A local senior firefighter has received an award for his heroic actions while on holiday in Mexico earlier this year.

Lee Baker, Station Commander at Woodgate and Bournbrook community fire stations, was awarded the Act of Bravery Award at the Brummies, a glittering awards ceremony celebrating the pride of Birmingham. The awards honour achievements in courage, caring, compassion and community.

Lee rescued four people who were struggling in the sea while walking on a beach in Puerto Vallarta with his wife.

He was approached by a Mexican woman who told him her family members were having difficulties in the water.

Lee & his family at the awards ceremony
Lee & his family at the awards ceremony

Lee first helped a lady who had been struggling to stand in the strong current to walk out of the water. He then swam out to a teenage girl who was struggling and screaming. As he was bringing her back to shore, Lee also pushed a younger boy to safety ahead of him.

After putting the girl in the recovery position on the beach, Lee then helped with the rescue of a fourth person.

Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach praised Lee’s actions. “It is an amazing story, which typifies the selflessness of our firefighters who are never really off duty, even on holiday. We’re extremely proud of Lee. His award is extremely well deserved.”

Councillor John Edwards, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, added: “Lee encapsulates everything that is great about the remarkable staff who work for West Midlands Fire Service.”

The Brummies, organised by the Birmingham Mail in association with Virgin Trains, were presented at the city’s Town Hall.

“Each year we are humbled by the achievements of our winners,” said Mail Editor-in-Chief, Marc Reeves. “This year’s stories are both emotional and inspirational.”

Massive congratulations, Lee, you were always our hero! :)

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