On June 30, 2019, Lt. David Chmelar and Firefighter Paramedic Chad Tinsley, along with other members of the St. Charles Fire Department, responded to a call of a disabled boat that was getting dangerously close to going over the Fox River dam. Chmelar and Tinsley were able to position their boat next to the disabled vessel, tie it off quickly and help the three passengers into the rescue boat, leaving the disabled boat behind. About 40 seconds later, the boat tumbled over the dam, crashed and capsized. Thanks to the firefighter’s bravery, the family on the boat was rescued and although distressed, had no physical injuries. Their heroism is why the Red Cross of Illinois has awarded Lt. Chmelar and FF/PMD Tinsley the 2020 Disaster Services Hero Award, sponsored by Grainger.
Learn more about these heroes, the Red Cross and how you can help here.