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SHANE HARMON (courtesy of FWFD)

After 9/11, people couldn’t slather enough love on emergency workers, particularly firefighters — 343 of them died that day trying to save people.

Almost 15 years later, public appreciation might have waned a bit. But firefighters across the country have continued running headfirst toward disasters every day since 9/11.

For example, consider Shane Harmon, who’s been with the Fort Worth Fire Department for 10 years. He was driving to work last summer when he saw a wrong-way driver collide head-on with the car in front of him on Highway 171 south of Fort Worth. Harmon’s car then became involved in the pile-up. His car ended up in a ditch, totaled.

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In crashes with gas spillage, the average person might figure the best thing to do is to stand back. Fires and explosions aren’t uncommon.

Harmon, without tools or protective gear, checked on the other drivers. One was badly injured and entrapped in his vehicle, which had caught fire. Harmon battled the blaze, using a fire extinguisher he borrowed from a truck driver. Harmon received minor burns and a shoulder injury that would require surgery.

After emergency workers arrived, Harmon helped them pull the driver from the burning car. The driver survived and is still recovering.

Harmon, who was back at work the next day, has been selected as a finalist for Liberty Mutual Insurance’s National Firemark Award that recognizes firefighters for valor and exceptional service in the community.

From April 1st to the 20th, the public can learn more about Harmon and the six other nominees on Liberty Mutual’s Facebook page and vote for who they think is most deserving of the award.

Votes are calculated through likes, comments, and shares on each nominee’s video post.

There is a limit to thirty (30) total “votes” per participant. The public vote will count for 100% of the vote to determine the final two winners.

The winners earn a $10,000 donation to their fire departments and a trip for four to New York.

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