The Town of Cicero Presents Tom Artman with Outstanding Citizen Award
Cicero, IN – The Cicero Town Council presented Tom Artman with the Red Bridge Outstanding Citizen award, the highest honor the Town has to bestow on a citizen, at their October 16th Town Council meeting to recognize Mr. Artman’s act of heroism and courage during a house fire in his neighborhood on September 5th.
“The Town of Cicero would like to honor and thank Mr. Artman for his quick thinking and selfless actions on the evening on September 5th. He risked his own life by going above and beyond in every respect to ensure that his neighbors were safe. We are proud to award him with the Red Bridge Outstanding Citizen award, our highest honor,” stated Town Councilman Brett Foster.
The house fire began in the early evening on September 5th. At 5:01pm the Cicero Fire Department was notified of the house fire and were on the scene fighting the fire by 5:06pm. Mr. Artman saw the smoke coming from his neighbor’s house and fearing there could be people inside, he ran across the street and burst through the front door. Finding no one inside the home, he rescued the family’s dog Junior and rushed him to safety. Mr. Artman’s heroics went well beyond that. He went back to the home to shut off the gas outside the home to try keep the fire from spreading through the neighborhood. As he went back, there was a huge explosion from an ignited propane tank, which blew Mr. Artman back and threw dangerous debris around him. He continued to push forward. He turned off the gas and pulled the meter from the house. If he had not shut the gas off, it could have resulted in a much larger explosion, which could have damaged several additional homes and injuring or killing many people. When the Cicero Fire Department arrived on scene, Mr. Artman assisted fire investigators with valuable camera footage from his home security system.
The Cicero Fire Department was assisted by the fire departments from Jackson Township, Noblesville, Sheridan, and Westfield. Cicero Battalion Chief, Christian Herron, coordinated the efforts of all 5 departments and units were on scene until 7:52pm.
Cicero Fire Chief Lance Overholser, stated, “We are very grateful for the assistance from Mr. Artman. His quick thinking and actions limited damage to surrounding property, and aided in the rapid containment of the fire. His cooperation with the fire investigation was appreciated as well. Mr. Artman is very deserving of the award bestowed upon him by the Cicero Town Council.”
Family, friends, and neighbors gathered to say thank you to Mr. Artman. He was grateful and humbled by the award and stated, “I want to thank the Town Council, my neighbors, and everyone for this honor, however the real heroes are the men and women of the Cicero Fire Department, EMT’s, Paramedics, the police department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s department, and all of the fire departments who were there on September 5th. They do this every day and I was just at the right place at the right time and I did what anyone else would have done.”
Amy Smith and her family are especially grateful to him for breaking down the door to make sure that they were safe and not at home when he saw the smoke coming from their house. The Cicero community, from the Hamilton Heights school system to members of the Cicero Christian Church, has been an amazing support to the family in helping them find temporary housing and making sure that the family has what they need to get back on their feet.
For more information on the Town of Cicero, visit www.ciceroin.org.
Tom Artman, center, gathers with family and Town Council members during his Red Bridge Outstanding Citizen Award presentation on Tuesday, October 16, 2018