Officer John Poulos #5972 joined the Chicago Police Department 26 March 2001. Officer Poulos grew up Chicago’s South Chicago neighborhood and has strong ties to the 004th District where he is currently assigned. Officer Poulos has been an instructor in the Education & Training Division teaching L.E.M.A.R.T. (Law Enforcement Medical Aid & Rescue Training) as well worked in the 007th District during his career.
On 21 February 2015, Officer Poulos was on his way to the 004th District via southbound LSD when he witnessed an automobile swerve out-of-control and violently crash into a tree. Realizing the danger an accident of this magnitude possessed for the occupant(s), Officer Poulos pulled over to assist. Officer Poulos found a young man unresponsive and pinned within the mangled wreck. The automobile had caught fire in the engine compartment and smoke filled the inner compartment. A good samaritan used his fire extinguisher to quell the fire while Officer Poulos and others attempted to free the driver. At one point, the good Samaritan shouted that he was out of extinguisher and “the fire was flaring up again within the compartment and for everyone to get back.” Officer Poulos knowing that CFD would not arrive in time decided to risk his life by entering the vehicle to cut free the driver and extract him before the compartment was engulfed in flames. With the help of an off-duty firefighter (Tom – Kenosha Fire Department), Officer Poulos cut away the driver’s belt along with the seat and freed him from the fiery & smoke filled compartment where he was trapped. Officer Poulos was able to stabilize the driver until EMS could arrive using his LEMART training. Officer Poulos seeing the need to act, took control of this situation and directed the rescue to save this young mans life.