Illinois Firefighter Receives IAFC Valor Award; Department Cited for Leadership

Fairfax, VA–Firefighter/paramedic Joseph Jay, of the Kankakee (IL) Fire Department, is this year’s winner of the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) International Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor, co-sponsored by Motorola, Inc. This award is to be presented at Fire-Rescue International, Aug. 24-27, 2001, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.

Jay was selected for rescuing a three-year-old boy who was trapped in a van submerged in a lake on Sept. 29, 2000. The child’s father had pulled his one-year-old child from the van as it rolled down a boat ramp into a lake, but he was unable to save the three-year-old boy. When Jay arrived on the scene, the van was completely submerged. He quickly strapped on his SCBA equipment (designed for interior firefighting), and with risk to his own life, swam through the van window. The visibility was near zero, but Jay found the child and brought him to the surface.

Also, the City of Kankakee Fire Department will be awarded IAFC’s International Benjamin Franklin Departmental Leadership Award in recognition of the department’s professionalism, service to the public, and contribution to the fire service. Chief Richard L. Kamerad will accept the award on behalf of the department at Fire-Rescue International .

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