Chicago firefighters, paramedics honored for their bravery

A group of Chicago firefighters and paramedics were recognized Tuesday for their heroics in 2022.

Eight members of the Chicago Fire Department received the 2022 "Heroes" designation for life-saving work over the past year.

CFD leadership presented Valor awards to two paramedics and three firefighters, and the 2022 firefighter of the year award went to EMT Richard Drabik.


During a January apartment fire, Drabik rescued a man hanging out of a second story window using a ground ladder, while life-threatening heat and smoke poured out of the building.

"They're willing to trade their lives for ours at a moment's notice, no questions, no hesitations, and if you ask them, they'll tell you they're just doing their job.  They're truly special," said Ray Orozco, President of the Chicago Fire Department Foundation.

The fire department also named two paramedics of the year, Rebecca Sheely and Regina Sojka, who not only rescued two car crash victims but did so while shielding them from gunfire in the wake of that crash.