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home : news : local   June 24, 2016

7/11/2014 3:43:00 PM
La Salle County honors heroes

Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter

OTTAWA — Saving a child from choking to death and retrieving people from burning structures is all in a day’s work for four men honored for heroism and saving lives.

La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton and the La Salle County Board honored three county deputies and a Seneca Police lieutenant for going “well above and beyond the call of duty” to save lives during Thursday’s county board meeting.

“I think these four men are highly representative of the law enforcement we have here and certainly everyone that does these jobs in our communities,” Templeton said.

Deputy Josh McGrath — While on routine patrol in Streator a resident flagged down his squad car. McGrath learned that a toddler was choking inside the man’s home.

When he investigated, he found the young child near death. He quickly called an ambulance and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Templeton said hospital officials confirmed that had it not been for McGrath’s quick action the child very easily could have died, but instead made a full recovery.

Deputy Aaron Hollenbeck and Seneca Police Department Lt. Harry Kosters — Both men responded to a domestic violence complaint but upon arrival, found a burning structure.

Both men entered the home and found a man sitting in a bathtub refusing to leave. The men were able to remove the man from the burning building, and then both grabbed fire extinguishers to help battle the blaze until local fire departments arrived.

Cpl. Eric Yacko — Yacko was dispatched to a house fire and was the first to arrive. He learned a man went into the blaze to retrieve his dog but had not come back out. Without fire gear,

Yacko braved the flames and smoke and found the man on the floor on his second attempt.
Yacko was able to pull the man to safety. Both he and the man were treated for smoke inhalation.

In other business:
* Board members unanimously approved a special use permit allowing Gary Nass to construct a message sign at his property at 18 U.S. 6 just outside of western Peru.
* Board members unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. David Faulk to the La Salle County Health Department.

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

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