CITGO Lemont Refinery worker lauded as hero

CITGO Lemont Refinery employee Jared Reed is recognized by the Village of Lemont Police Chief Marc Maton on Feb. 26.

Lemont — A CITGO employee from the company’s Lemont refinery has been honored with two separate awards after he saved a man from a burning vehicle earlier this year.

Jared Read, who works as a Maintenance Journeyman at CITGO Lemont Refinery, was working a night shift on Jan. 19 during cold weather coverage when he saw a van drive off the road about 1 a.m. and get stranded on the railroad tracks, according to a news release from CITGO.

Read noticed the van was on fire and quickly ran to investigate, climbing over a barbed-wire fence to assist any passengers inside, according to the release.

CITGO Lemont Refinery employee Jared Read is presented with an award for lifesaving heroism by refinery management on March 18.

According to Read’s account of the incident, the vehicle was filled with smoke, making it impossible for him to see inside. He broke a passenger window for a better view and attempted to search for passengers until an Illinois Department of Transportation worker arrived and began assisting in the rescue effort. Eventually, the two men heard the driver of the vehicle in the back of the van and broke through the back door of the vehicle to pull him out before paramedics and police arrived on the scene to offer medical assistance, according to the release.

Read has since been recognized by both the Village of Lemont and CITGO for his heroic efforts.

The Lemont Police Department presented Read with its Lifesaving Award at the village’s Feb. 26 board meeting and CITGO gave him a special recognition on March 18, according to the release.

“We applaud Jared for his fast reaction and lifesaving efforts,” CITGO Lemont Vice President and General Manager Jim Cristman said in the release. “His bravery saved someone’s life that day and we wanted to recognize his efforts here at CITGO.”

During his recognition in Lemont, Police Chief Marc Maton and Mayor John Egofske presented Read with a certificate stating “your quick thinking, ability to remain calm, and exceptional response to this undoubtedly severe incident saved the life of a citizen. You are hereby commended for a job well done.”

Read said in the release, “I was there at the right place and right time. I think it’s important to not be afraid and do your part.”