Carnegie Hero award medal, which was honored posthumously to Vacaville resident Mir Khaled Ahmad, (Photo courtesy of Carnegie Hero Fund Commission)

A late Vacaville man has been named a Carnegie Hero for saving the life of his son from drowning in the American River, according to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which gives the honor.

Mir Khaled Ahmad, who was 41 years old when he jumped into the American River near Kyburz in El Dorado County, is among 18 people who received the award in 2019.

According to the commission, the award is the greatest a civilian can get for heroism in the U.S. and Canada.

Ahmad was on a family outing to the American River on June 23, 2018, when his 9-year-old son Mir Zahed Ahmad fell into the river from a rock.

Ahmad did not know how to swim and bear-hugged Mir and lifted him to get his head above the water. Ahmad went under and came up many times before pushing his son to a rock.

A man on the rock held out a stick, which Mir grabbed and the man pulled the boy to safety.

Ahmad went under the water and was found dead downstream, having drowned.

Each of the 18 award recipients will receive a Carnegie Medal, which is given to heroes for extraordinary heroism. Carnegie Medals have been awarded since 1904, and the award was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.