Decorations for Bravery recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect another. From entering burning buildings to calming gunmen to plunging into icy waters, the recipients put their lives on the line to help another person.
Saving a life is not, in itself, the most important consideration in being nominated for a Decoration. Often, rescuers are not exposed to any danger and, despite the value and importance of their actions, they do not qualify for a Decoration for Bravery. However, they may qualify for a special commendation by the Governor General.
The degree of risk faced and persistence despite the risk are important in the evaluation. In addition, perception of risk is a factor – people who try to help, even though they know they might be severely injured or killed, display bravery of a very high order.
Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a court or a coroner has concluded its review on the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.