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Abdulkadar Mohamed Mo Dualeh said it is his dream to become a police officer. (CBC)

An Ottawa parking bylaw officer will receive a community safety award for acting quickly to save a life, not once but three times in the last year.

In 2012 alone, Abdulkadar Mohamed "Mo" Dualeh saved a toddler alone and freezing outside, broke up a vicious assault in the Byward Market and ran onto the Queensway to stop a woman who was trying to kill herself.

"You don't plan ahead," said Dualeh. "It's a human reaction, at that particular moment you feel compelled to intervene."

Dualeh will be given a community safety award from Crime Prevention Ottawa, which will be awarded tonight.

Born in the Somaliland region of Somalia and the son of a police officer, Dualeh came as a refugee to Canada when he was 13.

He said he was a "troubled person" when he arrived but said his time in Canada helped turn his life around.

"I became a man here in Canada and I feel this community... I owe them a lot," he said.

Three incidents in one year

The first incident happened in January when Dualeh was working the late shift in the city's south end. He found a toddler lying on a snowy ground in her pajamas who had wandered away from her mother. Dualeh grabbed the child and paramedics eventually brought her to hospital.

Paramedics told Dualeh the child would have died in 20 minutes if he had not found her.

The second occasion happened in May when he saw one man beating another man with a metal bar, with the victim's wife watching in horror. Dualeh said while there were over a dozen people nearby, he said he suspects many were too scared to act.

The man then fled on foot when Dualeh stopped to intervene.

Dualeh said he followed the man with his car honking his horn repeatedly. When the man reached the intersection of Waller Street and Mackenzie Bridge near the University of Ottawa, police were there to arrest him.

The final instance happened in the summer when he was off-duty with his children driving on Highway 417 going east near the Riverside Drive off-ramp. He saw a woman trying to jump into the path of oncoming vehicles.

He drove off the highway to get his children out of harm's way, then pulled over and ran back to the scene. Dualeh then grabbed the woman and tried to bring her back onto the shoulder of the road.

"I've never seen such a strong person in my life and she was fighting me to take her life" said Dualeh.

He managed to call 911 and Ontario Provincial Police took her into custody.

Dualeh said it is his dream to become an Ottawa police officer.

"I'm hoping to help, the way I was helped when I came to Canada," he said.