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The Public Service and Heroism Committee (PS&H) recognizes and honors citizens and individuals in our public service sectors of Law Enforcement, Fire Safety, and Emergency Medical Services for their contributions to the community and for heroic acts with a commendation and medal. States, chapters and commendation recipients are recognized in a booklet published and distributed at the National Congress each July.

The State-level PS&H Committee exists to publicize the committee’s function to the states’ local chapters and to encourage their participation. Awards presented are reported to the National-level PS&H Committee and the State-level society by filling out an on-line form. All Commendations should be reported prior to June 1, to ensure inclusion in the PS&H Committee Commendation booklet for distribution at the July NSSAR Congress. The fillable on-line Public Service & Heroism Report Form PDF forms may be found here. Some browsers use a default application to read PDF files and you may need to specify that the file be “opened” with the Adobe Reader application.

Note: Be certain to use the most current version of Adobe Reader for this form, as some web browsers have proprietary PDF readers that do not work with this form. Save the blank PDF fillable form to a file on your computer. Do not fill out the blank form on the above links. After saving the blank reporting form to your computer, fill out the form completely. Use the second button-bar at the top, right-side of the form labelled “Click to Save and Email,” to save the completed form to your computer and simultaneously send the completed form to the PS&H Committee. If you do not receive a receipt confirmation of the completed form in 3-4 days, contact the chairman of the PS&H Committee. One should also send the completed reporting form to their State PS&H chairman

This program is an excellent way to recognize deserving individuals in our community and the public sector. We do suggest that those individuals, in the public sector of Law Enforcement, Fire Safety, and Emergency Medical Services, who are being considered for a Heroism Commendation, be previously recognized by their division head for their heroism. Department heads generally welcome the opportunity to recommend deserving individuals for recognition. The commendations may be presented at either chapter meetings, departmental meetings, or other suitable events. The presentation of NSSAR commendations is an excellent means by which our Society can receive recognition and broaden our exposure and recruitment of potential new members. This program is also an excellent vehicle for publicity. The presentation of PS&H commendations at chapter and state meetings should be noted and reported by local media optimally; however, the recipient may elect not to have the commendation published for privacy concerns. Questions about the National SAR Public Service and Heroism Committee may be directed to a state’s representative or the current chairman of the Public Service and Heroism Committee.


The Law Enforcement Commendation and Medal is presented to those who have served with distinction and devotion in the field of law enforcement. The medal is intended to recognize exceptional service or accomplishment in the field of law enforcement. Eligibility is not limited to peace officers but extends to the entire range of persons who make and enforce the law. This includes peace officers, attorneys, judges, prosecutors and legislators who have performed an exceptional act or service beyond that normally expected. The recipients are usually recommended by their superiors or peers for their accomplishments. The award may be presented posthumously. The medal may be presented to an individual only once. No Oak Leaf Clusters or ribbon attachments are permitted.

The Fire Safety Commendation and Medal is presented to an individual for accomplishments and/or outstanding contributions in an area of fire safety and service. The award is not limited to firefighters. It may be presented to recognize a variety of fire safety and services that have evolved into a highly technical and skilled profession with constant study, development and involvement by numerous dedicated citizens with a single goal, which is protecting human life and property by preventing injuries or casualties due to fire and chemicals. The medal maybe presented posthumously. The medal may be presented to an individual only once. Oak leaf clusters or other ribbon attachments are not authorized.

The Emergency Medical Services Commendation and Medal is presented to an individual for accomplishments and/or outstanding contributions in the area of emergency medical services. The award is intended for paramedics, certified Emergency Medical Technicians, and others in the emergency medical field who have performed an act or service beyond which is normally expected. The medal may be presented posthumously. The medal may be presented to an individual only once, and no Oak Leaf Clusters or ribbon attachments are permitted.

A Heroism Commendation and Medal recognizes outstanding bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of imminent danger – i.e., acts which involve great personal courage and risk to the recipient. It is intended primarily for acts by civilians, not in uniform, but does not exclude police, firemen, EMS and SAR members. It is not intended to recognize acts that would have been covered in the performance of one’s normal duty, nor by medals for valor by the armed forces. Animals are not eligible for recognition. The medal may also be presented posthumously. An individual may receive this medal multiple times. Presentation and the wearing of Oak Leaf Clusters shall follow NSSAR policy.

The SAR Life Saving Medal is presented to those individuals who have acted to save a human life without necessarily placing their own life or themselves in imminent danger. The medal is intended primarily for acts by civilians not in uniform, however, police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical personal, lifeguards, and SAR Compatriots are not excluded from receiving this award. The medal is not intended to recognize acts that would otherwise qualify for military or another organization’s valor and, in all cases, the fact that the actions of the rescuer actually saved the life of the victim must be validated by EMS or medical personnel.

More detailed information on specific awards may be found in the NSSAR Handbook, Vol. 5, along with the description of the qualifying service.

Public Service and Heroism Commendations Award Recipients

Compatriots may print copies of the booklet and/or award recipients found below. These are for distribution to members and award recipients.  The file is formatted for printing on both sides of the paper with a front and back cover.


Public Service and Heroism Commendations Award Recipients 2018-2019 Click Here
Public Service and Heroism Commendations Award Recipients 2017-2018 Click Here