The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is honoring a local detective, Phil Hemmeler of Palatine, as the Law Enforcement Hero.
Last summer, Detective Hemmeler was having lunch when he heard on his two-way radio of a nearby car crash in the mall where he was eating. The detective rushed to the scene where he saw a car had crashed and was wedged into the brick wall of an empty retail space. To complicate the situation further, the force of the impact also had set the vehicle on fire. The car was penetrated so far into the wall that it proved impossible to pull the driver out. Concerned that the flames would further engulf the car and driver, the detective was able to use a tow strap from a bystander and attach the strap to his police vehicle to pull the car out of the building, saving the man’s life.
“It’s an honor for the American Red Cross to recognize the contributions of individuals like detective Hemmeler, who without hesitation rushed to a burning car to save a man’s life,” said Celena Roldán, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “Detective Hemmeler’s actions are an example of what first responders due everyday to keep us safe,” added Roldán.
For the past 18 years, the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross has honored each class of heroes at its Heroes Breakfast, typically attended by nearly 1,000 individuals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross is unable to host this event in person but will honor this class of heroes via traditional and social media coverage beginning Tuesday, April 14.
Follow us @chicagoredcross on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to watch these heroes tell their stories of determination, resilience and kindness. You can also join the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois on LinkedIn as we tell the beautiful stories of these Everyday Extraordinary individuals. We invite you to help us share these amazing stories with your friends and family across social media.
Additional honorees were selected in 11 community service categories. Heroes were chosen by an independent committee of leaders in the business and civic community. For the complete list of 2020 Heroes, visit redcross.org/heroes.
Thank you to all our generous sponsors, including: Better, Edwardson Family Foundation, Kirkland & Ellis, CSX, KPMG, Walgreens and to our media sponsor CBS 2.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties, including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.