2016 Valor Awards

Photo Gallery

Deputy Jonathan Cashmore
Lake County Sheriff’s Office
On May 11, 2015, Deputy Jonathan (Jon) Cashmore was dispatched to a possible drug overdose at an address in Grayslake, Illinois. When Deputy Cashmore arrived, he encountered a suspect who was wielding a golf club and making verbal threats towards him. Deputy Cashmore engaged the suspect by pointing his Tazer at him and ordered him to drop the weapon. The suspect did not follow Deputy Cashmore’s orders and advanced on Deputy Cashmore with the weapon. Deputy Cashmore deployed his Tazer at the suspect which had little effect on the suspect. The suspect continued to advance on Deputy Cashmore, striking him with the weapon on the shoulder area. Deputy Cashmore was able to wrestle the weapon away from the suspect at which point the suspect began punching Deputy Cashmore about the head and face.

Deputy Cashmore and the suspect began to scuffle down a hallway into a living room area where Deputy Cashmore was able to strike the suspect back and eventually get him to the ground where he deployed several dry stuns from his Tazer to the suspect’s back which again, had little to no effect on the suspect. The suspect was able to get up from the ground and he again began punching Deputy Cashmore. The suspect and Deputy Cashmore scuffled back down the hallway, at which point Deputy Cashmore deployed several more dry stuns to the suspect in order to get him in to custody. After several more minutes, Deputy Cashmore was able to get the suspect in to custody.

The suspect was transported to the hospital for a psychological evaluation and was later charged with two counts of Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer. Due to the intense nature of the incident, Deputy Cashmore sustained multiple injuries.

The Highway Patrol Command staff believes Deputy Cashmore to be worthy of the 100 Club of Chicago Valor Award due to the extreme circumstances he faced on his own with a suspect wielding a deadly weapon. Due to Deputy Cashmore’s training and will to win, he was able to bring the confrontation to an end without loss of life or incapacitating injury.

Firefighter Joe Martinelli
Chicago Fire Department
At approximately 0042 hours on the morning of August 31, 2015, Squad Company 2 was dispatched to a working fire located at 4874 North Lincoln Avenue. The structure was described as a two story, 100 year old ordinary brick 100’ X 125’ housing a hardware store on the first floor and a bowling alley on the second floor with a bow string truss roof. An initial report from the first arriving company was a “fire on the rood”. While enroute the alarm was escalated by the Chief of the 10th Battalion due to heavy smoke pouring from the structure.

The first arriving engine and truck companies advanced a hose line to second floor into the bowling alley from the A/B side of the structure. They were confronted by heavy smoke conditions upon entering and began to make an initial attack on the fire when the officers heard what they thought were sounds of partial collapse. The notified the Chief who ordered all companies out of the building to begin defensive operations. As the companies exited the building a personnel accountability report was ordered and it was quickly determined that the pipeman for the first arriving unit was unaccounted for.

The Chief of the 10th Battalion immediately requested a 2-11 alarm and a mayday response and he was also activating the RIT team. Conditions were quickly deteriorating and thick heavy smoke was now pouring from the A/B entrance used by the initial attack crews at street level.

Squad 2 was arriving on the scene as the 10th Battalion was transmitting the mayday alert and the immediately reported to the front of the building to get information on the missing member’s name and location in the building from Battalion 10.

Firefighter Martinelli quickly followed the hose line to the second floor, pushing his way through the thick heavy smoke. He reported to his officer on the radio that he was at the top of the stairs and he was entering the 2nd floor to try to locate the missing member. Following the engine’s attack line and heading to the left, he heard an activated pass alarm. He radioed this information back to the 10th Battalion and the members of his Squad.

Knowing that there was not much time on his side, he decided to take aggressive action because of the worsening conditions and the fact that there was already a partial collapse. Firefighter Martinelli followed the line and the sounds of the activated pass alarm to the missing firefighter’s position. He located the missing firefighter and noted that he was still in control of the hose line as fire conditions were worsening but was disoriented to the point he could not find his way out.

Firefighter Martinelli then guided the member to the 2nd floor stairway where his fellow Squad members and the RIT were making entry. As this union occurred within seconds the team’s experiences a second collapse that filled the stairway with heavy black heated smoke down to the street level. All members quickly then made it down from the second floor to the safety of the exterior of the building. The entire second floor of the structure shortly thereafter became completely involved in heavy fire.

Firefighter Martinelli acted quickly, efficiently and with total disregard for his own personal safety in performing a successful rescue of one of his fellow firefighters and diverted what would have been a tragedy. Firefighter Joseph Martinelli performed his duties in the highest tradition of the Chicago Fire Department and deserves to be recognized for his efforts.

