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Public can nominate GTA police officers, firefighters and paramedics for hero awards

The public is being invited for the first time to nominate Greater Toronto Area police officers, firefighters and paramedics for "hero" awards sponsored by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute.

The awards, administered by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) since 2011, are also for the first time recognizing "public heroes" from the Greater Toronto Area – Durham, York and Peel – as well as Toronto. In the past, they focused on Toronto Police, Fire and EMS, and the nominees were chosen by a committee of community leaders.

This year, four candidates from each category will be nominated for each region for displaying these qualities: altruism, dedication and community involvement. Nomination forms can be found at The deadline for nominations is March 22 and the awards will be handed out on April 23 at Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

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IDI is a non-profit group that promotes understanding and respect between people of all faiths and cultures through discussion and personal interaction.

As well as announcing the new nomination process Monday at Toronto Police headquarters, IDI presented awards to young people who have excelled in their police, fire and paramedic studies. The winners included: Norica Labadie, nominated by Toronto Police; Robert Ligas by Toronto EMS; Hannah Elkington by Durham Regional Police; and Jessica Harris by York Regional Police.

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