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On-call: FF Lisa Cropper

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A landmark birthday proved a catalyst for Lisa Cropper to sign up as an on-call firefighter.

Lisa cropper with hose reel sml dsc7116

"It was something that I had always wanted to do and when my 30th birthday came around I decided it was now or never," she said.

"When I was young, I always used to go to fire station open days and this seemed the ideal opportunity."

Lisa, a bakery manager with Lawrance's Quality Bakers in Pershore, joined the Service in April.

"I was surprised by the amount of training that I had to do," she said. "There was so much and it was so in-depth with learning about the core skills, road traffic collisions, hazardous materials and breathing apparatus. I had to take quite a bit of time off from my job to fit it all in.

"But the first call that I went on was especially memorable because I was able to put into practice so many of the things I'd learned in my training. It was at the local tip and it was great to use all of those skills so early on – I've not had a call quite like that since.

"I had to work hard to get my fitness levels up, too. I had to go to the gym for six months as I was simply not physically fit enough. But I lost three stone and I got through first time so it was worthwhile.

"But I still go to the gym every night, if I can, to keep my fitness levels topped up."

Lisa cropper by pump sml dsc7054

Lisa, who is one of the crew at Pershore Fire Station, relishes the challenge of balancing the needs of her working life with her role as an on-call firefighter.

"I'm not going to lie – it can be tough," she said. "I work all day and my on-call hours are at night so I can have an evening off. It's all quite flexible.

"I'd recommend being an on-call firefighter – it's all so friendly and you're giving something back to your community without necessarily realising you're doing so. It brings reassurance to people.

"I work in Pershore so I speak to a lot of people and they recognise me as being an on-call firefighter and it's a big topic of conversation."

"We're very proud of what Lisa is doing both in her work with us and as an on-call firefighter," said her manager at Lawrance's, Donald McLellan.

"She is a very courageous young woman.

"We are very impressed with what she is achieving and her role as a firefighter does not affect her job – she has it down to a tee."

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