Elk Grove honors three firefighters for downstate flood response

  • Firefighters from across Illinois, including some from Elk Grove Village, were among those deployed to Calhoun County last summer to help with flood relief efforts.

    Firefighters from across Illinois, including some from Elk Grove Village, were among those deployed to Calhoun County last summer to help with flood relief efforts. Courtesy of Todd Rishling

  • Elk Grove Village firefighters were among first responders to travel by boat to help residents impacted by floods in downstate Calhoun County last summer.

    Elk Grove Village firefighters were among first responders to travel by boat to help residents impacted by floods in downstate Calhoun County last summer. Courtesy of Andy Laird

 
 
Updated 2/13/2020 7:15 AM

Three Elk Grove Village firefighters were recognized this week for assisting downstate communities affected by torrential floods last summer.

Lt. Todd Rishling and Firefighter/Paramedic Andy Laird received humanitarian service medals from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, while Lt. John Fordon received an oak leaf pin to be placed on a medal he received for previous disaster relief efforts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The trio is part of the Wheeling-based statewide disaster response program, which originated in Elk Grove in the 1960s, that deployed personnel and resources to Calhoun County in May 2019.

"The amount of time and dedication Elk Grove Village has given to us as fire department special teams is astronomical," Rishling said during a village board presentation Tuesday. "We are truly looked at as leaders in the country."

The firefighters brought boats and other water rescue equipment downstate to help local first responders for three months. They traveled by boat to search for flood victims, deliver supplies and food, and evaluate the condition of buildings.

Fordon also helped fill sandbags that protected homes, businesses and a firehouse.

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