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Coal City Firefighter Earns Illinois Medal of Honor – Shaw Local

Firefighter/Paramedic William Perry of the Coal City Fire Protection District received the State of Illinois Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor was awarded on May 14. It is the highest award given by the State of Illinois to a firefighter for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism by which the firefighter has greatly demonstrated the characteristics of selflessness and personal courage. beyond the call of duty, in adverse conditions with the possibility of extreme personal risk, according to a news release from the Coal City Fire Protection District.

This award was the result of Perry’s actions while off-duty in June 2023. While returning home after picking up his children, he was alerted to a fire in a structure he would pass, according to the statement.

He stopped and observed a smoke-free residential building. As she approached the house, she heard glass breaking in the back of the house. After opening the front door, she found smoke throughout the house, according to the release.

Perry announced himself and heard a man respond saying he was stuck in a chair. At great risk to himself, he entered the home in street clothes and carried the man to the front of the home where firefighters and paramedics arrived, according to the release. Perry attempted to enter the home a second time but, due to the smoke conditions, he was unable to do so.

“If Firefighter Perry had not acted that day as he did, the event would have been more tragic than it already was,” said Coal City Fire Chief Jim Seerup. “We are proud of Billy and all of his actions.”