NEW YORK (PIX11) — President Joe Biden honored two of New York’s Finest and three of New York’s Bravest at the White House Wednesday.

He bestowed the Medal of Valor on heroes like retired Lieutenant Jason Hickey. On a dark night in September 2021, Hickey got a distress call from a man in the Harlem River. Hickey jumped into the dangerous tidal surge and pulled the man out alive.   

Also honored was firefighter Patrick Thornton.

In June of 2021, he was aboard an FDNY boat when he heard a distress call. He found a capsized boat in the water off Staten Island and immediately dove in, saving a man trapped beneath it.

Firefighter Justin Hespeler also received the Medal of Valor. Back in November 2021, he raced into a burning home in Canarsie, Brooklyn. He battled through heavy black smoke even when it was time to evacuate, finding a newborn in a crib and saving his life.

Perhaps the most poignant Medals of Valor awarded at the ceremony went to the wife of fallen NYPD officer Jason Rivera and the mother of fallen officer Wilbert Mora. In January 2022, the officers paid the ultimate price responding to a family dispute in Harlem that quickly turned deadly, taking their young lives.

NYPD officer Sumit Sulan shot and killed the gunman who killed officers Mora and Rivera. He also received the Medal of Valor.