Palos Park, IL – An Illinois police officer on vacation is being hailed as a hero after saving an Arizona man from drowning during a tubing mishap on the Gila and Salt River in Avondale.
Palos Park Police Officer Ryan Franczak was enjoying a relaxing vacation tubing on the river when he witnessed a fellow tuber falling into the water. The man disappeared from sight, causing panic among his family.
Without a second thought, Franczak sprang into action. Teaming up with another tuber, he plunged into the turbulent waters to locate the distressed man. After a determined search, Franczak found the individual underwater and successfully brought him to safety on the riverbank.
Palos Park Police officials praised Officer Franczak’s law enforcement instincts kicking in Wednesday, showcasing the true dedication and selflessness of police officers. His quick and decisive actions prevented what could have been a tragic incident, commending the Officer exemplifying the department’s values even while off duty.
“It’s always an honor to be able to recognize our public safety personnel,” Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters said Wednesday. “To see the outstanding work that each and every one of them do, even off duty, required we all pause to say thank you”
The tale of heroism reminds us that a police officer’s duty to protect and serve knows no boundaries. Franczak’s efforts were only recognized after the family of the man who was rescued contacted Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller.
“Officer Ryan Franczak’s heroic actions truly represent the mission and values of the Palos Park Police Department and the mantra shared among all police officers that we are never truly off duty.” Police Commissioner Dan Polk said in a statement Wednesday.