Calgary man who died saving little girl to be honoured with prestigious ‘Hero Medal’

Jon Palmiere died on May 31, 2019 in Invermere, B.C.. He is being honoured for his bravery. Photo supplied by family

A 20-year-old Calgary man’s heroism is being recognized.

Jonathan Stein-Palmiere has been chosen to receive The Carnegie Medal — a prestigious award handed out to people who have risked their lives by attempting to save someone in life-threatening peril.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission sends out quarterly lists of recipients. According to the website, 67 people have been honoured this year, but the acts of heroism in this latest announcement span from 2017 to 2019.

Stein-Palmiere was with his girlfriend and her family in Lake Windermere on May 31, 2019, when he noticed a young girl struggling in the water after she fell off her inflatable floaty. Despite being a poor swimmer himself, Stein-Palmiere jumped into the lake and managed to get the girl close enough to shore so that she could get to safety.

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Unfortunately, the 20-year-old apprentice carpenter slipped under the water and did not resurface. People who were with Stein-Palmiere got him out of the water and tried to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.

Click to play video: 'Calgary man dies while rescuing girl from B.C. lake'
Calgary man dies while rescuing girl from B.C. lake

Stein-Palmiere is one of just 17 people to be recognized in this latest announcement, and one of two Canadians among the 17 named by the Pittsburgh-based foundation.

According to a press release Monday, the other Canadian to receive “the highest honour for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada” is Harmanjeet Singh Gill from Brampton, Ont.

Gill, a 20-year-old truck driver, witnessed a horrible car crash in August 2018 when an SUV ran into a number of vehicles before it flipped over and burst into flames. Gill was able to pull two people from the flaming wreckage himself before a teenager helped Gill get the third person out through the vehicle’s sunroof.

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The list of recipients announced Monday is inspiring.

Among them is a Minnesota father who died trying to save his three-year-old son after his son fell into a 20-foot-deep-channel. Also on the list is a group of three strangers in Ohio who intervened after a 23-year-old woman walking with her three children was shot in the back by her ex-husband. There is another story of incredible bravery about a 65-year-old newspaper reporter in Maryland who attempted to stop an armed man who broke into her office.

Since the award was first created 116 years ago following a local mine explosion, more than 10,202 Carnegie Medals have been handed out.

Along with the intrinsic honour of the award, more than $42 million has been given out in the form of grants, scholarships and ongoing assistance.

Recipients have all been nominated by someone through the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

To see the full list of recipients click here.

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