Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

St Charles Fire Department Lt. David Chmelar and firefighter/paramedics Chad Tinsley, Mike Pyzyna, and Brandon Paus were honored at a city council meeting for heroic actions on June 30. The group received the city’s Unit Citation Award, given to members of a fire or medic unit for their exceptional performance or coordinated group action.

Crews typically respond to a few water rescues a year, but Chmelar said he had never experienced anything as dangerously close to the dam. When the call came in at 1:21 p.m., firefighters knew time would be of the essence based on the location of the disabled boat, just north of the Carroll Tower apartment building. The motor failed, the anchor wasn’t holding, and the boat was drifting toward the dam.

By the time they reached the stranded boat, a storm had picked up and winds had gotten stronger. They tied off quickly, helped the three passengers into their boat, and started back up the river, leaving the disabled boat behind. Roughly 40 seconds later, it tumbled over the dam and capsized.

Forty seconds. That’s how much time elapsed between the rescue and the moment their disabled vessel plunged over the dam. The firefighters safely transported a couple and their teenage son to shore amid the downpour and heavy winds.