A ROWVILLE man who pulled a little boy from a burning house has been honoured for his bravery — but it's not the first time he has showed heroic behaviour.
Garry Brewster was awarded an Ambulance Victoria Community Hero Award at Parliament House for saving four-year-old Giorgio Dotas from his burning Mulgrave home.
But the 53 year old said he was relatively unfazed by the drama because he had a similar experience as a 12 year old when he saved a young girl from the surf in Queensland.
More than 40 years on, Mr Brewster was driving along Police Road last September when he saw a woman run from a burning house, screaming that her children were still inside.
He entered the home by smashing a window — luckily it opened onto the room where Giorgio was hiding.
"There was a lot of smoke but I crawled around and he was hiding under the bed screaming. I just threw him out the window," Mr Brewster said. The house was destroyed.
Mr Brewster feared there was another baby in the bedroom but it turned out to be a doll in a baby bassinet.
Another man who was walking past took Giorgo to his mother. "He was gasping for water, so the paramedics gave him water and oxygen — it was pretty horrible," Mr Brewster said.
Ambulance Victoria clinical support officer Liam McAlesse nominated Mr Brewster for his heroic efforts, crediting him for his courage and the knowledge to get on his knees to find Giorgio and get him to safe ground.
"Mr Brewster put his own life in danger to save someone else's life. He didn't know what he was going to find when he went through that broken glass window and into the house."
Giorgio and his rescuer, along with mother Vicky, now have an unbreakable bond. The trio keep in regular contact.