The SE Texas Record Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm


Gov. Rick Perry's office is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Star of Texas Awards, which honor peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Nominations for this year's awards must be submitted to the Governor's Office by June 15, 2014, with the awards ceremony taking place in September.

"The Star of Texas Awards pay a special honor and appreciation to the Texans who have made heroic sacrifices in the line of duty," Gov. Perry said. "While we can never adequately thank these brave men and women for their service, these awards recognize those who have fallen or been injured while courageously protecting and preserving our communities."

In 2003, the 78th Texas Legislature passed and Governor Perry signed House Bill 1937, creating the Star of Texas Awards to honor and commemorate selected first responders who made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders. HB 1937 also designated September 11th of every year as Texas First Responders Day.

In 2005, amendments to the Star of Texas Awards statute (Texas Government Code Chapter 3106) expanded awards to include all peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty on or after September 1, 2003.

In 2007 Governor Perry signed HB 1164 into law amending the Star of Texas Awards statute to include awards for federal law enforcement officers or special agents seriously injured or killed while performing duties in Texas while assisting a state or local law enforcement agency.

In 2013, amendments to the Star of Texas Awards statute (Texas Government Code Chapter 3106) expanded awards to include all citizens who were seriously injured or killed while assisting Texas first responders on or after Sept. 1, 2003.

Three advisory committees (one for each category of first responder) that are appointed by the Governor review award nominations each year to ensure that they meet statutory criteria.

To be eligible for the 2014 award, the critical incident must have occurred between Sept. 1, 2003, and June 15, 2014, and the first responder must not have previously received a Star of Texas Award for that particular event.

In 2013, the Star of Texas Award winners include Jimmy Matus and William Uptmor Jr., members of the West Volunteer Fire Department, for their actions following the fertilizer plant explosion.

Please click here to view the nomination form.

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