Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024
 8.7°C   ESE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Emergency services / Female firefighter recruitment event proves a success

Firefighters Amy Gerrard and Shetland group manager Matt Mason at Lerwick Fire Station on Friday. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

A RECENT recruitment event aiming at encouraging more women to apply to join the fire service in Shetland appears to be bearing fruit.

A total of 13 women attended an event at Lerwick Fire Station on Wednesday evening and the session has already resulted in a couple of folk applying to become a retained firefighter.

Shetland group manager Matt Mason said it is likely that more events will take place in the future due to its success.

The event was organised by Lerwick firefighter Amy Gerrard in response to a lack of women attending recent recruitment taster events, and it attracted people from all over the isles.

“This was the first session of its type and it won’t be the last, because it’s been so well attended,” Mason said.

The fire chief stressed that the event was not putting men who were considering joining the service at a disadvantage.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is an equal opportunities employer – we’re committed to that, but there has historically been issues around employing people from every walk of life,” he said.

“I think we’re not particularly representative nationally, so part of the work that Amy has done is try to adjust that imbalance.

“The session that she ran doesn’t give any female any leg-up. The best analogy we could get to was that we’re trying to get everybody to the start line, and the finish line is getting the job done. The best people will get the job. For some reason, we don’t appear to attract as many females as we’d like to the start line.”

At the moment there are 14 female firefighters in Shetland, but there are scores of vacancies at stations across the isles.

Gerrard said that if there is anyone considering joining the fire service, “they just need to go for it”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“They’ve got nothing to lose by applying,” she said.

“I think what they will realise is that they’ll probably be a lot better at the physical side than they maybe think they are. Once you pass the practical selection test, everyone does the same level. Females don’t get an easier shot at it.

“If they like a challenge, working as part of a team and giving something back to their community, they can apply via the myjobscotland website.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.