Two heroic Naperville-area firefighter-paramedics were recognized for their selfless acts of courage, receiving the Illinois Firefighter Medal of Honor and a recognition from State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) on May 12.
During ceremonies in Springfield, firefighter-paramedics Benjamin Bezaire and William Kostelny were awarded the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an Illinois firefighter for an act of courage while in the line of duty. The Medal of Honor 10-member committee awarded the two men their bravery during an action on Dec. 18, 2013, when they rushed into a burning home to rescue three individuals. The fire was a result of a gas-line malfunction, which was still active at the time the two men risked their lives.
The Medal of Honor award was presented to Bezaire and Kostelny and five other firefighters who were selected for their acts of outstanding heroism, by which they demonstrated selflessness and personal courage above and beyond the call of duty, under adverse conditions, with the possibility of extreme personal risk. The awards presented May 12 recognized heroic actions during 2013 and 2014.