CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The inaugural round of Medal of Honor recipients were recognized by the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday.

The Medal of Valor is 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.”

Cassie Johnson

Patrolman Cassie Johnson

Johnson was a patrolman with the Charleston Police Department and was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a parking complaint on Dec. 1, 2020. At the time of her death, Police Chief James Hunt described her as “an exemplary police officer.”

Tom Baker (Courtesy: Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department)

Sergeant Thomas E. Baker III

Sergeant Baker with the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department was killed while responding to disturbance near Birch River on June 3, 2022. The situation turned into a shootout when the suspects opened fire. Baker was shot in the back and killed.

Corporal Marshall Bailey

West Virginia State Police Corporal Bailey was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 79 in Clay County on Aug. 28, 2012. Corporal Bailey died at the scene.

Trooper Eric Workman

West Virginia State Police Trooper Workman was shot during a traffic stop on Interstate 79 in Clay County on Aug. 28, 2012. Workman later died from his injuries at the CAMC General Hospital on Aug. 31.

Deputy John Westfall

Deputy Westfall with the Roane County Sheriff’s Department was also injured during the Aug. 28, 2012 alongside State Police Corporal Bailey and Trooper Workman. Westfall was shot multiple times in a wooded area right before the suspect was killed. According to the bill nominating him for the Medal of Valor, after surgery and physical therapy, he was able to “bravely return to duty.”

John Forbush (Courtesy: East Fork VFD)

Firefighter John Dean Forbush

Forbush, a member of the Gassaway Fire Department died at the age of 24 while trying to rescue a woman and her daughter from their vehicle after it drove into the Elk River in Braxton County on May 1, 2022. Forbush was off duty at the time of the attempted rescue. The incident was later ruled a murder-suicide.

Firefighter James W. Spencer

Charleston Fire Department firefighter Spencer risked his life to save two people from a burning home on Jan. 30, 2022. Spencer used a ground ladder to enter the second story of the building and successfully rescue the occupants, who were trapped in a room adjacent to the main body of the fire, according to the bill nominating Spencer for the Medal of Valor.

The full Medal of Valor ceremony can be watched on Gov. Justice’s YouTube page here.

Recipients are first nominated by the West Virginia First Responder Honor Board and then referred to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to confirm them.