Carnegie honours 13, including Canadian, for risking lives for others

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has honoured 13 people, including an Ontario man, with medals for risking their lives for others.

David Murtha, 33, of Lindsay, Ont., was honoured for saving a man from a house fire in May 2010.

Also included in the list released Tuesday were two people who died while saving others. Kevin Roberts, of Mount Lookout, W.Va., was 43 when he died in June 2012 trying to save four youths from drowning off North Carolina.

Michael Wayne Pirie, of Oviedo, Fla., was 18 when he died of hypothermia and other issues while trying to save another college student who became trapped while exploring a cave in Georgia in February 2011.

The honorees, or their surviving relatives, also receive an unspecified financial grant.

The fund was established in 1904 by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.

Based in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s mission is to recognize people who perform heroic acts in civilian life and to provide financial help to those disabled, or to the dependents of those killed, by their heroism. Winners are announced five times a year.

So far this year, 35 people have been honoured. Since its inception, 9,611 have been honoured with medals and more than $35.2 million in cash awards.