Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

A group of Aurora firefighters has been honored for a water rescue after a car went into a retention pond over the summer.

The Aurora Exchange Club has named Battalion Chief Dan Osman, Lt. Jason Equi, Firefighter Dan Murphy and Firefighter-Paramedics Jeff Kerley, Matt Acuff and Matrin Valenzula as the Firefighters of the Year in Aurora for 2016 for their actions during the water rescue in June.

At 8 a.m. June 19, Aurora firefighters responded to an industrial area on the 300 block of Marshall Avenue for an occupied vehicle in a retention pond. They found three Aurora police officers and a 50-year-old Aurora man who witnessed the crash in the pond, trying to turn a car upright so they could get to two men trapped inside. The officers tried several times to open the car’s doors or break its windows. When those efforts failed, the officers and witness worked together to flip the car upright.

They got the car turned over. Osman, Murphy, Acuff and Kerley entered the water without hesitation and regard for their personal safety and started trying to free the two men. Although the car was upright again, the front end and passenger compartment were still completely submerged, making it impossible to see the two men inside.

“The firefighters had to rely on their sense of touch in the extremely murky water in order to locate the trapped men,” according to the news release.

Murphy on the driver’s side and Osman on the passenger side reached through the windows and used knives to cut the seat belts, freeing the men, according to the news release. Both were unconscious and not breathing. They passed the men off to waiting firefighters and paramedics on the shore. Equi and Valenzuela assisted on the call.

The passenger, Dawa Tamang, 48, of the 300 block of Westpark Avenue, Aurora, died that night. He was apparently teaching a 33-year-old relative, who survived, how to drive in a parking lot, the Beacon-News previously reported.

The younger man was apparently trying to park in a spot near the pond at 7:55 a.m. when the car suddenly accelerated, drove over some bushes and into the pond, police previously said. The two men were trapped in the car in about four to eight feet of water for about 10 minutes.

“The firefighters and paramedics on scene worked under tremendous pressure to save the lives of the two men,” Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz said in the fire department’s news release. “Because of their efforts, one victim survived with minimal long-term effects. Unfortunately, the other man passed away and our condolences go out to his family. While the efforts of everyone were truly heroic, Dan Osman, Jason Equi, Dan Murphy, Matt Acuff, Jeff Kerley, and Martin Valenzuela clearly demonstrated courage and dedication in the face of danger under adverse conditions without concern for their personal safety.”

thanks Dan