TWO Evesham locals have taken on the challenging task of being a firefighter in their spare time.

Richard Powell has joined Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) as a retained firefighter.

He joins fellow colleague and Evesham resident, Craig Ballard, and nine other local retained crew members to serve Chipping Campden and the surrounding area.

Mr Powell, who is originally from Evesham, joined GFRS after noticing a sign on the way to work at local food research company Campden BRI, where he works as a marketing executive.

He has completed his basic training and was officially accepted into the service during his passing out parade.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to give something back to the community and this role gave me the perfect opportunity. My two jobs are very different and complement one another very well. It definitely keeps me on my toes."

Craig Ballard, who lives in Evesham, also works for Campden BRI as a packaging technologist.

He joined the service three years ago and is now a fully competent firefighter.

Mr Ballard said: “You always feel a sense of excitement when you get a call and then drop what you’re doing and rush to the station. No two jobs are ever the same”.

Martin Hall, the director responsible for health and safety at the company, said “We’re delighted to have two members of staff involved in looking out for the safety of the local community. I’m sure we will also benefit from their added safety awareness.”

Chipping Campden community fire station, located at Catbrook, has a single fire engine equipped to handle fires, road traffic collisions and other rescue situations.

It also has a breathing apparatus support vehicle to provide logistical support for jobs requiring a large number of breathing apparatus wearers and a co-responding vehicle responding to medical emergencies.

Neil Anderson, watch manager at Chipping Campden community fire station, said: “We’re proud to have Richard and Craig as part of the team as we build on our resources to provide round the clock support”.