Requirements for A Carnegie Medal

A civilian who voluntarily risks his or her own life, knowingly, to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the life of another person is eligible for recognition by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.


The act of heroism must have occurred in the United States, Canada, or the waters thereof (12 nautical miles). The act must be brought to the attention of the Commission within two years of the date of its occurrence.


The act of rescue must be one in which no full measure of responsibility exists between the rescuer and the rescued. Persons not eligible for awards are: Those whose duties in following their regular vocations require them to perform such acts, unless the rescues are clearly beyond the line of duty, and members of the immediate family, except in cases of outstanding heroism where the rescuer loses his or her life or is severely injured. Members of the armed services and children considered by the Commission to be too young to comprehend the risks involved are also ineligible for consideration.

Factual establishment

There must be conclusive evidence to support the threat to the victim’s life, the risk undertaken by the rescuer, the rescuer’s degree of responsibility, and the act’s occurrence.

Read more about the investigation process.


You may nominate an individual for the Carnegie Medal in one of several ways:

  • Complete the online nomination form.
  • Contact the Commission (address below) to request a nomination form.
  • Nominations may also be made by letter: Please include the name and address of the rescuer, victim, and any known witnesses as well as your name, address, and telephone number.

Supporting documentation, such as incident reports, newspaper clippings, photos, etc., would be of great assistance.

Jeffrey A. Dooley, Investigations Manager
436 7th Avenue, Suite 1101
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1841
Telephone: 1-412-281-1302
Toll free: 1-800-447-8900
Fax: 1-412-281-5751