The Mali immigrant dubbed “Le Spider-Man,” who saved a young boy dangling from a Paris balcony in May, just had his first day on the job with the city’s Fire Brigade.
Following a month of training, Mamoudou Gassama, 22, posed with 23 other recruits who were inducted into the brigade last week, reported Nine.au.com.
On May 28, a 4-year-old child who was home alone walked onto his apartment’s balcony and somehow ended up on the outside of the railing, hanging on for dear life. Gassama spotted the boy and immediately scaled the building to save him.
“I didn’t think about it. I climbed up, and God helped me,” Gassama said.
The boy’s father, who said he was out getting groceries during the incident, will be sentenced in September for abandoning his parental responsibilities, a Paris prosecutor told CNN.
After rescuing the boy, Gassama met with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace; there the undocumented immigrant was made a legal resident, The Guardian reported. Gassama will be eligible for French citizenship in a matter of months. Macron also presented Gassama with a gold medal for courage and helped arrange the firefighter job.
Gassama had a fraught journey to France. He left Mali as a teen and traveled to Libya, where he was arrested and beaten, then journeyed by boat to Italy. He spent four years there before arriving in France in 2017 to join his brother.
After he became a local hero, Gassama said he was “tres content” (“very happy”).