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Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Monday said he has urged President Obama to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to four volunteer firefighters who were shot late last month in West Webster, outside of Rochester. Two died and two survived the attack.

Schumer, D-N.Y., said the firefighters should be recognized for their heroic actions in responding to the blaze where the gunman ambushed them.

“Firefighters are sort of like soldiers. They volunteer to risk their lives to protect our safety,” Schumer said, adding that an online petition of 25,000 signatures has been collected, calling on the president to award the medal.