Three recognized for saving lives

Elkhart Fire Chief Chad Carey, left, and Mayor Tim Neese, right, on Monday presented awards to (from the left, holding awards) Chelsi Antonelli, Casey Ianigro and Tyler Mellinger for their efforts that saved lives. 

ELKHART — A firefighter, a police officer and a civilian were recognized on Monday for their lifesaving efforts in recent months. 

According to Elkhart Firefighters Local 338, Mayor Tim Neese and Fire Chief Chad Carey presented the three with awards for the following:

Chelsi Antonelli, an Elkhart firefighter and paramedic, was kayaking with friends on June 6 when one of her companions became overturned and entangled in a partially submerged tree. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful until Antonelli, at considerable risk to her own safety, exited her canoe with her life vest, reached the victim and ultimately disentangled and rescued the victim. Antonelli’s actions were in keeping with the highest standards of the Elkhart Fire Department.

Casey Ianigro, patrolman with the Elkhart Police Department, was first on scene to a motorcycle accident. Upon his arrival and initial assessment, Ianigro recognized an open wound to the victim’s leg with life threatening blood loss. Ianigro promptly applied a tourniquet to control the bleeding. Hospital officials as well as fire department paramedics have all recognized that Ianigro’s actions to stop the bleeding directly resulted in the survival of the motorcyclist.

Tyler Mellinger, while traveling eastbound on East Jackson Boulevard toward Goshen Avenue, witnessed an SUV leave the road and enter the Elkhart River. Mellinger pulled to the side of the ride and without hesitation entered the river to rescue the female driver of the vehicle, sustaining an injury to his arm in the process. Mellinger’s prompt and selfless response saved the life of the driver.

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