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Email: Chapter 29, Article 32

ARTICLE 32. MEDAL OF VALOR.

§29-32-1. Medal of Valor.

(a) There is hereby established a Medal of Valor to be awarded to firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and emergency medical services personnel who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty in the performance of their duties.

(b) A Medal of Valor may only be awarded in the manner set forth in this article.

§29-32-2. First Responders Honor Board.

(a) The First Responders Honor Board is hereby established within the Department of Homeland Security as an advisory board to the Legislature. The purpose of the board is to recommend to the Legislature firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and emergency medical services personnel in West Virginia who have distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty in the performance of their duties to be awarded a Medal of Valor.

(b) Board membership. —

(1) The board shall consist of two members from each of the state’s senatorial districts. Each State Senator shall appoint one member representing his or her district.

(2) The board shall be composed of firefighters; fire chiefs; law enforcement officials such as sheriffs, correctional officers, and police chiefs; emergency medical services personnel; medical officials; doctors; and other professionals who are qualified to evaluate and determine whether the actions of firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and emergency medical services personnel rise to the level of being above and beyond the call of duty.

(3) Members shall serve a three-year term and shall serve without compensation.

(4) The board shall annually select a member to serve as the chair. The board shall hold at least one annual meeting. The date, time, and place of the meetings shall be established upon its own resolution or at the call of the chair of the board. Notice of each meeting shall be given to each member by the chair and in compliance with the open meetings laws of the state. A majority of the members of the board serving at any one time constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

(c) The board may consider candidates for the Medal of Valor who are identified by members of the board or by other citizens, and may design a system for the receipt of those recommendations.

(d) The board shall review identified individuals to determine if those firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and emergency medical services personnel have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their professional capacities. Upon determination that a firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services personnel is worthy of this honor, the board shall submit the nomination to the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate for consideration by the Legislature no later than the first day of the next regular session.

§29-32-3. Law Enforcement Officers Honor Board.

 [Repealed.]

§29-32-4. Emergency Medical Services Honor Board.

[Repealed.]

§29-32-5. Awarding of the Medal of Valor.

(a) The Legislature may act on a nomination from the Honor Board established by this article by passing a concurrent resolution.

(b) Upon nomination by the First Responders Honor Board, and adoption of a concurrent resolution by the Legislature, the Governor shall bestow the Medal of Valor upon the nominee.

(c) The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History shall create the design for the Medal of Valor established by this article.