A Wiltshire firefighter is to attempt an astonishing test of his fitness – climbing the equivalent of Mount Snowdon every day for three consecutive days, with an 11-stone 'man' on his back.

A fireman’s lift has nothing on what Bradford-on-Avon firefighter James Compton will shoulder for a fundraising challenge later this month.

To support three charities that work with the emergency services, James will take on 20 hill climbs a day, for three days, while wearing fire kit and carrying a 70kg training dummy.

Each day’s efforts will be around 1,000m of ascent - the equivalent of climbing Mount Snowdon.

James, 32, who has been an on-call firefighter with the Wiltshire fire service for seven years, is already training hard and the challenge itself will be on March 25, 26 and 27, between 9am and 5pm each day.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Compton, 32, training for his epic challengeJames Compton, 32, training for his epic challenge

All of the money raised will be split between three emergency services charities – the Fire Fighters Charity, Police Care UK and the Ambulance Staff Charity.

James said: “These charities do amazing work supporting emergency services personnel, by providing help and support for illness, injury, mental health and financial hardship.

“Over the last two years, the pandemic has placed a huge amount of additional pressure on our emergency services, and this has resulted in a big increase in the number of blue light workers struggling with their mental health.

“The Fire Fighters Charity is essential to everyone within the fire and rescue service, but we share a site with the police at Bradford-on-Avon, and one of our firefighters has been driving for the ambulance service during the pandemic, so I’ve seen first-hand how difficult the last two years have been for everyone.”

As well as raising money, James is hoping to raise awareness of the mental health challenges faced by emergency services workers.

He said: “If this can play a small part in normalising discussions and sharing experiences about mental health, therefore helping people to realise they are not alone and leading them to seek out the help they need, it will all be worth it.”

Group manager Wayne Presley said: “James is taking on an epic challenge for very good causes, and I know his colleagues will be cheering him on. I’m always proud to see our firefighters take on these sorts of fundraisers, and I’m sure James will smash his target for the charities.”

Anyone wanting to make a donation to James’s fundraising efforts can do so at www.peoplesfundraising.com/fundraising/ffhillclimb