A FITNESS studio owner is urging others to follow his lead - and become a local on-call firefighter.

Callum White, who runs Power Health & Fitness in Menston, had been thinking about getting involved in the fire service for some time.

He finally took the plunge last year when he joined the team at Otley Fire Station, and he hasn’t regretted a moment.

The 28 year old said: “I started my training in the Spring of 2018. I’d always been interested in the fire service and heard about this through a friend, and it seemed like a great way to get involved.

“I learnt all the key skills during a training course with the service, and then joined the team at Otley to complete my development.

“This means I can run my own business and be a firefighter as well, which is the best of both worlds!

“I’m really enjoying it, being self-employed means I’m in charge of my own hours: but I’m generally on call overnight and on weekends anyway so it doesn’t really affect my work-life balance.

“It’s really exciting being an on-call firefighter; you never know when the next call might come through and you just snap into action.”

The role involves providing evening, daytime and weekend cover and relies on on-call firefighters being paged when needed.

They then travel to their local station, which they must be able to reach within five minutes, to board a fire engine and head off to the incident concerned.

Mr White says the work has been really rewarding and sparked some lively discussions with clients.

He said: “I take a real pride in being an on call firefighter and when my personal training clients find out they’re always really interested - it’s seen as a well-respected job within the local community.

“My mum and dad were so proud when they found out and my girlfriend has been so supportive too. She’s a mental health nurse so understands that if I do get called up it’s all about helping people.

“My friends have also been great and are always wanting to hear what jobs I’ve been out on.

“It’s about being able to protect my own community and, being a local business owner myself, it feels good knowing that it’s well looked after. Anyone thinking about doing it I would say 100 per cent go for it. It doesn’t take as much time as you might think and you learn tons of new skills, some of which transfer into everyday life.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently seeking to recruit more on-call firefighters at a number of local stations including Otley and Ilkley.

To find out more visit www.joinwyfirefighters.com or www.facebook.com/WYFRSOtley/ .