Rep. Haas Recognizes 79th District Illinois Firefighter Medal of Honor Recipient

Rep. Haas Recognizes 79th District Illinois Firefighter Medal of Honor Recipient


Rep. Haas Recognizes 79th District Illinois Firefighter Medal of Honor Recipient (Springfield, IL) – Following the Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony, Firefighter/Paramedic Kyle Haemker of the Bradley Fire Department received the prestigious Medal of Honor. 79th District State Representative Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee), who represents Bradley in the House of Representatives, echoed praises for Firefighter/Paramedic Haemker for this well-deserved award.

On December 14th, 2022, FF/PM Haemker was heading home when he noticed an accident. Stopping to assist, there was a vehicle fully submerged in water. Bystanders informed Haemker that the driver was still inside the vehicle, and he dove into the frigid water to remove the driver from the vehicle, saving this person’s life.

“It’s common to hear that heroes walk among us, but to hear of such courage and strength for one’s neighbor truly demonstrates the heroism of Firefighter Haemker,” said Rep. Haas. “He went out of his way and put himself at risk to save someone else. Selflessness, bravery, and compassion is what drove him and what drives firefighters from Kankakee to Carbondale. The 79th District is so proud of Firefighter Haemker receiving this deserved honor and to have him serve our district.”

The Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the State of Illinois to a firefighter for an act of bravery or heroism, by which the firefighter has demonstrated in great degree the characteristics of selflessness and personal courage above and beyond the call of duty, under adverse conditions, with the possibility of extreme personal risk. It is presented following the Illinois Firefighter Memorial Ceremony at the Illinois State Capitol, a bronze work of art to honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice.

Jackie Haas is the State Representative for the 79th House District, serving residents in Kankakee, Will, and Grundy Counties. She has dedicated her life to serving the most vulnerable among us.


Jackie attended St. Patrick’s Grade School in Momence and Bishop McNamara High School. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University. She received her Master’s degree with a specialization in mental health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams School of Social Work.

Serving the Community

For 30 years, Jackie has served her community as a social worker, focused on helping underserved populations, and advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves. In 1994, Jackie joined the Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health and became the organizations CEO in 2000, pushing to expand health care, economic opportunity, and early childhood development throughout her community. Jackie served on the Kankakee County Board from 2018 to 2020. As CEO and county board member, Jackie has experience on both sides of government.

Jackie has deep roots in the community. She and Bill, her husband of 27 years live in Bourbonnais where they raised their two children. She continues to serve at the Helen Wheeler Center today and is actively involved in several community-based coalitions, local board of directors, and community collaborations.

As State Representative, Jackie is committed to good government reforms, a balanced budget, thriving schools, more opportunity, and expanding mental health to underserved areas.

Rep. Haas Recognizes 79th District Illinois Firefighter Medal of Honor Recipient

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