October 8, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Joins Police and Fire Department Officials to Present Carter Harrison and Lambert Tree Awards for Exemplary Service

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy and Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago today honored the exemplary service of Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department personnel at the Carter Harrison and Lambert Tree Awards ceremony at City Hall. 

“We stand together as a City to honor those who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery in the line of duty,” say Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Police officers and firefighters are at their best when conditions are at their worst, and our first responders truly deserve the title of ‘Chicago’s Finest.’”

Police Officers Jeffrey Friedlieb and Ruben Del Valle will receive the Carter Harrison Award and fourteen members will receive Special Honorable Mentions. Lieutenant John Majka and Firefighter Anthony Licato will receive the Lambert Tree Award and six members will receive Special Honorable Mentions.  The Fire Department will also present three additional awards: the Firefighter Award of Valor to Firefighter John G. Veller, the Paramedic Award of Valor to Fire Paramedic Edward M. Gilbride, and the Richard G. Albrecht Award of Merit to Paramedic-In-Charge Mark J. Kiely, Firefighter/EMT Robert R. Simpson, Firefighter/EMT Robert J. Shannon and Firefighter/PM Patrick Jessee File.

About the recipients

2013 Carter Harrison Award - Police Officer Jeffrey Friedlieb and Ruben Del Valle

After observing a suspected narcotics transaction, Officer Jeffrey Friedlieb asked the subject to place his hands on the car, at which point the subject became irate and a physical struggle ensued. As Officer Ruben Del Valle rushed to assist his partner, the subject drew a handgun and fired several shots, striking Officer Del Valle in the arm and in the head. The subject then shot Officer Friedlieb in the head, where the bullet is still lodged behind his left ear. After being shot, both officers fell to the ground. Amazingly, Officer Friedlieb returned fire, striking the subject, who then fled. Responding Officers arrived and transported both officers to the hospital. The offenders was later apprehended and charged with two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder. 

2013 Lambert Tree Award – Lieutenant John Majka and Firefighter Anthony Licato

Lt. John Majka responded to a fire on the far Southside and was told by family members outside that a 94 year old woman was bedridden and could not escape the fire which was on the second floor and appeared to be coming from her bedroom. Lt. Majka did not wait for water to provide cover. He ran into the burning building, directly to the second floor in heavy smoke and crawled around searching for the woman who he found on the bed unresponsive.  In the dense smoke he pulled the woman to the hallway where conditions were slightly better. He heard Firefighter Anthony Licato coming up with a line and both men then when to work to bring this victim down and out of the building with conditions getting worse by the second. They were able to get her to waiting paramedics who stabilized her for transport.

About the Lambert Tree and Carter Harrison Awards

The Lambert Tree and Carter Harrison Awards are the Police and Fire Departments highest honor. The awards date to 1885 when Judge Lambert Tree donated $700 to the City of Chicago for a gold medal to be presented to a heroic firefighter.  Mayor Carter Harrison responded by matching the request so that a police officer could be honored as well. 

The Awards are rotated yearly between the Fire and Police Department so that neither award is deemed superior to the other.  For instance, last year the Police Department received the Lambert Tree Award; this year, the Police Department will receive the Carter Harrison Award.  

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