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Council Staff Humbled By Public Response To River Rescue

Town Council staff who saved a baby girl from drowning after her pram was caught in a gust of wind and blown into the fast-flowing waters of the River Severn say they have been overwhelmed and humbled by the public's response to their bravery. James Williams and Andy Hill leapt into the freezing water last Friday (13th Feb) when the six-month old girl's pram was blown away from her grandmother and into the river. Colleague Mickey Bramall then threw in a life buoy before giving the youngster first aid.

The trio were assisted by three other members of staff, Chris Perdell, Mike Morris and Dan Cook, who raced over to the scene once they realised what was happening.

The men were carrying out grounds maintenance work at Dana Gardens when they heard the grandmother's screams.

The baby was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for checks and was later released.

Since the rescue the workers have been inundated with messages of praise and gratitude but they remain modest about their actions, claiming "it's what anyone would have done."

A video of the men on BBC Midlands Today has received almost 1.5 million views over the weekend and thousands of messages have been posted by well-wishers on social media.

Mr Hill said: "The response has been overwhelming, we can't go anywhere without being spotted and people congratulating us. Everyone wants to shake your hand. It's incredibly humbling.

"I don't class myself as a hero, we were all part of a team that included our other colleagues Chris, Mike and Dan who came straight over to help as soon as they realised what was going on. We all worked together to get the baby out."

Mr Bramall added: "We were just in the right place at the right time. Anyone would have done the same thing."

Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Beverley Baker said the men showed 'immense courage and bravery.'

"Being Mayor of Shrewsbury is a great privilege and I am so very proud of our Town Council Staff on a regular basis, we know we can rely on them and their response to this situation just proves this," she said.

"Andy, James and Mickey took quick effective action to ensure the safety of the baby. They knew how to act, they knew what to do, and they did it. They showed immense courage and bravery and I know I can speak for pretty much the whole town when I say how much we appreciate their swift response, without which this incident could have ended in tragedy."

Alan Mosley, Leader of the Council and ward member for Castlefields and Ditherington, also congratulated the heroes. He said: "The heroic actions of the group of Town Council staff is the talk of the neighbourhood, and the whole town. Shrewsbury and the Council can have great pride in having such people working for us."

Mr Williams said himself and his colleagues were now looking forward to returning to work and getting back to normality, but added they would be meeting with the baby's family later in the week.

"We're looking forward to meeting the family and seeing the little girl again," he said.

"People keep saying we deserve a reward but saving that baby's life is all the reward we need. We are just so pleased and relieved that this story has such a happy ending."

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