TRURO - Not many people can say they saved someone's life. Even fewer can state they did it on three separate occasions.
Vince Sharpe is one of those people. The Truro native's most recent heroic deed came in November 2007 when the Inuvik resident came across a burning trailer.
"There were people inside who were going to die if I didn't (go in)," he told the Truro Daily News on Wednesday.
"I have been trained to do that so I think that was the thing to do. They needed immediate assistance, they couldn't wait for the (fire) trucks to come," added the former firefighter.
He went inside the trailer, found the man and brought him outside the burning home. Once outside he was told there was another man inside.
Without hesitation Sharpe went back in to retrieve the second man. Both were unconscious when located but were treated for smoke inhalation and released from hospital.
"You can't see anything. Your on the floor, the smoke is above ya and you just try to crawl around and feel around," he explained of the scene.
Sharpe also saved two people, including a baby, during separate fires in the 1970s and helped save a woman from drowning last year.
"I ran up the stairs .... and grabbed the baby, opened up my coat in the back bedroom, which wasn't burning, and put the baby inside my coat and rushed him outside to an ambulance," recalled the then firefighter.
The paramedics got the boy breathing on the way to the hospital.
His heroic efforts were even recognized in the legislature by MLA Robert McLeod on Feb. 15, 2008.
"To rush into a burning building once and pull somebody out is quite an accomplishment. To do it twice is an amazing feat. To actually do it three times is unheard of," McLeod said at the time. "I think acts like this unselfish bravery - going into burning buildings to rescue people - shouldn't go unrecognized."
The latest news is that he will be receiving a medal of bravery from Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
Sharpe didn't even know he was going to be receiving the award until a reporter with Northern News Services contacted him earlier this summer. A date and time for the ceremony has not been finalized.
"It's nice to have something like that to be able to leave my children and my grandchildren to remember their grandfather by," he said.
Sharpe, 63, left Truro in 1968 as a 20-year-old looking to see a different part of the country. He ended up in Yellowknife and Inuvik working in the oil industry. He now owns a marine expediting company and a construction company.
Sharpe is currently the assistant deputy mayor in Inuvik. He was first elected in 1978 and has served about 10 two-year terms during his political career.