Trump honors heroes with Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor

President Trump on Tuesday presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to 12 “great heroes” who have risked “their lives to protect America’s citizens and communities.”

The award is the highest national honor a public safety officer — firefighters, law enforcement or emergency services officers — can receive, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Trump said the 12 officers awarded the honor on Tuesday have “earned an eternal place in the gratitude of our history and in our hearts.”

Officers who went “above and beyond the call of duty” in various emergency situations to protect human life received the honors Tuesday from the president, including those who jumped into action during a terror attack more than two years ago.

Fourteen people were killed and 22 others injured in December 2015 when a husband and wife went on a deadly shooting rampage in San Bernadino, California.

Six public safety officers who responded to the terror attack were awarded a Medal of Valor.

  • Cpl. Rafael Ixco, San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department
  • Det. Bruce Southworth, San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department
  • Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department
  • Det. Brian Olvera, San Bernadino Police Department
  • District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernadino County District Attorney’s Office
  • Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department

In February 2016, two officers, as Trump described, “braved smoke, fire, and the danger of explosion,” 

when they responded to a fiery car wreck in Tennessee, rescuing one man who was trapped inside his vehicle.

  • Lt. William Buchanan, Avery County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina
  • EMT Sean Ochsenbein, Putnam County Rescue Squad in Tennessee
  • Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier, Jr., Redondo Beach Fire Departmet

A police chief in Kansas was awarded for his response to an active shooter alert in February 2016. During the shooting at a workplace with more than 150 employees on duty, the public safety officer 

rushed to the rescue without any backup. 

  • Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston Police Department
  • Engineer Steven Gunn, Peoria Fire-Medical Department
  • Patrolman Andrew Hopfensperger, Jr., Antigo Police Department 

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.

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