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SCHERERVILLE — Protecting communities isn't an easy task.

First responders often risk their lives to help others when they need it most.

Albert's Diamond Jewelers has long recognized the sacrifices made by police, firefighters and paramedics.

On Saturday, the business continued its tradition of honoring first responders by hosting its annual Hometown Hero Awards.

Fourteen local police officers and six area firefighters were celebrated during the event, which Albert's has hosted for more than 30 years.

All award winners received certificates to commemorate the honor. Albert's gave each police officer a Citizen Thin Blue Line watch. Firefighters received Citizen Thin Red Line timepieces.

Each of the honorees were selected by the chiefs of their departments.

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Munster Firefighter/Engineer Lucas Groszewski was among those recognized Saturday.

Munster Fire Chief Dave Pelc said the department has tracked a variety of activities for its firefighters, including responses and training.

Groszewski had high marks in all categories, earning him the designation from Albert's.

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“He's very energetic,” Pelc said.

He said Groszewski has served with Munster for about four years, and comes from a family of firefighters.

Although the department could only make one selection for the Albert's event, Pelc said he is thankful for the efforts given by all the firefighters who protect the community.

“You risk a lot,” he said of the job.

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