Biden to Honor Police, Firefighters With Medals

Vice President Joe Biden smiles as he stands at midfield during the coin toss before a game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen in Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 8, 2012. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is awarding the Medal of Valor to 18 police officers, firefighters and public safety officers.

Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder will present the medals at a ceremony Wednesday. It's the nation's highest honor for public safety officers and recognizes those who risk their own safety to save or protect others.

[READ: Army Vet Receives Medal of Honor for Afghan Fight]

One of the honorees, New York City firefighter Peter Demontreux, was rescuing a man from burning apartment when an entire floor of the building exploded. Demontreux was set on fire but managed to get the man safely onto an aerial ladder before diving out of the building. The man survived.

Four of the recipients died in the line of duty and will receive the medals posthumously.

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Online:

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/medalofvalor

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