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Meat the butcher who saves lives in Ipstones

March 5 2020

A butcher is always ready to help even when the steaks are high as part of his role as an on-call firefighter in Ipstones.

Being an on-call firefighter means you’re keeping people safe.

Firefighter Chris Gibson

Chris Gibson has been an on-call firefighter for Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service for four years and balances his role as a butcher at a butcher’s in the village whilst being on call over 90 hours a week.

The 23-year-old said: “Someone told me about on-call firefighters because they knew I was into sports and I’m quite athletic. Going from working in the butcher’s to fighting a fire is quite a drastic change but you get a real adrenaline rush when you get a call and have to go to the station.

“The minute I get to the station I start thinking about the incident we’re attending and the safety risks to look out for. You get a lot of new experience when you’re called and the people at the stations are great.

“At the end of the day, being an on-call firefighter means you’re keeping people safe.”

Living just a few doors up from Ipstones Fire Station, Chris explains how it’s ‘easy’ to strike a balance when being on-call.

He said: “I don’t find being on call difficult, it’s easy to work a balance out. I still get to do everything I want to do such as playing football on Sundays so I don’t see it as a problem.

“I still have plenty of time to do things I want. It’s a good source of income, you learn lots of new skills and the people you’re with are always really nice.”

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service is recruiting for on-call firefighters across the county. On-call firefighters provide emergency response cover from either their home or work base, which needs to be within five minutes of their local station. After the initial training course, on-call firefighters will attend weekly drill nights to ensure they maintain their skills, along with many more opportunities for training throughout the year.

Chris added: “I’d tell anyone interested to go for it. A lot of people seem to think becoming an on-call firefighter is a bit daunting because you have to  give up so much time but often you’re at home for a lot of that anyway. Come and join.”

Anyone looking to become an on-call firefighter must by over 18 and live within five minutes of their nearest station. For more information, visit: https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/careers/retained-on-call-firefighters/.