City of Peoria Fire Department Award

Peoria Fire-Medical Captain Chris Blundon receives a congressional award for his life-saving action. Pictured, left to right:  Ken Fuellbier, spokesman for Rep. Debbie Lesko; Bobby Ruiz, fire chief Peoria Fire-Medical; Blundon; Eric Peterson, the patient Blundon assisted; firefighters Anthony Harrington, Beau Taylor and Maegan Cooley; and Jon Edwards, Peoria councilman.

On the afternoon of May 14, a 911 call came in: 91st and Northern avenues, motorcycle down.

The Peoria Fire-Medical Department arrived on scene and found a young motorcyclist bleeding profusely, with a severe lower leg injury after a collision with a car.

In a video presented at the Sept. 17 Peoria City Council meeting, fire department personnel explained their actions in treating Eric Peterson, the severely injured biker.

A good Samaritan had applied a tourniquet prior to their arrival. Peoria Fire-Medical Captain Chris Blundon quickly assessed that an amputation likely would be required.

Blundon placed a new tourniquet below the knee and removed the initial tourniquet,  deciding this would potentially save the knee joint.

The placement of the tourniquet saved most of the patient’s leg “and his life,” said Dr. Gail Bradley, medical director of Peoria Fire-Medical.

“The care they provided on scene and en route to the hospital was instrumental in helping the trauma team save Eric’s life.”

Blundon and his crew returned to the fire department, happy to help save a life and thinking the story would end there. But that was not to be the last they would see of the injured biker.

“Approximately eight days later, I received a call from Thunderbird Hospital, stating that Eric wanted to attend his graduation,” Blundon said. 

The Peoria Fire Department transported Peterson from the hospital to his Raymond S. Kellis High School graduation.

Blundon wheeled Peterson on stage, where he received his diploma.

Peterson and Blundon shared hugs again on Sept. 17, as Ken Fuellbier, spokesman for Rep. Debbie Lesko, presented Blundon and Peoria Fire with the District 8 First Responder Congressional Recognition Award.

The award, Fuellbier noted, “is for people, first responders and organizations who go above and beyond … to help the community.”

Mayor Cathy Carlat summed it up: “What a great story.”