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U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Justice Programs
Photos of Public Safety Officers in action
Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
2002-2003 Medal of Valor Award Winners

Photo of MOV Award Winners with President Bush
From l to r: John Ahern, James Ahern, Michael Muniz, President George W. Bush, Marcus Young, Barry J. Ralston, and Kevin Fitzhenry.

Recipients:
1. James Ahern, Boston, MA
2. John Ahern, Boston, MA
3. Kevin Fitzhenry, Bayonne, NJ
4. Michael Muniz, San Antonio, TX
5. Barry J. Ralston, Amarillo, TX
6. Marcus Young, Ukiah, CA

 


From l to r: Deputy AG Comey presents James Ahern, John Ahern with MOV certificate

James Ahern and John Ahern, Paramedics, Boston Emergency Medical Services, Boston, Massachusetts. Paramedic Unit 3 medics, James *Jim* Ahern and his nephew John *Jack* Ahern, responded to an emergency report of a man underneath a subway train at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. James and John Ahern arrived and found a male, still alive, with his torso and lower extremities entrapped in the undercarriage of the train that struck him. Authorities ordered all persons out of the pit because of the unstable position of the train, fearing that it would shift as it was lifted off the track bed, potentially crushing anyone who remained in the pit. The additional complication of intubating the victim to control his respiration was handled manually by James Ahern who positioned himself in front of the victim, ventilating him and shielding him from the train. As the train was lifted, it shifted toward John Ahern and the victim. Once the train was lifted off the track bed, John Ahern crawled back under the train and assisted James Ahern in extricating the victim.




Kevin Fitzhenry, Firefighter, Bayonne Fire Department, Bayonne, New Jersey. Firefighter Fitzhenry was dispatched to a residence on fire. When he approached the scene, he was told that a woman was trapped on the second floor and, because of the intense heat, could not be reached through the stairwell. Fitzhenry grabbed a ladder off the truck and threw it against the building, reaching a closed window. He pushed in the window and crawled through the intense heat and heavy smoke to enter the room, putting himself in the direct path of the advancing fire to locate the victim. After finding the victim unconscious, he dragged her to the open window and lowered her out. Due to the rapidly deteriorating conditions, Fitzhenry dove out of the window to safety. He rejoined his crew and continued to combat the fire. Fitzhenry suffered second degree burns.


From l to r: Deputy AG Comey presents Kevin Fitzhenry with MOV certificate




From l to r: Deputy AG Comey presents Michael Muniz with MOV certificate

Michael Muniz, Police Officer, San Antonio, Texas. Officer Michael Muniz responded to an emergency call regarding gun shots fired at a restaurant. Before receiving the call, three of his fellow officers had been seriously wounded by an armed suspect. When he arrived at the scene, the suspect, who was advancing toward the wounded officers immediately turned his weapon on Muniz. Muniz was struck several times by the gun fire. Though wounded, Muniz drew his service weapon and returned fire, hitting the suspect. Both Muniz and the suspect continued to fire, while advancing toward each other, with multiple shots fired at point blank range. Muniz sustained four gun shot wounds before incapacitating his assailant.




Barry J. Ralston, Police Officer, Amarillo, Texas. Officer Barry Ralston responded to a call regarding a suspect chasing a woman through a parking lot and shooting at her vehicle. The suspect shot several times into the victim's vehicle, where her children, ages two and four, were seated. The suspect rammed the woman's car to keep her from fleeing and then jumped onto the car's hood pointing a shotgun at her through the windshield, telling her that he was going to kill her. The victim, attempting to shield her children when the suspect was fired upon and distracted by other officers, was grabbed by the suspect. The suspect placed the shotgun to her back and took cover between the parked cars. When he arrived on the scene, Officer Ralston approached to within 15 yards of the suspect, fired at and struck the suspect who then released the victim. Though the suspect had fallen out of Ralston's view, Ralston continued to advance among the parked cars. As the suspect took aim at another responding officer, Ralston fired, wounding and disarming him.


From l to r: Deputy AG Comey presents Barry J. Ralson with MOV certificate




From l to r: Deputy AG Comey presents Marcus Young with MOV certificate

Marcus Young, Police Sergeant, Ukiah, California. Sergeant Marcus Young, riding with a 17-year-old unarmed police cadet, arrived at a local Wal-Mart store to investigate the report of an adult female shop lifter who had been placed into custody. As he escorted her to his patrol car, he was approached by an individual with whom the female suspect was associated. The individual threatened officer Young and refused to comply with repeated commands from Young to remove his hands from his jacket pockets. When the individual brandished a knife, Young grabbed his hand. The individual then withdrew his right hand from his jacket pocket, holding a gun and shot Young five times -- in the face, right upper arm, left front side, and in the back. Young was bleeding profusely, with a paralyzed right arm and left hand torn apart about two inches between the index and middle fingers. After stabbing a security guard who had come to help, the assailant entered Young's patrol car, reaching for a firearm. Young, who was concerned for the well-being of others present, directed the police cadet to remove his side arm from his belt and place it in Young's left hand. Despite his injuries, Young was able to return fire, fatally striking the assailant.

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