Among the first responders honored this week by the City of Decatur were Local 916 members, and Decatur Ambulance employees, Geoff Duncan & Jason Szymkowiak. Geoff and Jason, along with seven other first responders, helped to rescue an 8-year old girl from an SUV submerged in Lake Decatur last month. 

December 17 – Seven men who helped rescue an 8-year-old girl from an SUV that went into Lake Decatur late last month received recognition during Monday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe presented Stephen Decatur medals to Geoff Duncan, Ryne Duncan, Jason Szymkowiak, Bill Workman, Mike Smith, Chris Scott and Alex Amaya. They were among the first responders who rescued two girls, age 8 and 11, after the November 30 accident.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of Country Club Road and Cantrell Street, when the vehicle left the roadway, overturned and became submerged in the lake. An 11-year-old girl was able to get out of the vehicle on her own but the first responders had to rescue the younger girl and the 21-year-old driver, who later died.

“Had it not been for the effort of these folks here, we probably would have lost the other two,” said Moore Wolfe. “We present them with the medals and offer them our thanks for their heroic efforts.”

Decatur Fire Department Chief Jeff Abbott assisted Moore Wolfe in distributing the medals.

“It was a team effort and everybody did a great job,” said Abbott. “It makes you proud to be a part of these organizations.”

This article was written by Joe Deacon and published by the Now Decatur

Teamsters Local Union 916 is made up of over 4,000 hard-working men and women throughout the state of Illinois.