Belvidere first responders honored for heroism during aftermath of EF-1 tornado

The awards were handed out at Belvidere’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, May 22.
Several Belvidere first responders were honored for their efforts on March 31 when an EF-1...
Several Belvidere first responders were honored for their efforts on March 31 when an EF-1 tornado damaged a concert venue with 260 people inside.(Belvidere Fire Department)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 4:42 PM CDT
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BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - Dozens of first responders are being recognized for their courage the night of March 31, when an EF-1 tornado hit Belvidere’s Apollo Theatre. The storm caused the venue’s roof to collapse on hundreds of concertgoers, killing one man and injuring 48 more.

In a post on its Facebook page, the Belvidere Fire Department recognized the following award recipients:

Medal of Valor recipients:

Belvidere Police Department

  • David Ellingson
  • Joe McDermott
  • Zach Reese
  • Chris Garcia
  • Rich Weiland
  • Joe Danielak
  • Dillon Rackley

Belvidere Fire Department

  • Travis Tangye
  • Matt Loudenbeck
  • Greg Pavlatos
  • Adrian Trujillo
  • Zach Bullard

Meritorious Conduct Award recipients:

Belvidere Fire Department

  • Lt. Dan Drall
  • Firefighter Mark Beck
  • Firefighter Jim Kriebs
  • Firefighter Nic Thornton
  • Firefighter Adam Ellwanger
  • Firefighter Brad Heiser

Life Saving Award recipients:

  • Mercy Health
  • Dr. Matthew Smetana
  • Lifeline Ambulance
  • Lauren Schultz

Thirteen members of the Belvidere Fire Department who came from home to help were also recognized. They were:

  • Adam Ellwanger
  • Joe Erber
  • Bobby Gunsteen
  • Brad Heiser
  • Ron Herman
  • Chris Letourneau
  • Stephen Mead
  • Cory Mitchell
  • Aaron Phil
  • Jason Swanson
  • Nic Thornton
  • Troy Vandenbroek
  • Todd Winnie

Belvidere’s mayor, Clint Morris was given a challenge coin for his support and assistance through the night.

The 26 agencies that helped with the response were recognized as well.

  • Belvidere Police
  • Belvidere Public Works
  • Blackhawk Fire
  • Boone County Dispatch
  • Boone County Sheriffs
  • Capron Rescue Squad
  • Cherry Valley Fire
  • Com Ed
  • Boone County Fire District 1
  • Boone County Fire District 2
  • Boone County Fire District 3
  • EMA
  • Genoa-Kingston Fire
  • Harlem Roscoe Fire
  • Lifeline Elite
  • Loves Park Fire
  • Marengo Fire
  • Medcom
  • Mercy Health (MD1)
  • Nicor Gas
  • North Park Fire
  • Northwest Fire
  • Northwest Rescue
  • Rockford Fire
  • Rockford Fire Dispatch
  • Rockton Fire