A Saskatoon woman is being honoured for her act of bravery.

On Feb. 4, 2018, Hayley Hesseln helped to save a woman who had fallen into the icy waters of the South Saskatchewan River while trying to rescue her dogs.

Her efforts were recognized in Ottawa on Tuesday.

One by one, names were called as Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette acknowledged the country’s bravest citizens.

It was a frigid cold day that Hesseln remembers vividly. She was walking her dog when she heard screams from a distance.

“I ran down towards the river and that’s when I saw a woman who had fallen in. She had fallen over the edge of the ice and she couldn’t get back out,” Hesseln told CTV News.

A 28-year-old woman ended up in the icy water while rescuing her two dogs that had fallen in. She stranded herself six meters away from land.

Hesseln grabbed two five-foot-long fallen branches. She laid flat on her stomach and used the branch to pull the woman out of the water.

Paramedics treated the woman for hypothermia. She and her dogs survived.

While the woman has never spoken publically about the fall, Hesseln said they have formed a bond – even spending Christmas together.

“It’s humbling, really,” she said.

As Hesseln and 39 others receive one of Canada’s highest honours, she was quick to deflect the praise and said she did what anyone else would have done.