Posts tagged: Idaho Medal of Honor
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.
It was an evening last June when an EMS crew from the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department was dispatched to a scene where a vehicle had crashed into a home. Firefighters Nathan Hyder and Dylan Clark found a truck crashed into the garage, its wheels still spinning, its accelerator pressed to the floor, with the female driver unconscious inside and the garage so filled with black smoke and flying debris from the spinning tires that there was no visibility at all. Despite great risk, the donned their breathing apparatus, entered the garage, broke out a window of the pickup, turned off the ignition and rescued the driver, saving her life. Now they're both receiving the State of Idaho Law Enforcement, Firefighting and EMS Medal of Honor, as are three Boise police officers, Adam Crist, Casey Hancuff and Jason Rose, who rescued a critically injured shooting victim in August of 2010; and a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer who was killed in a gunfight in 1989, Brent “Jake” Jacobson. Jacobson, who was pursuing brothers James and Joseph Pratt after a home-invasion robbery and hostage situation in Sagle when he was shot, is receiving the award posthumously.
The Medal of Honor, which the Idaho Legislature established in 2004, is presented each year at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial ceremony, which this year is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m.; the first recipient was slain Idaho state Trooper Linda Huff. “By their selfless actions, these six professionals demonstrated their commitment to the service of others,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who chairs the Idaho Medal of Honor Commission. There's more info here about the award and recipients.