Brookfield Fire Chief Jim Adams awarded certificates of commendation to eight of the village's first responders – four police officers and four firefighters – for their roles in aiding two people seriously injured in a fireworks explosion on July 5 in the 9000 block of Fairview Avenue.
Police officers David Harrison, Anthony Reyes, Freddy Vargas and Kathleen Golden along with Fire Capt. Brian Baldwin and firefighters Marc Fisher, Erik Porter and Michael Teska responded to the scene, providing aid to the two injured men and interviewing witnesses.
"Fortunately for those who were injured, it was these first responders that truly made the difference," said Adams prior to presenting them with the commendations at the Brookfield Village Board's Aug. 24 meeting.
Reyes and Harrison worked as a team to apply tourniquets to the arms of a 20-year-old man who'd had both hands blown off by a fireworks mortar shell, and Harrison drove the ambulance carrying the man to the hospital, allowing an additional paramedic to stay on scene and aid the 19-year-old victim.
Vargas and Golden secured the scene, requested a second ambulance, interviewed witnesses and collected evidence.
"Their poise and the professionalism they displayed aided in keeping the victims as well as the witnesses calm and cooperative throughout this incident, helping alleviate the magnitude of this event," Adams said.
Baldwin, Fisher, Porter and Teska provided advanced care to the more critical patient and additional care to the other injured man, tending to the latter until a Riverside ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
"Their definitive life-saving care also contributed to saving this patient's life," Adams said. "It was the efforts of all the police and fire personnel that were involved on that call that allowed both victims to survive."