As stipulated in the statutes of the Foundation, it is not the saving of life as such that is recognised, but the rescue act “of extraordinary heroic character”.
The Gold Medal
The rescuer has voluntarily risked severe personal injury or even death in order to save the life of another person. The Foundation does not recognise acts of rescue that do not require any particular courage, or that may be considered the duty of each individual to perform on behalf of his or her fellow human beings. In the case of a rescuer being killed in the course of saving a life, the Foundation is empowered to grant the rescuer’s immediate family nonrecurrent or continuing financial compensation.
How is an act of rescue evaluated?
In accordance with established practice, the Foundation subjects all reported acts of rescue to an official investigation in order to obtain clarification and verification. This procedure serves to guarantee an objective representation of events. On the basis of these reports – which are generally attested to by the police – the Foundation decides if the prerequisites for the granting of an award have been fulfilled as stipulated in the Foundation Charter.
What are the awards granted to a rescuer?
The founder ordered that every awardee receive a citation. In addition, a bronze, silver or gold medal bearing the engraved name of the recipient or, alternatively, a wristwatch of equivalent value may be given, and in individual cases, also monetary awards. The degree of danger to which the rescuer exposed himself or herself is always decisive in determining the award.