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Downers Grove police honored for life-saving efforts

Published: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 6:13 p.m. CST

DOWNERS GROVE – Several Downers Grove police officers were honored last week for heroic acts in the last year.

Downers Grove Police Lt. Shanon Gillette presented the awards at the Oct. 8 village council meeting.

The Life Saving Award was given to officer Drew Barczak and Tom Powers, along with Sgt. Mike DeVries and dispatcher Mike Chufo for their actions to save an unresponsive 62-year-old man on June 27, 2012. Barczak chest compressions as the other two applied the defibrillator, reviving the man, who was taken to Good Samaritan in stable condition.

Gillette also honored Sgt. Rich Johnson with a Life Saving Award for resuscitating a motorist who was found unresponsive behind the wheel in may 2012. He was aided by a unanimous citizen, Gillette said.

The award was also given to Officer Jeff Giermann for lifting a suicidal, elderly woman from a fourth-story ledge in Nov. 2012.

Officer Jeff Mertz received the Award of Valor for tackling a man threatening to jump from a bridge at interstates 88 and 355, saving his life.

"I would like to personally thank all of you tonight, you saved several lives," Downers Grove Police Chief Robert Porter said. "I can't tell you how proud I am, its phenomenal."Porter also gave the Chief's Award to Enza Petrarca for her work in the department.

"Enza's been phenomenal resource for the police department," Chief Robert Porter said. "She's always been there for me in my position, and the rest of the department."

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