ST. PAULS — A St. Pauls man has been awarded a Carnegie Medal for his efforts to save an elderly man from a dog attack last year, according to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Allan Williams, 28, is among 72 Carnegie Medal recipients this year.
Williams, a St. Pauls firefighter, is credited with saving 73-year-old James E. Davis when he was attacked by dogs at his St. Pauls home on June 20, 2015. Williams had been across the street working when one of three pit bulls on Davis’ property began to maul him. Williams struck and stabbed the dog with a pitchfork before two ran away and one was shot.
The attack left Williams with severe bites to his arm and foot. Davis suffered severe injuries and his wife was also bitten.
“I distracted the dogs so that Mr. Davis could get away,” Williams said when he was honored by the St. Pauls Board of Commissioners in May. “It never crossed my mind that they would turn on me.” He also received the Humanitarian Award from the St. Pauls Chamber of Commerce.
Williams could not be reached for this story.
The Carnegie Medal is given to people throughout the United States and Canada “who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others,” a statement from Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announcement the most recent 25 recipients earlier this week.
Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund commission in 1904 “to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism” after a mine disaster killed 181 people, some of whom had gone into the mine to save others, near Pittsburgh that year.
“I do not expect to stimulate or create heroism by this fund,” Carnegie wrote, “knowing well that heroic action is impulsive. But I do believe that, if the hero is injured in his bold attempt to serve or save his fellows, he and those dependent upon him should not suffer pecuniary.”
More than $37 million has been presented to winners of the award since it was established.
Recipients of the award are nominated. To bring an act of heroism to the attention of the commission, write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219, or call 412-281-1302 or toll-free at 1-800-447-8900.
Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.