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Medal "For Life-saving"

Date established: 15th/ 28th October 1908

Number of classes: gold, silver and bronze

Being awarded for: as a reward for acts of saving human lives during natural disasters, accidents etc.

Shape and dimensions: circular, 29mm in diameter

Ribbon: green, with two white and one crimson stripes through the middle

Obverse: The effigy of King Ferdinand I or King Boris III circumscribed by His title: “ФЕРДИНАНДЪ I ЦАРЬ НА БЪЛГАРИТѢ“ / translation: Ferdinand I Tsar (King) of the Bulgarians / or “БОРИСЪ III ЦАРЬ НА БЪЛГАРИТѢ“ / translation: Boris III Tsar (King) of the Bulgarians / respectively.

Reverse: Within a circular laurel wreath, the motto of the medal (ЗА СПАСЯВАНЕ ПОГИБАЮЩИ / translation: [lit.] For saving dying ones /), inscribed on three lines.

Associated with: Honorary distinction "For Incentive of Philanthropy"

The medal “For Life-saving”, along with the Medal “For Incentive of Philanthropy”, were the first decorations to be established after the declared Bulgarian independence in September 1908. Both medals have similar organisation and design.

The medal has three classes: gold, silver and bronze. The golden medals were minted either of yellowing metal alloy, or of gilt silver. The silver class was made of solid silver, and the bronze medals – of bronze or similar in colour metal alloy. All medals are being awarded with a crown suspension.

In 1917, after the establishment of the honorary distinction “For Incentive of Philanthropy”, the medals ”For Life-saving” and “For Incentive of Philanthropy”, have been associated with the above decoration.

Unlike the medal “For Incentive of Philanthropy”, the life-saving medal had more than one variation. The first type bears the effigy of King Ferdinand I and the second – that of His son Boris, who became king in late 1918. The obverse of the latter replicates the design of the Boris III’s Medal of Merit.

Apart from the effigy of the monarch, the two issues of the medal also differ slightly in terms of the ribbon which the medal is being presented with. In the later issues of the medal, the central crimson stripe is thinner.

The medal has been originally designed by Paul Telge and has been produced in Germany. The author of the Boris III issues is unknown.