In order to recognize the courageous deeds of Idaho's law enforcement and firefighting professionals, the 2004 Idaho Legislature enacted Senate Bill 1260, creating the Idaho Law Enforcement and Firefighting Medal of Honor. The bill was signed into law by Governor Kempthorne on April 1, 2004, and became effective on July 1, 2004. In 2005, the statute was amended to include emergency medical service (“EMS”) providers.
This law, Idaho Code, Chapter 88 of Title 67, establishes the Law Enforcement, Firefighting and EMS Medal of Honor and directs that it be awarded by the Governor to any law enforcement officer, firefighter or EMS provider who has been distinguished by exceptionally meritorious conduct and who has been nominated and chosen to receive the medal by a commission appointed by the Governor.
The Statement of Purpose for the bill said that the legislation "will result in statewide recognition for extraordinary acts of valor and heroism by firefighters and police." It also notes that the award "assures that (law enforcement officers' and firefighters') sacrifices are recognized, and their bravery honored by the state whose citizens they protect." When amending the law in 2005 to include EMS providers, the Legislature noted that emergency medical service providers “make a significant contribution to their communities and take many risks in the line of duty.”
The first Idaho Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to Idaho State Trooper Linda Huff. The award was presented to the family of Linda Huff during a ceremony at Idaho Peace Officers Memorial in Meridian, Idaho.