WITH three young children and a busy job as purchaser for long-established Upton firm Permadoor, Gordon Adam would already appear to have plenty on his plate.

But the 43-year-old has been a firefighter at the town's station since 2015 and is still relishing the role.

He is one of the on-call firefighters - men and women aged 18 or over who live or work within five minutes of the fire station, and who can commit to being on-call for at least 40 hours each week. They form more than 60 per cent of Hereford and Worcester's firefighters.

Mr Adam said: "I saw it as a way of giving something back to the community, as a means of developing my skill set and adding some new strings to my bow.”

“And, although I didn’t know it when I signed up, of course, to be part of what is a great team here in Upton.

“Permadoor is based just 150 yards from the fire station in Upton so I had to drive by it every day and that sowed the seed for me.

"I’d always wanted to be a firefighter but not been in a position to do it until then. We all have limitations at times on what we can do.”

With children aged 11, seven and five, there are challenges for Mr Adam balancing his role with home life and work.

“It can be difficult when training cuts into the weekend and I have to leave my family,” he said. “It’s not always ideal but that’s what we sign up for.

“The only time I had any difficulty at work was when we had five animal rescues in the space of a week and they all took four or five hours each.

“My boss was off at the time, too, but we had a talk about it and came to an arrangement.”

Mr Adam said that there is no way of predicting how often he might be called out - he can be called out up to eight times in a week but then there can be nothing for weeks.

“By the middle of February we had been called out just four times this year,” he said. “It was a quiet start to the year.

“I was surprised by how few calls we do get – but everyone is much more safety conscious than they used to be and that’s a good thing.

“A call I remember particularly well is the first time I went to a fire on the Malvern Hills – the hills were alight, there were a lot of people there and a lot of smoke and I well recall the sheer level of exhaustion afterwards.”

He has no problem with meeting the fitness requirements of his firefighter role.

“I used to go running but now I do high-intensity interval training, followed by low-intensity training,” he said. “I also do parcour and trampolining with my son.

“I can fully recommend being an on-call firefighter,” he added. “You get a sense of providing something for the community, there is plenty of job satisfaction from seeing a job well done and then there is the variety of the role with the sheer number of different things we are asked to do.”

His employer is fully supportive of Gordon’s role.

“We are all extremely proud that Gordon isn’t just a highly valued part of our business but an integral part of the local fire team, too,” said Permadoor general manager Mark White.

To learn more about becoming an on-call firefighter, visit hwfire.org.uk/on-call.