Ohio heroes honored for their efforts

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COLUMBUS – Six Ohio firefighters and three civilians were honored as heroes Sept. 18.

Six firefighters received Ohio’s Fire Service Valor Award medals as they were inducted into the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame. Three civilians received the Ohio Fire Service Citizens Award for Heroism.

Additionally, a retired fire chief whose career spanned four decades received the Fire Service’s Distinguished Service Award.

In a special presentation, members of FEMA’s Ohio Task Force One received an award for their efforts at Ground Zero in New York City.

Honorees. Those to be honored include: Distinguished Service Award, John D. Preuer, Mentor;

Citizens Award for Heroism, Carlos Briggs, Lima; Woody L. Pounders, Lebanon; Mike Riley, Cincinnati;

Fire Service Valor Award: Glenn L. Gill, Toledo; Donald B. Petersen, Toledo; Frank Humr, Cleveland; Ron Walsh, Heath; Jay A. Knerr, Toledo; Mark A. Watkins, Toledo.

“The firefighters we are honoring epitomize the high standard that Ohio’s fire service sets for itself,” said State Fire Marshal Robert R. Rielage. “Ohio firefighters risk their lives on a daily basis, whether on or off-duty, to protect their families, their neighbors, their communities and their fellow Ohioans.”

Since it was created in 1980, 198 firefighters have been inducted into the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame. Since the citizen’s award was created in 1985, 50 private citizens have been recognized for their heroism.

About the awards. Ohio’s Distinguished Fire Service Award is conferred by the Governor every year upon an Ohioan whose completed career serves as a milestone to the fire service. The honoree’s likeness is engraved on a plaque and placed in the Hall of Fame’s Gallery.

The Ohio Fire Service Citizens Award for Heroism was created by the State Fire Commission in 1985. This award is conferred by the Governor upon citizens of Ohio who at risk of their own lives, perform a lifesaving act in a fire or emergency situation.

Ohio’s Fire Service Valor Award is conferred by the Governor upon Ohioans who, while in the line of duty and at great personal risk, saved or attempted to save the life or lives of persons trapped by fire or endangered by other life-threatening emergencies.

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