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Nashoba Publishing is honored once again to present our Extraordinary Service Awards.

These awards are given to emergency services personnel whose contributions exceed the ordinary, thereby greatly benefiting the people they serve.

Eight years ago, we chose to recognize professionals in the law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical and telecommunication fields because of the very essence of what they do — they can literally save our lives.

We honor this year:

* a bank whose hard work makes it possible for a town’s firefighters to teach fire safety to school children

* an EMT whose 20 years of dedicated service serves as an example to others

* EMTs whose long service and innovative approaches are not only extraordinary, but freely given

* an astrophysicist whose intelligence and volunteer spirit have greatly aided a town’s emergency communications

* firefighters whose combined century of service epitomizes the firefighters’ creed

* a telecommunicator whose calm under fire has saved many, not the least of which a baby that had stopped breathing

* a paramedic whose takeover of SAFE education in local schools has not only taught fire safety but showed children who they can turn to for help

* a career public safety officer whose lifetime of learning and experience is serving well a fledgling community of very diverse needs

* a Marine and first responder ready to go anywhere, anytime, and who imparts that commitment to the men and women under his command and the community he serves

There are many facets to any town’s government and each one, in its way, serves the community. But the highest regard must go to those who train to protect us and to save us.

As we think about who the heroes are in our lives, consider the words of Benjamin Disraeli, British prime minister and novelist, 1804-1881: “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

To a child blinded by smoke, to the victim trapped in a demolished car or to someone who needs to know how to stop a loved one from choking, the people listed here can very well qualify as heroes.

Read their stories and you will remember their names and be awed by their examples.