A Colombian national achieves the dream of becoming a firefighter

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One of Scotland’s newest firefighters has told how he was inspired by the bravery of rescue teams after witnessing devastating earthquakes in South America.

Cesar Colorado successfully completed his firefighter training with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), following a gruelling 13-week training course.

He graduated at a ceremony in Motherwell Civic Centre on Friday, 18 August, alongside 44 new Wholetime Firefighters and three Operations Control Firefighters.

Cesar is now preparing to start his new role with Amber Watch at Peterhead Community Fire Station in Aberdeenshire.

Born and raised in Colombia, Cesar developed an early fascination with firefighting after witnessing the rescue teams at work during the devastating earthquake which shook his home country in 1999.

He said: “Becoming a firefighter has been a dream come true. It's an honour to be part of a team that works together to ensure the safety of others.”

Cesar originally moved to Spain and pursued an engineering career before transferring to Scotland in 2014. It was a journey that led him to Aberdeen, where he decided to apply for a firefighter role with the SFRS.

The path to becoming a firefighter was not without its challenges. Navigating a foreign land, adapting to a new language, and undergoing rigorous physical training. However, Cesar praised the support from his trainers and fellow graduates.

Looking back to where he started, Cesar said: “It’s an honour to graduate today. I’m proud of myself. And the job is going to be so rewarding.”

Joining Cesar at the graduation ceremony are Firefighter Control Steven Walker and Liam Urquhart, who graduated from the Control Trainee Course and will be stationed at Edinburgh’s Operations Control.

Liam added: “We look forward to learning and getting the job done over the next three years.”

Ross Haggart is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer. He said: “It's an honour to welcome these new firefighters into our family.

“Their unwavering dedication and commitment to the values of SFRS has been nothing short of inspiring. They are now set to integrate into their respective stations across the country and help protect Scotland’s communities.”

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