On May 14, Riverside Firefighter, John Furtoss was honored in Springfield at the Firefighters Memorial at the Capitol Building. Fire Chief Matt Buckley and Firefighter John Valente joined Furtoss’s family at the ceremony where a commemorative brick was laid at the Firefighter’s Memorial.
Firefighter Furtoss responded to a locomotive fire on the CB&Q, now BNSF, railroad tracks at the Longcommon crossing on the evening of March 13, 1958. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, after returning to his family store, Firefighter Furtoss collapsed. He was pronounced dead after the doctor and ventilator squad responded. Although his death was not recognized as a line-of-duty death at the time, Deputy Chief and Fire Department Historian Bill Sherman submitted information related to the incident to the Office of the State Fire Marshall in support of a line-of duty determination. The state agreed with the Riverside Fire Department’s findings and Furtoss’s name now joins other Illinois Firefighters who have died in the line of duty at the State of Illinois Firefighters Memorial.