Excerpts from the journal-topics.com:

Three Elk Grove Village firefighters, Lt. John Fordon, Lt. Todd Rishling, and Andrew Laird, were awarded humanitarian service award medals by the Illinois Fire Department Mutual Aid at the Feb. 11 village board meeting. The three were sent on back-to-back deployments between May and July to rural Southwestern Illinois to assist those devastated by flooding.

A 1,000 foot-long levy broke in Calhoun County, Illinois, north of St. Louis, which runs along the Mississippi River, causing massive flooding and cutting off residents. Rishling said an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital by road took 3-1/2 hours.

The three were deployed with a team of seven in the second wave of first responders firefighters sent to the area. They responded to ambulance calls by boat and provided other assistance. The rural area was so remote, it was only equipped with 911 service the year before.

For Fordon, the award was his second state mutual aid humanitarian award. Rishling said Fordon endeared himself to locals who did not want assistance from anyone when he helped fill sandbags to hold back floodwaters.


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