A brave West Midlands Police officer who helped evacuate schoolchildren after their bus burst into flames has received an award.

DC Simon Mellor quickly led more than 60 young people and staff away from the double-decker after it caught fire on the M6 near Coleshill last May.

He helped evacuate the bus with colleague DC Paul Smith; and then risked his own safety by going back into the smoke-filled vehicle to make sure no-one was left on board.

From Left to right: DC Simon Mellor, Chief Constable Dave Thompson and Paul Bingham

Kind-hearted Paul Bingham – who was driving along the motorway in an empty coach – then pulled up and offered assistance and a temporary refuge for the children.

DC Mellor, from Force CID, received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his bravery; while Mr Bingham was given a Good Citizen’s Award during a ceremony at Tally Ho! in Birmingham last week.

Chief Inspector Richard Agar, from West Midlands Police, said: “DC Mellor showed incredible bravery by going back onto the burning bus.

“He put the safety of the public first – despite the risk to himself – and fully deserves this recognition.”