Excerpts from the Heraldnews.com:

His fellow firefighters on Company One’s B Shift felt it would be too difficult to single out one of the many times Scott Shear has saved lives over his 24-year career.

Rather, it was a routine non-emergency call last summer where Shear showed the kindness and concern for others that earned him Joliet Firefighter of the Year honors, Joliet Fire Department Chief Joe Formhals told the Exchange Club of Joliet.

A paralyzed woman had fallen and called for assistance. Apparatus Operator Shear drove the fire engine to her sparsely furnished apartment, and the crew helped her back into her wheelchair and learned she had not eaten for a few days. She told firefighters she’d hoped to go down to the corner store and buy a bag of chips for dinner.

“When the call was finished [Shear] went to a local restaurant and bought this young paralyzed woman a few days’ worth of cooked meals with his own money,” Formhals said. Shear then had another firefighter deliver the meals because he didn’t want her to make a big deal about what he had done.

“I just feel [helping] is something we all do on a daily basis and I just got singled out,” Shear said. “It’s not difficult to stop what you’re doing and help someone in a time of need.”

The Exchange Club also recognized Tuesday the winners of the annual Fire Prevention Poster Contest. The first-grade winner was Kassidy Barnes of Carl Sandburg Elementary School; the second-grade winner was Madison Fleming of Ridge Elementary School; the third-grade winner was Bella Nelson of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School; the fourth-grade winner was Sophie Strange of Riverview Elementary School; and the fifth-grade winner was Sophia Benedick of St. Mary Nativity School. Exchange Club President and retired Joliet firefighter George Bode also acknowledged Formhals and Deputy Chief Ray Randich, who are both planning to retire next year.

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