Firefighters Perform Water Rescue in Whalon Lakes Forest Preserve

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — On September 3, 2018 at 1:30 PM, Naperville’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) received a 911 call reporting a person struck by lightning at 1490 Royce Road. PSAP immediately dispatched an engine and ambulance to the scene. Information was then received that the person may still be in the water at which time the alarm was upgraded to a Dive Box Alarm bringing Naperville’s Water Rescue Team along with water rescue teams from the Bolingbrook Fire Department, Downers Grove Fire Department, Darien Woodridge Fire Protection District, Lisle Woodridge Fire Protection District, and the Warrenville Fire Protection District.

Naperville Fire and Emergency Medical Crews from Fire Station 2 located at Naperville and Bailey road arrived on scene within 6 minutes of the initial 911 call and began trying to locate the victim with the help of Will County Forest Preserve Police and bystanders on scene. Crews quickly located the victim face up in the water approximately 10 to 15 feet off shore and without delay, sent a rescue swimmer to retrieve him. Once the victim was brought to shore and evaluated, it was determined that he was pulseless and not breathing. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced airway management, and cardiac defibrillation efforts were rapidly initiated and the victim was transported to Edward Hospital in Naperville. The patients pulse and breathing were restored by fire and EMS crews and Edward Hospital medical personnel.

Concurrently, a call was received for a victim with a possible lower extremity fracture at the same location. That victim was quickly located by Fire and Emergency Medical crews from the Bolingbrook Fire Department who arrived on the scene shortly after Naperville companies. That patient was treated and transported to Edward Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Water rescue teams remained on scene until it was assured that all victims were accounted for.

With the assistance of the Will County Forest Preserve Police, the Naperville Police Department, and the Naperville Park District Police, it was determined that a father and son were fishing when the father, 33 years of age, was struck by lightning and fell into the water. His 13-year-old son went to call for help when he fell and injured his leg. His son was able to summon the assistance of a cyclist and a jogger who then called 911.

The citizen that called 911, the quick action of Naperville Fire and EMS crews, and the assistance of mutual aid response agencies are being credited for saving the life of the 33-year-old father.

About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at