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On-call: FF Claire Chance

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Claire Chance fulfilled a childhood dream when she became the third generation of her family to join the Fire Service.

The 32-year-old followed father Brian and uncle John among others in starting as an On-call Firefighter at Ewyas Harold Fire Station last August.

Self-employed beauty therapist Claire juggles three jobs and being a single mother to three-year-old Poppy.

It means Brian, who spent 39 years with the Service, has gone from racing to the fire station at every call-out to being first-choice grandad day care. 

Claire said: “I couldn’t be an on-call firefighter without my family’s support.

“I’m really lucky to have such support, particularly from my dad who is my number one child care when I have a fire call.

“I don’t do nights unless my daughter is staying with her dad.

“It was literally my childhood dream to join as most of my family have been in the Service.

“At one stage Ewyas Harold Fire Station was run by my dad and his brothers.

“I just wanted to get to a point where I felt I had enough life experience to go for it.

“I saw the excitement of the blue lights at the end of the road when I was young but also the impact the job could have on my dad.”

Her manager’s support at Claire’s third job at the village post office has also been crucial.

Claire, whose cousin Dan is in training to join her on-call (both pictured above), continued: “When I’m on my shift there is always an additional member of staff there to cover me should I be called out.”

Claire recalls her first significant call-out as being the most memorable, helping free a young woman trapped in a car after a road accident.

She said of being an on-call firefighter: “It is the best thing I have ever done other than having my daughter. It’s the most rewarding job and I had the time of my life training up. It was so character-building.

“The Service has been so accommodating and understands that first and foremost I am a mum. They have been so understanding and amazing.

“I’m lucky as I’m quite a sporty person anyway. I enjoy running and walking.

“In the selection process I had one-to-ones with Watch Commander Mark Andrews who taught me about everything I should expect and what I needed to work on.”

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