MEET the firefighters aiming for a Christmas number one.

The group, known as the ‘Fire Tones’, joined with stars from TV’s The X Factor and The Voice to record their version of Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas?” earlier this month.

The choir is made up of fire personnel from across the UK, including Cheshire’s Dan Selby, Emily Morris and Matt Lloyd.

“It started when we were in a bar in Welshpool around this time last year – the first song that came on was ‘Do They know It’s Christmas?” said organiser Chris Birdsell-Jones.

“As we sat there everyone in the bar was singing along or tapping the bar and it got me wondering if we could do something for charity.

“I said it out loud and everyone told me I was dreaming! But a couple of days later there was a film on called ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ and the song is on the soundtrack so I took it as a sign and got to work.”

With the necessary permissions in place the group set about widening their search for talent from within the fire service to contribute to the single.

Former winner of The Voice Stevie McCrorie agreed to take part along with Andy Quinn, the star of BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and a firefighter with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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They were also joined by The X Factor contestants Marc Higgins, from Southampton, and Richard Ryan, an on-call firefighter from Worcestershire.

An appeal also led to principle Anthony Greaves from BIMM Music College in Birmingham donating session time at their newly built recording studio and firefighters from across the country drove and flew in to record the vocals in a hectic 12-hour recording session, masterminded by producer Steve Osborne and expert vocal coach Louise Warren.

“We wanted to honour the spirit of the original recording so we wanted to get it all done in one day, just as they did with the original Live Aid single," added Chris.

“I must admit I was nervous on the day because you’ve put all this work in and you’re wondering things like ‘is that person going to turn up?’ and ‘is this actually going to work?’

“But on the day it was just incredible, they played it back to us in the studio and it was ‘Wow, this isn’t just a bit of fun, they can really sing.’”

With more than 40 fire service personnel involved, they had to move out of the studio and go on a stage to record the chorus parts, where BBC Wales filmed the final recording session.

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Proceeds from the song, which will be available both as a digital download on i-Tunes and Amazon and via CD, will be split between the Firefighter's Charity and Band Aid.

The group have had a rush order of CD's brought in from Austria in order that they can be distributed to High Street branches of HMV, while a production line was set up at the fire station to pack and seal the band's specially commissioned artwork into the sleeves.

"It's been like a military operation over the past few weeks," said Chris.

"The community spirit here has been massive. I've had people stopping me all the time asking when they can get the CD, even whether they can get it on vinyl!

"The main thing obviously has been to raise money for these two great charities but of course it would be sensational to do well in the charts.

"Everyone remembers a Christmas number one don't they and it would be mad for this little idea we had in Welshpool to end up as an answer on Trivial Pursuit or something."

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And Chris said the level of support he'd encountered in the local community had been unlike anything he'd experienced before.

"I'm not originally from Welshpool, I moved here when I met my wife Lucie, and I've always lived in cities until I came here.

"When you live in a city you're not really part of a community in the same way, you're sort of part of that suburb but it's not like that here - here it's a real community thing."

The single will be released on November 30, and is available for pre-order on