Lincoln Park

Chicago Police Officer Honored For Saving Man's Life Following Apartment Fire

A Chicago police officer was recognized Saturday for jumping into action while off-duty and saving an apartment fire victim's life earlier in the week.

On Monday afternoon, officer John Hanlon was running a personal errand in the 500 block of West North Avenue in Lincoln Park when he saw heavy smoke coming from an apartment building.

"I looked north across the street, I heard glass break as a young black man about the same age as me, in his early thirties, was punching out a window from the inside of the apartment," the officer recounted Saturday during a news conference at the city's 19th District police station.

Seconds later, Hanlon said, he saw the man jump out of the small window.

"He was punching out this window from the inside with thick black smoke billowing through, essentially took a nose dive to the ground in an attempt to escape the fire," the officer said.

Hanlon rushed to his car to retrieve his first aid kit, which is equipped with a tourniquet, gauze, gloves and other life-saving materials, while another passerby stayed with the victim.

"At the time even, without having gone to medical school, it was very clear the bone was broken in multiple places. There was bright red blood pulsing from his injuries," the officer recounted.

To slow the bleeding down, Hanlon applied a tourniquet and pressure bandage as he waited for on-duty police officers and fire personnel to arrive.

The medical kits, provided by the Chicago Police Department are for "individual use," meaning officers use the kits on themselves. But Hanlon said, because of violent crimes in the city, oftentimes the kits are used on others.

"I know so many CPD officers have used these skills on a number of occasions to deal with injuries that if an ambulance takes five, six, seven minutes to arrive," he said. "Gratefully we have tools now that could buy us that time."

As for the man the officer saved, he hasn't seen him since that afternoon. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and received treatment for his injuries.

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