Leon James, 31, received the award from West Midlands Chief Constable Chris Sims on Tuesday night.
The storage supervisor came across an accident in Hodge Hill on his way to work last November. A van had crashed into a fence. Leon − a trained first aider − ran to join two other men who were helping the driver, who was slumped in his cab.
Leon climbed into the van and when he found the driver wasn’t breathing and had no pulse he opened the man’s airway. When paramedics arrived, Leon helped move the driver from the van and performed CPR for 10 minutes while the paramedic opened his airway.
Superintendent Alison Telford, from Birmingham East police, said: “Leon had been first aid trained for just over two years and this was the first time he had put his skills into practice. He acted without hesitation and was calm in his actions, while dealing with an incident, which by its very nature was distressing both physically and emotionally.”
Despite the efforts of Leon and emergency service staff, the van driver unfortunately died a short time later.
“Leon did not shy away from the incident like others may have but decided to utilise his training in an effort to save a life,” continued Supt Telford.
Well done, Leon!