FF Reid Mammoser and FF Juan Lopez
North Chicago Fire Department
On the early morning of October 8th, 2015 personnel responded to a Multi Unit Residential

Apartment Building located at 1717 Martin Luther King Jr Drive for a report of a working structure fire.

On location fire crews were first met with a large residential complex with a heavy smoke and working fire on the second floor, they saw several victims trapped on the roof and several more occupants of the second floor apartments needing rescue as the common hallway was filled with thick black smoke and it was too hot to exit.

Arriving personnel responded quickly, safely, efficiently, in a very stressful situation, setting up several ground ladders, rescuing a multitude of our citizens from various areas of the apartment building interior and exterior as well as extinguishment of the fire.

I would like to recognize the following personnel for their professionalism and outstanding lifesaving response: First the arriving commanding officer Lt. Joshua Monroe. He navigated this extremely critical situation professionally and calmly, setting the stage for crews with his clear and concise directives, formalizing the command structure which navigated the positive results of the entire incident. Commander Joshua Rickabaugh who in my absence assisted Lt Monroe.

FFs Reid Mammoser and Juan Lopez entered the structure, ascending to the second floor attacking the fire and found a victim rescuing her from the North West second floor apartment.

FFs James Axtt and FF Todd Lucassen using ground ladders rescued two people from the north east corner, second floor window. FFs Raul Jon Herrera, Keith Peacy, and Adam Chiappetta, using ladders, broke out windows then rescued 2 people from the South West corner of the second floor apartment.

Other responding firefighters assisted in fire attack and extinguishment included FF Marc

Harman, Nicolas Dina, Wilton Hill, Brian Henderson, William Matos, Matthew Stoll, Frank

Cordova, and Joe Hernandez. EMS operations were under the direction of Lt. Schaefer triaging all victims for transport by our mutual aid companies, and requested a Pace bus for transport of 19 non-injured but misplaced residents to our city library assisted by our management Analyst Sonia Arty.

It’s an honor to be Chief of the North Chicago Fire Department, I am extremely proud of all personnel involved, this incident epitomizes teamwork and the great things can be accomplished when our department personnel work together.

All personnel were instrumental in this effort and I am confident that because of the actions of my firefighters, their quick thinking, rapid assessment of fire conditions, their tactics and strategies they saved a multitude of our citizens this morning.

I thank you for the opportunity to recognize these outstanding firefighters.

Sergeant Michael Cavanaugh, Officer Michael Bunyon, Officer Ryan Krolikowski, Officer Ivan Romo, Officer Eric Wicencyjusz and Officer Michael Guzman
Chicago Police Department
On December 7, 2015 at approximately 2254 hours RD #HY528810, Chicago Police Beat 726, PO Ryan Krolikowski and PO Eric Wicencyjusz observed a vehicle travelling westbound on Garfield Blvd. at a high rate of speed. The speeding vehicle had lost control and crashed into a light pole violently flipping into the air finally landing on the sidewalk of 726 W. Garfield Blvd. Beat 726 arrived on scene before any fire apparatus and observed the vehicle in a crashed form with heavy smoke coming from the engine bay. They immediately requested assistance for additional units and CFD emergency equipment via OEMC Zone 6. The following Chicago Police Department Beats arrived on scene to render aid: Beat 720 Sergeant Michael Cavanaugh, beat 787 PO Michael Bunyon and PO Ivan Romo and Operation Impact Beat PO Guzman. The responding units approached the vehicle as flames and heavy smoke now entered the car’s passenger compartment. PO’s Krolikowski, Wicencyjusz, Bunyon and Romo immediately removed the unconscious driver who had suffered a broken femur during the collision. The fire quickly accelerated, now engulfing the entire engine bay, underneath the car as well into the passenger side compartment. The heavy smoke, intense heat as well as the deployed side air bags made it impossible to see if there were additional passengers still inside the vehicle. Sgt. Cavanaugh instructed the officers to quickly cut the airbags and search for additional victims at which time a second unconscious victim was located in the back seat. The Vehicle suffered massive damage during the collision which caused doors to be forced shut. Knowing that the car could possible explode, the officers worked as a team and pulled the rear driver’s side door numerous times causing it to break from the body and the second victim was now pulled to safety. Sgt. Cavanaugh made one final attempt to feel around the passenger compartment for other additional victims at which time he reached through the passenger side window and discovered a third victim lying unconscious against the front door. Sgt. Cavanaugh immediately alerted the other officers at which time they worked quickly to break the rear passenger side door from the frame. PO Bunyon reached into the vehicle and realized the third victim was still wearing his seatbelt with his foot turned sideways under burning debris. PO Krolikowski immediately reached in and cut the seatbelt from the front seat passenger. PO Bunyon, Sgt. Cavanaugh, and PO Guzman reached in and pulled the unconscious victim from the front seat to the back seat. These officers working in unison dragging the victim to a safe distance away. The crashed vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames and was extinguished by the Chicago Fire Department. The three victims of the vehicle crash were taken to Cook County Stroger Hospital where life saving techniques were administered. All three occupants survived with broken bones, minor burns, smoke inhalation and various internal injuries. These officers exceeded the expectations of the public by providing exceptional service that surpasses the norm. The officer’s bravery selflessness and dedication to public safety are what make them truly one of Chicago’s Finest and an example to all Law Enforcement.

