Three Idaho firefighters will be awarded the Idaho Medal of Honor on Saturday for heroics including swimming into Lake Pend Oreille and repeatedly diving down, with no equipment, to rescue a trapped car accident victim. The three being honored are Capt. Stuart Eigler, a volunteer with the Sam Owen Fire District who made the lake rescue last Aug. 11; Capt. Jeff Piazza of the Clark Fork Fire Rescue Department, who crawled under a burning mobile homes and rescued two severely burned dogs moments before the floor collapsed; and firefighter John Ryan O’Hearn of the Pocatello Fire Department, who rescued a man in a wheelchair from a burning home.
“The Idaho Medal of Honor is the highest honor for recognizing the extraordinary bravery exhibited by law enforcement, firefighters and EMS providers,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who chairs the state Medal of Honor Commission. “It was clearly the view of the commission that each of these firefighting professionals went above and beyond the call of duty when they acted in the service of others.”
The medal was created by the state Legislature in 2004; this year’s recipients will receive their medals at a 7 p.m. ceremony Saturday at the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park in Boise. The medal’s first recipient was the late Idaho State Police Trooper Linda Huff, who died in a shootout at the ISP district headquarters in Coeur d’Alene in which she wounded the shooter after she’d been shot multiple times. There’s more info here.