June 3, 2014 (Boise) – Three firefighters are poised to be awarded the Idaho Medal of Honor for their acts of bravery and heroism deemed above and beyond the call of duty. This year’s recipients are with the Clark Fork Fire and Rescue Department, the Sam Owen Fire District in Hope and the Pocatello Fire Department.
The 2014 recipients will receive their medals during a ceremony Saturday, June 7, at the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park in Boise. The event begins at 7 p.m. The state of Idaho’s highest honor for law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS providers will be awarded to:
“The Idaho Medal of Honor is the highest honor for recognizing the extraordinary bravery exhibited by law enforcement, firefighters and EMS providers,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of the Medal of Honor Commission. “It was clearly the view of the commission that each of these firefighting professionals went above and beyond the call of duty when they acted in the service of others, or in one case, the rescue of two trapped dogs.”
Captain Eigler, a volunteer with the Sam Owen Fire District, is being honored for swimming more than 100 feet into Lake Pend Oreille and diving several times to a depth of more than 10 feet in search of victims trapped inside a vehicle. Eigler made the dives without the aid of any breathing apparatus and ultimately removed a victim from the vehicle.
Captain Piazza will be recognized for his bravery during an early morning fire at a mobile home near Clark Fork. After arriving on scene, Piazza learned that two dogs owned by the occupants were trapped in the crawl space. Despite the risks, Piazza crawled nearly the length of the mobile home to rescue the severely burned dogs moments before the floor collapsed.
Firefighter O’Hearn’s heroics unfolded during a house fire in Pocatello. Upon learning a wheelchair-bound man was trapped inside the home, O’Hearn singlehandedly removed the victim from the heat and smoke.
The Medal of Honor for law enforcement, firefighting and EMS was created by the Legislature in 2004. The statute directs that the medal be awarded by the Governor to professionals whose actions have been distinguished by exceptional meritorious conduct at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.
Click here for additional information about the 2014 recipients and previous recipients.
– End –