Four St. Louis area firfighters have been awarded the highest honor given public safety officers as has a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy.

The four members of the Maplewood Fire Department have been awarded the Medal of Valor during a ceremony in Washington. Lt. William Appel, along with firefighters Ryan Hummert, Timothy Wisely, Michael Chellis and Andrew Neff came under fire in the summer of 2008 after responding to a truck fire. A Maplewood police officer who responded was wounded. Firefighter Hummert was shot and killed. The surviving firefighters held their ground until rescued by a tactical team. Neff dragged the officer out of harm’s way.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Beier three years ago responded to a domestic assault and confronted a gunman with an assault rifle. Beier kept other officers back as he confronted the gunman with a shotgun, successfully wounding and stopping him.