October 6, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Joins Police and Fire Department Leadership 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.

“The bravery of dedicated men and women at the Police and Fire departments is on display every day in communities across our city, and today we stand together to honor their service,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Police officers and firefighters are at their best when conditions are at their most challenging. They run towards the danger others would run from, and they do it to protect our health and safety. They are truly Chicago’s Finest.”

Police Officer Jorge Flores of the 12th District received the 2015 Carter Harrison Award. Additionally, 12 members received Special Honorable Mentions – Sergeant John Piechocki, Police Officer Thomas Derouin, Police Officer Timothy MacFarlane, Commander Edward Kulbida, Detective Christopher Ross, Police Officer Brandon Murphy, Police Officer Javier Alonso, Police Officer LaDonna Simmons, Police Officer Michael Wrobel, Detective Regina Scott, Police Officer Otis Watts and Police Officer Sergio Vences.

Lieutenant/EMT John Gricus from CFD’s Truck Company 15 received the 2015 Lambert Tree Award, and three members received Special Honorable Mentions – Captain/EMT Michael Scarnavack, Firefighter Thomas Garswick, Firefighter Jason Lach. The Fire Department also presented four additional awards: the Firefighter Award of Valor to Firefighter Patrick Burns, the Paramedic Award of Valor to Firefighter/Paramedic Timothy Rottman and Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Soda. Special Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Paramedic Field Chief Mitchell Bartecki, Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Byrnes, Ambulance Commander Jason Raymond and Paramedic In Charge Tomasz Oszkinis.

2015 Lambert Tree Award – Lieutenant/EMT John E. Gricus
The 2015 Lambert Tree Award is awarded to Lieutenant/EMT John E. Gricus from Truck Company 15.

Lieutenant Gricus is receiving the award for running into a residential building that showed signs of a fire, while he was off-duty and traveling with his wife. Lieutenant Gricus asked his wife to call 911, and without any protective clothing or extinguishment capabilities, he ran inside to see if anyone was in the building. Lieutenant Gricus found an adult male curled up in the living room, pulled the man to safety through the front door, and provided first aid to the semi-conscious victim until the arrival of medical personnel. The victim was then evaluated by medical personnel and released without serious injury.

2015 Carter H. Harrison Award – Police Officer Jorge Flores
The 2015 Carter Harrison Award to Police Officer Jorge Flores from District 12.

Officer Flores is receiving this award for his response to an armed robbery incident while he was off-duty and traveling with his wife, son and nephew. As Officer Flores was walking into a drug store, he noticed the cashier placing money into a bag in front of the offender who had a handgun protruding from his jacket pocket. Officer Flores announced his office and ordered the offender to drop his weapon.

In 1885 the City Council established the Carter H. Harrison and the Lambert Tree medals to recognize the actions of select members of the Fire Department and Police Department. Every other year, the recipient of each of these recognitions alternates between the CFD and the CPD. This year, the Carter H. Harrison Medal is being awarded to a member of the CPD, while the Lambert Tree Medal is being presented to a member of the CFD.