Aberdeen firefighter Hannah Smith believes she has the ‘best job in the world’ – now she is urging others to follow her on that rewarding career ladder with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).
Originally from Nairn, Hannah, 25, began her career as an on call firefighter at her hometown station and joined the ranks full time in April 2020, based at North Anderson Drive Community Fire Station in Aberdeen.
Hannah says she was motivated to pursue the role after being inspired by her Mum’s friend and says, since she became a wholetime firefighter, she has loved every minute of it.
Hannah said: “I always wanted to become a firefighter – in my opinion, it really is the best job in the world.
“My mum’s friend was a firefighter in Edinburgh and we’d often spend school holidays with her.
“I went along to the station with her and she introduced me to the role and from that point on, I fell in love with the job and lifestyle.
“She is my role model and her encouragement helped give me the confidence to go for it.
“It’s a very rewarding role – you can make such a positive difference to people’s lives and see the impact your actions have.
“For anyone who is even thinking about it, my message would be: go for it.”
A hugely driven individual, Hannah says her next career goal with the SFRS is to become a fully-fledged driver of appliances.
She added: “I’m currently on the driver pathway and my application for my provisional licence to drive is in. With wholetime firefighters, if you’ve got a licence and you’re comfortable with driving then they encourage you to go for it.
“So I’m really excited about driving appliances because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I started in 2016.
“I’ve been a wholetime firefighter for the past two years and I’ve absolutely loved it. It has just proved to me the ideal job that I dreamed about at primary school is absolutely right for me.”
SFRS wholetime crews in the North Service Delivery area are based at community fire stations in Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Peterhead, Elgin and Inverness.
Applicants for the wholetime role must be aged 18 years old or over, meet the required medical and physical fitness standards and be able to demonstrate valuable skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving in pressurised situations.
Hannah added: “You need strength to become a firefighter and that doesn’t just mean physical strength; it means being strong-minded.
“If you have the right mindset and a real enthusiasm for the job then you should back your instincts, apply and see where it takes you.
“In my opinion, if you are already weighing it up as a suitable job then you are already half way there.”
Area Commander Chay Ewing, Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, said: “We are actively inviting suitable candidates to join our ranks as a wholetime firefighter in the north of Scotland.
“Hannah’s journey is a perfect example that a job in the fire and rescue service is for everyone.
“We’re looking to recruit the right people to protect our communities and would encourage people to step forward and consider a rewarding and exciting career path.”
The North SDA covers the local authority areas of:
- City of Aberdeen
- Perth and Kinross
- Western Isles
The following fire stations are staffed by wholetime firefighters:
- ALTENS - Aberdeen City
- CENTRAL - Aberdeen City
- DYCE - Aberdeen City (wholetime/on call)
- NORTH ANDERSON DRIVE - Aberdeen City
- PETERHEAD - Aberdeenshire (wholetime/on call)
- ELGIN - Moray (wholetime/on call)
- PERTH - Perth & Kinross
- BLACKNESS - Dundee
- KINGSWAY EAST - Dundee
- MACALPINE - Dundee
- BALMOSSIE - Dundee (wholetime/on call)
- INVERNESS - Highland (wholetime/on call)