Vice President Joe Biden is awarding the Medal of Valor to 18 police officers, firefighters and public safety officers.
Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder will present the medals at a ceremony Wednesday. It's the nation's highest honor for public safety officers and recognizes those who risk their own safety to save or protect others.
One of the honorees, New York City firefighter Peter Demontreux, was rescuing a man from burning apartment when an entire floor of the building exploded. Demontreux was set on fire but managed to get the man safely onto an aerial ladder before diving out of the building. The man survived.
Four of the recipients died in the line of duty and will receive the medals posthumously.