HEROIC fire crews who attempted to save the Babbs Mill Boys in December have been honoured for their bravery, skill and operational excellence.
The 15 men and women were commended for heading into freezing water without thermal personal protective equipment to rescue the four boys who had fallen through the icy lake in Kingshurst and performing CPR.
They were handed the Chief Fire Officer’s commendations at West Midlands Fire Service headquarters in Birmingham for their efforts to save Finlay Butler, eight, his younger brother Samuel, six, their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, and Jack Johnson, 10 and looking for two others who were feared to by in the water.
Wayne Brown, the Chief Fire Officer at West Midlands Fire Service, praised the recipients for their professionalism in the line of duty.
He said: “For so many people, not least the families of the boys who died, the incident at Babbs Mill Lake was a tragedy beyond words. They will forever remain in our thoughts.
“Every day, our staff respond to incidents in extremely challenging circumstances. They often go above and beyond what we expect of them when on duty and, on occasion, when they’re not working.
“The work of all who responded was focused on finding and saving the boys. I am proud to commend those firefighters who gave their all at the scene. We only wish the outcome could have been different.”
An inquest heard the boys went on to the ice after they fed ducks and skimmed stones.
The inquest heard Finlay fell in first, Thomas and Jack as they tried to help and no-one saw Samuel fall in.