DIXON -- On March 18, police and firefighters were called out to a fire at the Dixon May Fair RV Park.
Officers Kelly Crouse and Richard Stevens were the first ones on scene.
“There was an RV just completely on fire, starting to catch stuff around it on fire,” Crouse recalled. “And then once we got out of our vehicles, we could hear people screaming.”
Crouse told FOX40 they jumped out of their cars and pulled two men away from the flames.
"We didn't really do any thinking about it. We just kind of reacted. So, I think that was due to our training,” Stevens said.
“You have a fire, you have two people in danger of burning alive and these officers at great personal risk, not only went in once but twice to pull these people to safety,” said Police Chief Robert Thompson. “And one of these two people was paralyzed and wouldn't have been able to get out on their own."
At Tuesday night’s Dixon City Council meeting, Chief Thompson awarded officers Crouse and Stevens the chief's commendation for excellence.
"We try to make these events a little more special to recognize them and to give them the recognition we think they deserve,” Thompson said. “The community deserves to know how these officers selflessly sacrificed their own safety for the good of the community. And any opportunity we get to spread that word and get that message out is one we definitely want to take."
"It's absolutely important. A lot of things get taken for granted because it's just part of our jobs,” said Dixon Fire Chief Greg Lewis. “That's not actually a responsibility of a police officer. So, they did definitely go above and beyond and it's actually very important that they get recognized for that."
Two people died in the fire, but it likely would have been four without the officers' actions.
"I mean, granted, it is part of our job to serve and protect the citizens of Dixon, but it's nice getting recognized for something that you do that's above and beyond our scope of our duty," Crouse said.
"Not all the news today about police officers is positive,” Stevens told FOX40. “So, hopefully, this will help remind people that we are the good guys and we're trying to help people."