State Politics

Daring rescues from burning home, canal earn Idaho firefighters medals

Idaho Falls Firefighter Sean Allen the Idaho Medal of Honor from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.
Idaho Falls Firefighter Sean Allen the Idaho Medal of Honor from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

A Kootenai County fire lieutenant who pulled a woman in a wheelchair out of a burning home and a firefighter from Idaho Falls who rescued a driver from a partially submerged vehicle received Idaho Medals of Honor for their valor Friday.

The awards are the state’s highest honor, with separate medals for law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS providers.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of the Medal of Honor Commission, provided details on the firefighters and their actions in a news release.

Lt. John Ward, of Kootenai County Fire & Rescue, was off duty on April 13, 2015, when he realized his neighbor’s home in Rathdrum was on fire. Most of the residents got out on their own, but not the woman in the wheelchair. Ward entered and saved two pets just inside the door. The woman was lying about 12 feet away. Without protective gear, he crawled to the woman and pulled her to safety.

You can read more about his actions in this piece by the Spokesman-Review.

Sean Allen, of the Idaho Falls Fire Department, was part of a team that rescued a motorist who had crashed and overturned his vehicle in an irrigation canal on Sept. 28, 2015. When he arrived, the vehicle was unstable and almost completely submerged in more than three feet of cold water.

Allen entered the canal to help Bonneville County Sheriff deputies trying to rescue the driver. Rescuers got a back door open and Allen climbed in, cut the victim free, pulled him from the car and onto the banks of the canal, where he began administering first aid.

The three Bonneville deputies were awarded medals of honor at the peace officers memorial ceremony in May.

Created in 2004, the medal is awarded to professionals who risk their lives in performance of their duties.

Nampa, Boise, Eagle host 9/11 observances Sunday

These events are set for Sunday, the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.:

▪  In Nampa, the Fire Department will hold its annual Patriot Day ceremony at 8 a.m. at Fire Station No. 1, 1st Street South and 10th Avenue South. The 15-minute ceremony will include a traditional firefighter salute to those who die in the line of duty as well as bagpipers and a police honor guard.

▪  In Boise, a memorial flag line on Jefferson Street near the Capitol will honor 67 Idaho soldiers and civilians who have died since 9/11 in wars or fighting terrorism. The line of flags will be in place from 9 a.m. on starting at 600 W. Jefferson St.

▪  In Eagle, the Fraternal Order of Police and Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho hosts its annual Never Forget Golf Tournament to raise money for injured police and firefighters. An opening ceremony will include an Honor guard, pipes and drums, a local school choir and police and fire vehicles. It begins at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Eagle Hills Golf Course, 605 N Edgewood Lane.