A young man from Deer Park has been recognised for a courageous act in which he helped to save a woman’s life.
Muhammad Usman, 24, received a bronze medal at the Royal Humane Society of Australasia’s Annual Bravery Awards on Wednesday.
The Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, presented Mr Usman and 19 other recipients with their awards in a ceremony held at Government House.
An officer from the Melbourne East police station nominated Mr Usman for his actions in going to the rescue of a woman who attempted to commit suicide last year.
Another man who also helped in the rescue bid, Gianfelice Fonte, also received a bronze medal.
In May last year, Mr Fonte was in his Southbank apartment when he heard a woman screaming for help.
Mr Fonte and Mr Usman, who was working as a security guard at the time, both went to investigate.
They found a woman hanging off the 22nd balcony of the apartment building. She had just contacted Lifeline for assistance, stating that she was going to kill herself.
Mr Usman and Mr Fonte tried to gain access to the apartment by kicking in the front door, but were unsuccessful.
Instead, they used a fire extinguisher to break down a plaster wall to the apartment. Mr Usman climbed in through the hole in the wall and opened the door.
The audience at last week’s Government House awards ceremony heard the two men risked their lives by hanging over the balcony railing to drag the woman back to safety.
“In circumstances like this, there’s not much time – there is just a moment when you decide you’ve got to do something,” Mr Usman said.
“It’s not like an every day decision. You make a decision to do good for the community, if you can. I guess it’s something anyone would do.”
Mr Usman said he was surprised when he received a letter telling him he would receive a bravery award, but that it was “really good” to be acknowledged for his actions.