EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The East Peoria Fire Department, recognizing first responders who’ve died in the line of duty.
Sunday, the department honored the four East Peoria firefighters at the 34th annual firefighter memorial service.
Assistant fire chief Garry A. Grugan says there are multiple reasons they hold this service every year.
“To honor the work they did for the citizens of this community, for the city of East Peoria, and for those younger guys to appreciate where they are today and why they’re here and what our job and duty is to serve the citizens of East Peoria,” said Grugan.
During the service, Grugan shared the story of each fallen firefighter, how they died keeping the community safe.
Fire station employees were also awarded Sunday. One of the awards being for firefighter of the year, accepted by Grant Hangartner, who says he didn’t feel worthy of it.
“I don’t feel I do anything more than anynbody else around here, we all have very important jobs and we all do them everyday,” said Hangartner.
Both Grugan and Hangartner say that being a firefighter allows them to do what they love, serving others.
“I believe we all do truly believe that we can make a difference, in our community and in the lives of the folks that we serve who live in our community,” said Grugan.
“My mom was an E.R. nurse, my dad was a volunteer EMT so I watched from a young age, and when I got older I realized that, that’s what I wanna do, serving people there’s nothing better,” said Hangartner.
The firefighters say the job isn’t easy, and comes with many sacrifices, so honoring those who risk their lives to save yours, is the right thing to do.
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