CHARLESTON, WV — Tuesday, July 12, 2022, The West Virginia First Responder Honor Board met for the second time to add 2 more nominees for the Medal of Valor.

The Board voted unanimously to include the names of fallen Nicholas County Deputy, Thomas Baker and fallen Gassaway Volunteer Firefighter, John Forbush, for consideration.

On May 1, 2022, Firefighter Forbush lost his life while attempting to rescue 2 people from a car that was purposely driven into the Elk River in Sutton because of an apparent murder-suicide attempt. Sadly, after a strong attempt, he was unable to rescue the individuals inside, ultimately giving up his life to save the lives of others.

On Friday, June 3, 2022, Deputy Baker was shot and killed during responding to a location in Birch River. The incident caused another deputy to be shot in the leg and one of the 2 suspects to be shot and killed. Deputy Baker gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep his community safe from harm.

“Yesterday, I was honored to listen to the heroic stories of the Medal of Valor nominees. The Board members are excited to have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the heroes of West Virginia. Their service and dedication to this wonderful state will forever be honored and remembered,” said Captain T.J. Dillon, Chairperson of the Honor Board, expressing how these 2 brave heroes will always be remembered for their actions to protect the community and the common public.