Firefighters hope single will climb festive chart

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Cookstown firefighter Patsy Begley is aiming for a Christmas number one after teaming up with fire service personnel across the UK to release a charity single.

Patsy, the assistant group commander, and Barrie Davis, station commander at Lisburn headquarters, joined 40 other colleagues including stars from TV’s The X Factor and The Voice to record their version of Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas?”

The group, known as ‘The Fire Tones’, released their single to raise money for the Firefighters Charity and the Band Aid Charity Trust.

As cousin to The Voice winner Andrea Begley, and nephew to the queen of country music Philomena Begley, music has always been part of Patsy’s life.

He was approached by Welshpool Firefighter and organiser, Chris Birdsell-Jones, who engineered the idea last December.

“The organisers got in touch with me about the project back in April and I was really keen to get involved for such a great cause.

“But I thought it would be a low key affair, I certainly didn’t fully realise the scale of the production and the talent that would be involved,” explains Patsy.

“The recording session was just incredible. We wanted to honour the spirit of the original recording and get it all done in one day, just as they did with the original Band Aid single.

“So we all drove or flew into Birmingham for a 12 hour recording session, where we worked with producer Steve Osborne, and expert vocal arranger Louise Warren.”

The odds of landing a Christmas number one are heating up with a host of star names involved including firefighter Andy Quinn of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, better known as the star of BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

The single is now on release and available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon music and can be purchased from Tesco, with proceeds going to the Firefighters Charity and the Band Aid Charity Trust.