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Gloucestershire Business News

From food to fire - local men keeping the Cotswolds safe

It's tough enough to do one job for a living, but at a Chipping Campden based food research company, one member of staff has taken things a step further.

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

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

Richard is a marketing executive at Campden BRI and joined GFRS after noticing a sign on the way to work. 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 also works for Campden BRI as a packaging technologist, joined the service three years ago and is now a fully competent firefighter.

He 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.

The service also carries out community engagement events and offers 'Safe and Well' visits to help local residents protect their home from fire hazards.

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."

Picture caption: Craig Ballard, left, and Richard Powell.

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