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Hometown Hero Firefighter To Fly With Air Force Thunderbirds

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago paramedic and firefighter will take a ride with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Thursday, in recognition of an act of heroism.

Durbin will take his flight with the jet team in advance of the Air and Water Show this weekend.

Durbin was off-duty and working his second job with a private ambulance company on Dec. 13, 2009, when he saw smoke rising from a high-rise in the Sandburg Village development on Clark Street south of North Avenue.

He reported the fire to dispatchers, and immediately ran up the stairs at the Bryant House tower, at 1451 N. Sandburg Terrace. He encountered resident on the 18th floor, and learned that someone was trapped on the smoke-filled 28th floor.

Without any protective gear, Durbin made entry and pulled a woman to safety.

Durbin was later nominated by Chicagoans as a Hometown Hero, and was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds.

The Air and Water Show is coming up Saturday and Sunday at North Avenue Beach. As he has for the past 12 years, Kris Habermehl will be broadcasting a play-by-play on WBBM Newsradio.