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DeKalb firefighters receive commendations for water rescue

Editor’s Note: Subscribers to the Daily Chronicle’s free DeKalb City Government newsletter received this story in their email inbox Friday. Sign up at


DeKALB – Fifteen members of the DeKalb Fire Department received commendations for rescuing a woman after she became trapped in her car when it went off the road and into the Kishwaukee River earlier this month.

Deputy Fire Chief Bart Gilmore, Battalion Chief Jeff Jossendal, Captain Todd Stoffa, Lt. Chris Ziola, Lt. Wade Schneck, Lt. Tom Conley, firefighter/paramedic Steve Cruz, firefighter/paramedic Noah Millard, firefighter/paramedic Trevor Chilton, firefighter Sean Freeman, firefighter/paramedic Joe Fisher, firefighter/paramedic Greg Thornton, firefighter/paramedic Robert Terry, firefighter/paramedic Joe Wempe and firefighter/paramedic Joe Long were among those recognized during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Crews responded to an emergency call that an SUV left the roadway and landed upright in the Kishwaukee River near the 300 block of West Lincoln Highway.

The morning followed a historically snowy Halloween, and the river depth and current were greater than normal because of recent heavy rains, City Manager Bill Nicklas said.

When crews arrived, they discovered the women was conscious but injured, and trapped in her car. Five DeKalb firefighters donned water rescue suits and jumped into the river, connected by tag lines, while ground crews set up a horizontal road ladder that connected the shoreline to the woman’s car door.

Crews were able to remove the woman from the car, put her on a backboard, move her along the ladder and onto the embankment, where she was then taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital. She spent almost an hour in the river, and was given warm IV fluids in the ambulance.

• Appointment of Gregory J. Perkins as 4th Ward Alderman: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Appointment of India Washington to the DeKalb Public Library Board: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Resolution establishing an estimated annual tax levy ceiling for the tax year 2019: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Resolution authorizing the sale of property located at 402 Gurler Road in the amount of $7,000: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Resolution authorizing the sale of property located at 1015-1017 Market St.: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Resolution approving a real estate contract for the sale of property located at 1101 N. First St. and the closing of the transaction: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Ordinance amending Chapter 23 “Unified Development Ordinance,” Article 5 “Zoning District Regulations,” and Article 7, “Supplementary District Regulations” of the DeKalb Municipal Code as it pertains to recreational marijuana: 8-0 vote, motion passes

• Ordinance amending Chapter 38 “Intoxicating Liquors” section 38.18(a) “Caterer Event Permits”: 8-0 vote; waived second reading, motion passes

• Ordinance amending Chapter 38 “Intoxicating Liquors” section 38.27(c)8 “Gambling Devices” by revising the number of liquor licenses for establishments that qualify as video gaming establishments to include the property located at 1208 E. Lincoln Highway: 8-0 vote; waived second reading, motion passes

• Ordinance authorizing the implementation of impact fee waivers for new construction permits for attached single family townhomes in the Wineberry, South Pointe Greens and River Mist subdivisions: 8-0 vote, waived second reading, motion passes

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