Meredith striking him in the left knee.  Although injured, Officer Meredith was able to return fire, striking the offender several times.  The wounded offender continued to fire at Officer Meredith.  Despite his injuries, Officer Meredith continued engaging the offender until the threat was defeated.  After securing the first offender, Sergeant Pendarvis immediately went to aid his partner and was informed by Officer Meredith that the shooter was still in the gangway.  Sergeant Pendarvis relocated to the gangway, placed the offender into custody, and recovered the handgun which was lying beside the offender.  The offender was treated for his wounds and charged accordingly.  Officer Meredith was transported to a trauma hospital where he underwent eleven surgeries and was released after two and a half months of treatment.  Police Officer Nyls Meredith is still recovering from his wounds.