Street Pastors 'have reduced river deaths'
Street Pastors have been praised by the fire service for their "immense" contribution in reducing river deaths in Shrewsbury.
The volunteers patrol streets at night, helping "vulnerable" people who may be about to take their own lives.
Since they began work in November 2011, no deaths have been recorded along the Shrewsbury stretch of the River Severn.
From 2004 until the volunteers began their patrols in 2011, 29 deaths were recorded on the river.'Reduce river deaths'
Shropshire fire chief John Redmond praised their work, in the same week as the volunteers began a training course on water safety.
Mr Redmond said the street pastors were now receiving training to help people struggling in the water.
He said: "Our firefighters are pleased to help improve their water safety skills.
"The contribution from street pastors to community safety has been immense."
Ian Horne, Street Pastor Coordinator, said: "We were set up because we wanted to help reduce the number of river deaths in the town centre by identifying vulnerable people walking on their own.
The street pastors are now recruiting volunteers to help run a friends group, which will launch in November.