CFD retires badge worn by fallen Lt. Jan Tchoryk, who died while battling Gold Coast fire

Judy Hsu Image
Friday, April 5, 2024
CFD retires badge worn by fallen lieutenant
Jan Tchoryk's name is forever etched at a South Side memorial park after the Chicago firefighter died while battling a Gold Coast fire in 2023.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Exactly one year ago Friday, veteran Chicago Firefighter Jan Tchoryk made the ultimate sacrifice.

On Friday, the badge worn by the lieutenant for more than two decades was officially retired joining the wall of fallen heroes at the Chicago Fire Department.

With one more salute, the city of Chicago, the Tchoryk family and the fire department he so loved came to pay tribute one year after Lt. Tchoryk died in the line of duty.

"Today, we gather with heavy hearts to honor the memory of a true hero," the fire commissioner said. "The badge that we retire today is not merely a piece of metal. It is a symbol of honor, integrity and unwavering commitment to duty that we all wear."

It was April 5, 2023 when Tchoryk was leading a ladder crew in a staircase, trying to put out the wind-driven blaze in a Gold Coast high-rise, when he collapsed. Tchoryk had risen through the ranks over a 26-year career after joining the department in 1997.

"On top of being a firefighter, he served his country through the Navy Desert Storm. What I'm most encouraged by is the legacy of service he leaves with his son as a Chicago police officer, said Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Tchoryk's police officer son, at his funeral, saluted his father and the legacy he leaves behind.

An avid outdoor-man, Tchoryk's name is also now forever etched at the firefighter memorial park along Chicago's lakefront in the heart of the city he served and loved.

"May it serve as a lasting testament to Lt. Tchoryk's memory, a reminder of his service and symbol of his enduring bond that unites all who wear the uniform of a firefighter or paramedic," the commissioner said.