On May 9, hundreds of firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield to remember fallen firefighters who lost their lives to protect Illinoisans. The 24th Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighters Memorial and Fire Fighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony also honored individual firefighters for extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism to protect fellow firefighters and civilians.
Two firefighters who died in, or as a result of, the performance of duty were honored during the ceremonies as their families were presented with the Duty Death Gold Badge by Illinois State Fire Marshal Matthew Perez. Those recognized include Captain Eric Kohlbauer of Freeport Rural Fire Protection District, and Firefighter and Paramedic Kenneth Harris of Village of Oak Park Fire Department.
Twenty-four firefighters received the Firefighter Excellence Award for an act of service in the line of duty, demonstrating excellence and professionalism in service to the citizens of the state of Illinois.