SPRINGFIELD,IL. – Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined with thousands of Illinois firefighters to honor four firefighters who lost their lives and salute those who went beyond the call of duty at the Eleventh Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony.
“Today we honor Illinois’ firefighters for their dedication to the fire service, state and community,” said Quinn. “The men recognized here today exemplify the selflessness and courage that defines a hero.”
The fallen firefighters that were honored are Todd Dicks (Warsaw Rural FPD), Vannie D. Keever (Gulfport-Gladstone FPD), Bruce F. Spaulding (Bourbonnais FPD), and Captain Joseph Rotherham (Springfield FD). Their families received the “Duty Death Gold Badge Award,” an award of honor given to the family of a firefighter who has died in the line of duty.
Directly following the memorial ceremony, the largest state Honor Guard in the nation lead a processional of firefighters through a muster of fire apparatus that lead to the State Armory Building. Quinn delivered the keynote address at 12:00 noon and the Medal of Honor Committee honored some of the most heroic firefighters in Illinois.
This year there were two recipients of the Medal of Honor Award, the highest award given by the State of Illinois to a firefighter for an act of outstanding bravery while facing the possibility of extreme personal risk, and seven recipients of the Medal of Valor Award which is given to a firefighter for demonstrating courage and dedication in the face of danger.
Quinn was joined by firefighters from around the state, State Fire Marshall T.J. Somer, Chicago Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter and Mayor of Springfield, Tim Davlin.