The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.
Apr. 23—SPRINGFIELD — The annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighter Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony is now set for Friday, Sept. 10.
The Fallen Firefighter Memorial service will be held at the firefighter memorial on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol beginning at 10 a.m. Following the ceremony at the capitol, the Medal of Honor Ceremony will take place at the Bank of Springfield Center. More information about the annual fire truck muster will come at a later date. The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) will be following the latest COVID-19 guidance set in the Restore Illinois Plan to help maintain the health and safety of those attending the events.
“We were disappointed that we were not able to honor our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who went above and beyond the call of duty last year,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It has been an extremely difficult past couple of years and we have lost several of our heroes to COVID-19.
“We will finally get to honor our two fallen brothers Kody Vanfossan and Jake Ringering from 2019 and Mario Araujo, Edward Singleton, Robert Reisinger, Dylan Cunningham, and Robert Truevillian who we lost in 2020. These men and their families will finally receive the honor the deserve.”
The late Godfrey Capt. Jake Ringering was killed in the line of duty in March 2019, fighting a raging house fire on a frigid day. A colleague was seriously injured.
More than 100 various fire and rescue crews from across the Midwest traveled to Alton to pay their respects and participate in a funeral procession — and unprecedented day of honor.
Last month, Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick worked with the Illinois General Assembly to dedicate a portion of West Delmar to Ringering. The effort was delayed by the pandemic but during the Illinois General Assembly this spring, McCormick began to work with State Rep. Amy Elik, R-Fosterburg, to file the resolution.
“I had a very strong admiration for Capt. Ringering,” McCormick said. “I got to know him better through numerous conversations when the village of Godfrey and the Godfrey Fire Protection District were working together to purchase a new fire truck. He was a true hero in every sense of the word.”
House Joint Resolution 25 designates West Delmar Avenue in Godfrey between Pierce Lane and Valhalla Cemetery as “The Captain Jake Ringering Memorial Highway.”
“Captain Jake Ringering was a dedicated public servant,” Elik said. “He impacted the lives of many who knew him as a friend, family member, and while serving in the line of duty. Countless individuals are alive today as a result of the sacrifice and courage of Captain Ringering. It is highly fitting for the General Assembly to honor Captain Jake Ringering with a memorial highway.”
The proposed resolution will be considered for adoption by the Illinois General Assembly. Upon approval, a dedication ceremony will be held at a later date.
The OSFM also presents the State Fire Marshal Life Safety Award during the Medal of Honor Ceremony. The State Fire Marshal Life Safety Award is in recognition of the extraordinary efforts performed by individuals in furtherance of fire prevention and life safety. All nominee names will be published in the agency newsletter and website www.sfm.illinois.gov.
Due to the ceremony being moved to the fall, the nomination deadline has been extended to Friday, May 28. If you know someone who deserves this award you must fill out a nomination and submit the form to OSFM. Nomination forms can be found by visiting the OSFM website at www.sfm.illinois.gov. Nominations should be submitted to email@example.com or by mail to Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Attn: Robin Sudduth, 1035 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703.
Illinois.gov contributed to this article.
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