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On-call: FF Gordon Adam

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

Ff gordon adam at fire station dsc7489

But the 43-year-old has been an on-call firefighter at Upton upon Severn since 2015 and is still relishing the role.

"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," he said.

"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 Gordon balancing his firefighter 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."

Gordon 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.

Ff gordan adam at work dsc7455

"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."

Gordon 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."

Permadoor is fully supportive of Gordon's role with the fire service.

"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 General Manager Mark White.

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