At the village board meeting Monday, two members of the Lake Zurich Fire Department were presented with a Save-a-Life Award for rescuing a man with the assistance of a thermal-imaging camera during a fire on December 21, 2011.
The award was presented to Lieutenant Rick Johnson and Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Henriksen by Joe Landowski of Bullard Company, the Kentucky-based supplier of thermal-imaging technology to the Lake Zurich Fire Department.
“I want to say that this award is not just for us, but for our entire department; we work as a team,” Johnson said.
The fire occurred at the Landings of Lake Zurich, located just down the street from Lake Zurich Fire Station #1.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was discovered unconscious in his apartment by Henriksen and Johnson during what was described as a harrowing scene.
“The sprinklers in the building were able to keep the fire mostly in check, but smoke filled the room from the floor to the ceiling,” said Dave Wheelock, fire chief.
Firefighters were able to locate the man only with the help of the camera and bring him down three floors to safety. He was placed in an ambulance, given oxygen and was ultimately revived, Wheelock said.
The cause of the fire was determined to have been a result of smoking materials igniting in a bed.
This is the second time the Lake Zurich Fire Department has received the Save-a-Life Award.
In 2008, a missing elderly Lake Zurich resident was discovered in a wetland area with the assistance of a thermal imaging camera.
“For the men and women that use the thermal-imaging cameras--when they find a victim--it means a lot to us and we are proud to highlight that achievement,” Landowski said.