Thursday March 01, 2018
12 Americans recently received the Medal of Valor in Washington, D.C. In attendance at the February 20 ceremony held in the East Room of the White House was South Burlington Chief of Police Trevor Whipple. Chair of the 11-member Medal of Valor Review Board, which is appointed by the President of the United States along with the majority and minority leaders of the U.S. Senate, and the Speaker and the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Whipple helped select the public safety officers who received the honor. The Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer, was created by Congress in 2001 to recognize extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery on the part of the nation’s public safety officers.
Chief Whipple was nominated to the Medal of Valor Review Board approximately nine years ago by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Board members, who are comprised of representatives of the public safety community from around the country, review the Medal of Valor nominations and make recommendations for recognition. They are then invited to the White House to attend the ceremony, where the Medal of Valor is awarded by the President.
According to U. S. Department of Justice, the Medal of Valor honors public safety officers who have “exhibited exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her own personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life, where the act is deemed to be above and beyond the call of duty.”
Among the 12 recent Medal of Valor awardees were six responders to the 2015 San Bernardino workplace shooting that took 14 lives and firefighter and Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier Jr. who rescued three people from drowning at a California beach.
After attending the White House ceremony, Chief Whipple said, “It was great day and extremely humbling to meet those who received the award and their families.”