Firefighter Duncan Gilby

Fire Fighting.

Duncan, 54, relocated to the area in 2017 from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and 12 months later joined Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

The well-travelled and keen scuba diver runs a campsite with his partner and also has his own joinery business alongside two or so call-outs a week on average with his Whitchurch colleagues.

Duncan said: “I moved to the area from the south-east and being a firefighter was always something I’d fancied.

“I saw a sign outside the station looking for on-call firefighters and thought it would be nice to be part of a community and give something back.

“I’ve found it to be very rewarding, such that I would recommend it to anyone because I enjoy it so much.

“There’s a good bunch at the station and everyone gets on so well.”

But it has been a learning curve at times for Duncan who also balances the on-call job with visits to Hertfordshire to work with long-standing customers in his joinery business.

He said: “I had not realised how much you have to learn. It’s clear to me now why that is.

“The intense training course beforehand was the hardest thing I have ever done and it tested my fitness to the limit. I was thinking I should have done it 25 years earlier.

“I didn’t think I was unfit but realised you could always be fitter. I got through it though and it helps that I’m always on the go in my day job.”

It was also an eye-opening start for Duncan when he responded to his first serious road traffic collision.

He added: “I’d only been there for a month or two. It was a nasty incident and it is one that will always stick with me.”

To learn more about becoming an on-call firefighter: