JEFFERSON CITY – Nominations are now open for the State of Missouri’s highest awards honoring first responders for heroic actions beyond the call of duty performed in 2023.
The awards are the Red, White and Blue Heart Award, Missouri Medal of Valor, and Governor’s Medal. The state will also once again be conferring the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award. The awards will be presented during a ceremony in Jefferson City in late 2024.
The deadline for leaders of public safety agencies to nominate a member(s) for any of the Public Safety Medals for actions performed in 2023 is Feb. 29, 2024. Nominations must come from the leader of the public safety agency. Nomination forms and additional information about the awards, including who is eligible to make a nomination, is available at: http://dps.mo.gov/medal/. There is a different nomination form for each award.
For the purposes of these awards, a public safety officer is defined as a person serving a public agency, with or without compensation, as a firefighter, law enforcement officer, or emergency personnel or emergency management personnel. The term “law enforcement officer” includes a person who is a state or local corrections or court officer. EMS personnel are eligible.
Here are summaries of the awards:
* The Red, White and Blue Heart Award may be presented to any Missouri peace officer, firefighter, paramedic, EMT or emergency first responder who under honorable circumstances is critically, seriously or fatally injured while performing official duties in the line of duty. It is conferred in recognition of first responders seriously injured and sustaining permanent impairment of health or death. The injury or condition must require long-term treatment by a medical professional and considerable loss of time from duty. In a fatality incident, the award will be presented to a family member.
* The Missouri Medal of Valor recognizes heroic service by first responders in an effort to save a life. The Medal of Valor is Missouri’s highest award for public safety officers and is awarded to those who exhibit exceptional courage, decisiveness and swift action without regard for their own safety in their attempt to save a life. Law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, state and local corrections officers, court officers and emergency management personnel are eligible.
* The Governor’s Medal recognizes extraordinary actions by an organized or ad hoc team of first responders for brave actions above and beyond the call of normal duty during a critical situation in which their teamwork was essential to the successful resolution of the situation. Law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, state and local corrections officers, court officers and emergency management personnel are eligible.
* The Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award honors a civilian who has provided valuable or courageous assistance to first responders in an emergency situation, without regard for their own personal welfare. It may also be bestowed on a civilian or team of civilians who train public safety officers in life-saving techniques which are later utilized to save a life.