4 Island Lake cops to get Life Saving Awards
Four Island Lake police officers will receive commendations for saving the lives of two suicidal people in separate incidents.
Sgt. Bill Dickerson and Det. Robert Blitek will be honored with village Life Saving Awards for rescuing a woman last month.
Officers James Gainer and Peter Mader will receive Life Saving Awards for how they successfully handled an armed and suicidal resident in April 2016.
The officers will receive the decorations at the village board's Sept. 14 meeting.
It'll be the second Life Saving Award for Dickerson. He received a similar commendation in December 2013 after he cleared the airway of a teenager who was unconscious and not breathing.
In the most recent case, Dickerson and Blitek saved a woman's life on Aug. 31.
They'd been sent to a house on the 600 block of Portsmouth Drive to check on a resident there. Upon arrival, they looked through a garage window and saw a 53-year-old woman trying to hang herself with a rope, Chief Anthony Sciarrone said.
The garage was locked, so Dickerson and Blitek pushed the overhead door off its tracks and lifted it so Blitek could crawl underneath and get inside. Once there, Blitek freed the woman from the noose and she started breathing again.
"It's one of those situations where you're not even thinking -- you're acting on instinct," Blitek recalled.
Paramedics arrived and took the woman to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Barrington.
Dickerson was treated at Good Shepherd for a back injury suffered while forcing open the garage door, Sciarrone said.
Blitek said he appreciates the pending commendation but said he wished it wasn't necessary.
Gainer and Mader will be honored for their actions during an armed standoff on April 19, 2016.
That day, the officers were sent to a house on the 200 block of Red Oak Court to check on a resident believed to be suicidal. On arrival, they found a man armed with a handgun had barricaded himself inside the home.
The man pointed the gun at officers and demanded they shoot him, police said at the time. But Gainer and Mader de-escalated the situation and assisted in the resident's eventual safe surrender, following a 90-minute standoff that involved officers from other departments as well, Sciarrone said.
"Their swift actions and decision making skills, in my opinion, is what led to the best possible outcome for all those involved," Sciarrone said. "Both officers showed great restraint in not using justifiable lethal force, preventing a very bad situation from escalating even further."
The man was taken to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry. He eventually was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of ammunition.
The commendations for Gainer and Mader are coming now instead of sooner because of procedural delays, Sciarrone said.
Sciarrone said he's "extremely proud" of the officers.
"Both sets of officers put themselves in harm's way without giving it a second thought," he said. "They put the welfare of the people they have sworn to protect ahead of themselves."