First responders honored for heroic acts in line of duty

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Police officers, firefighters and paramedics were recognized Tuesday morning at City Hall for their heroic acts in the line of duty. (WLS)

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics were recognized Tuesday morning at City Hall for their heroic acts in the line of duty.

Officer Veronica Murrillo and her partner were given the 2017 Carter Harrison Award for an incident in October of last year where Murillo was severely injured while trying to arrest a suspect who was high on PCP. She spent nearly five weeks hospitalized with head and neck injuries and is still recovering, not yet back on the job.

Captain John McAndrew and firefighter/EMT Edgar Gallo both received the 2017 Lambert Tree Award for a fire in June of 2016 on the city's Northwest Side. They pulled two people to safety from the second floor of an extra alarm blaze.

"It is a selfless act of public service," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During the ceremony, all the recipients were praised for their dedication.

"They chose to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations for the greater good of their community," said First Deputy Superintendent Evan Navarro.

The awards began in 1885 when Judge Lambert Tree donated $700 to the city for a gold medal to be awarded to a firefighter. Then Mayor Carter Harrison matched the gift so a police officer could also be honored.

"Because their families and friends need to know about the lives they've touched, the lives they've saved and the people who are forever so grateful for what they did," said Commissioner Jose Santiago of the Chicago Fire Department.

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