Milwaukee Fire Department
The fulfilling fire service career of Firefighter John Rechlitz all began in 1986 while on active duty with the Air Force. While serving he became a driver operator and then became a crew chief at the fire department on base.
After his four year enlistment was complete in 1990, he was sworn in as a member of Milwaukee Fire Department. He went on to take his Firefighter 1, 2 and 3 training in addition to becoming a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. Firefighter Rechlitz went on to earn his Paramedic license in 1996. Then in 2006 he was promoted to his current position of Heavy Equipment Operator which he still holds today. John received two Class B Team awards, one in 1993 and the second one in 1997, each for being a part of a rescuing a person in two different house fires.
In 2010 John received nine awards for the rescue of a five year old from a burning vehicle.
He was awarded the Class A Commendation and The Chief's Officers Award from his station and the Medal of Valor from the American Legion's Post 426 , which is the highest award given to a Milwaukee firefighter. He also received the Carnegie Hero Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and was named the Brave Hearts Hero of the Year by the American Red Cross of Southeastern Wisconsin. He was also honored as "Fireslayer of the Year" by the MSA, presented the 1st Responder Award from St. Luke Medical Hospital and given the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Medical College of Wisconsin. In addition the NBA Milwaukee Bucks basketball team honored him with the Hometown Hero Award.
Captain Eddie Chitel of Engine Company #14 described Firefighter John Rechlitz as a "top class" firefighter with tremendous assets for firefighting. He brings a 110% to the job and is always at the "top of his game". The Captain also said John is constantly expanding his knowledge and skill set and he influences many within public safety through his work ethic.