Captain Matthew Berk and FF Zach Jebens
Flossmoor Fire Department
On Saturday November 7th, 2015 at approximately 7:50 pm, the Flossmoor Fire Department was called to the scene of a reported house fire with entrapment. While responding to the reported fire, our dispatch center advised that a police officer was on the scene reporting heavy fire showing with an elderly person trapped inside the house. The dispatch center also gave a corrected address as the initial address given was the location of the first caller to 9-1-1 and not the address for the house on fire. On arrival, Flossmoor Engine 1340 found a 1-story, single-family house with heavy fire showing from two sides of the building. The windows in the front and right sides had broken from the intense heat being radiated from the fire, allowing fresh air (oxygen) to enter the home further contributing to rapid fire growth. The police officer on the scene informed the crew that they had one person in custody and again confirmed there was an elderly woman trapped inside the home.

Because of the large body of fire, the engine company then advanced a 2 ½” hoseline to the front door. As the crew began to enter the building there were several explosions to the right of their entry point, inside the home. The residents had stored several oxygen tanks in the living room, to the right of the entry door and the tanks were exploding from the intense heat of the fire. The crew began to cool off the fire using the 2 ½” hoseline. The crew stated the fire was burning so hot that they could see right through the flames. While other members of Engine 1340’s crew were working to establish a secure water supply from a fire hydrant, the interior crewmembers knocked down the main body of fire at the doorway with the 2 ½” hoseline.

The crew then advanced a smaller, more maneuverable 1-¾” hoseline into the building as part of an aggressive interior attack to put out the fire. On the outside, Homewood Fire Department’s Ladder Truck 555 had arrived and its officer took initial command of the incident, upgraded the Alarm bringing an additional fire engine and ambulance to the scene and backfilling Flossmoor’s Fire Station in case we received other emergency calls. While Homewood’s officer was upgrading the Alarm, the rest of his crew stretched the 1 ¾” hoseline to the front door that Engine 1340’s crew made entry with.

Interior crews had difficulty moving throughout the inside of the building because of hoarding conditions within the home. While operating inside, the high heat and smoke made movement and visibility difficult at best, and the hoarding conditions made firefighting efforts even more dangerous for the crews operating inside the house. While Engine 1340’s crew was trying to put out the fire, the crews of Hazel Crest Engine 1226 and Chicago Heights Engine 653 made entry through a rear door of the house to search for the missing and trapped occupant.

Because of the hoarding conditions, Engine 1226 and Engine 653 had extreme difficulty gaining entry and moving around through the interior hallways and bedrooms. As all the interior operating crews converged into the interior hallway, Engine 1340’s crew provided a protective water stream between the hallway and the fire to keep the fire from spreading into the hallway where they were searching. The crews from Engine 1226 and Engine 653 then found the elderly victim in the hallway, brought her into a bedroom and closed the door in order to remove her from the extreme heat and smoke. Engine 1226, Engine 653 and Flossmoor Captain Matthew Captain Berk then removed the elderly victim from the house through a bedroom window. The occupant was placed onto an awaiting stretcher and brought to a Thornton Fire Department ambulance as resuscitation efforts were initiated. The Paramedics from the Thornton ambulance along with a Flossmoor Firefighter/Paramedic Zach Jebens (from Engine 1340) continued resuscitative measures inside the ambulance and were able to successfully resuscitate the victim.

While most structure fires are considered to be high-risk/low frequency events, the dangers firefighters encounter increase when there are victims trapped inside, excessive clutter from hoarding, and oxygen tanks exposed are exploding from excessive fire and heat conditions. This fire had all of those things, making any sort of successful outcome highly unlikely. Even though the occupant died at the hospital several days later, it was the true team efforts of the crews from Flossmoor Engine 1340, Homewood Truck 555, Hazel Crest Engine 1226, and Chicago Heights Engine 653, which were led inside by Captain Matthew Berk, and then the resuscitative efforts outside of Firefighter/Paramedic Zach Jebens and the Thornton ambulance crew that resulted in the successful rescue and resuscitation of the trapped, elderly resident.