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McConnaughay spotlights every day hero: Lt. Tony Cavallo, St. Charles Fire Department

This month, Senator McConnaughay spotlights St. Charles’ Tony Cavallo, an Illinois finalist for the 2016 American Legion Firefighter of the Year Award. The Lieutenant and Firefighter Paramedic earned the nomination through multiple courageous and selfless acts in his career at St. Charles Fire Department.

Leadership commended Cavallo for his exemplary service and the well-deserved recognition.

“We are pleased and proud that Lt. Cavallo received this distinguished recognition,” said St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet. “Throughout his career, Lt. Cavallo has shown he is a well-rounded, caring professional who is dedicated to his community, his profession and his Fire Department.”

In May of last year, Cavallo earned a Department Unit Citation Award for a life-threatening rescue. His team answered the call for a St. Charles apartment fire that stranded two residents on the second floor — an older man in a wheelchair and his son. Cavallo then accessed the building through the balcony, carried the father down the ladder and helped his son climb to safety. 

Cavallo also caught the attention of American Legion members during Memorial Day weekend last year. Cavallo extinguished a large grill fire at the VFW following the parade and saw to it to personally buy groceries for the veterans to continue their picnic.

“That’s the kind of behavior that got Tony noticed,” said John DePauw, Commander of the American Legion #342 in St. Charles. “It was not only his service record, but what he did when not on duty.”

In response to the nomination, Cavallo was humbled. He said, “The greatest honor of this award is to be recognized by veterans. They fought for our country and have done so much for us. They’re the heroes.”

Senator McConnaughay is proud to recognize Cavallo and the Department for their extraordinary contributions to the community.

“I am so thrilled to congratulate Tony Cavallo on this incredible achievement,” said McConnaughay. “His service, bravery and generosity is inspiring, and it sheds important light on the amazing work our St. Charles Fire Department does for us on a regular basis.”

Cavallo joined the St. Charles Fire Department in 1998 and is a member of the technical rescue and dive rescue teams. He also sits on an unofficial social committee that plans events to increase camaraderie among the department and the city. He helps coordinate retirement parties for fire-veterans and organize barbeques for the months of June, July and August for all City of St. Charles employees.

Cavallo attributes his success and this recognition to the St. Charles Fire Department and leadership. “It’s a great way to let the Department know that because of the opportunities we have, we can perform the work we do,” said Cavallo. “It’s the best city to work for. If you look at St. Charles’ record, we’re top-rated — and that’s hard to obtain. I don’t think I could work anywhere else.”

Cavallo was honored at the St. Charles Council meeting on September 6 and has also received a certificate of recognition from Senator McConnaughay.

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