Firefighter Chrissie Fisher

From the second she experienced being a teenage fire cadet in neighbouring Hertfordshire, Chrissie knew she wanted to be a firefighter.

"It was the idea of going to work to be part of a team and helping people when they need you the most that drew me to the job," she says.

At the age of just 19 she was accepted into Cambridgeshire. Chrissie explains: "I'd done a BTEC in public services and spent a bit of time as a lifeguard and gym instructor - I was very lucky to get in so young.

"I was scared the first few weeks of training but I had a lot of support from my family and the people I trained with were lovely.

"When you're in those initial stages, everyone feels out of their depth and you don't know what to expect but everyone helps each other along. You have to prove yourself as well. They will test you but you have the chance to push yourself and sometimes you're surprised by what you're capable of."

Joining at such a young age, Chrissie explains that she knew she was not at the peak of her physical fitness, but she did not let this stop her.

She comments: "I did a lot of weight and fitness training but you just keep doing stuff over and over again and you get used to it.

"Nowadays, I find lifting the weights a lot easier as I'm a bit older. As a woman it's always the strength element you struggle with but if you train hard then you can overcome it."

At a little over 5ft 3in and with a petit build, Chrissie stands just as proudly tall next to her counterparts on the watch because, as she says, everyone has a part to play in a team.

"I'm the one who is usually left with the casualty chatting because I can talk to anyone, which can really help when you're trying to calm someone down in a stressful situation," she explains. "I'm always used for confined spaces because, being smallest on the watch, it just makes sense. I can get into a house through a window if an alarm is going off, or at a collision when a car has been badly smashed up, I can squeeze in if it's safe to do so. To be able to get in and help someone in that situation can be really important.

"I'm good at working at height as well so I tend to take a bit more of a role in those situations. I've got a good understanding of it and I really enjoy it."

Chrissie says meeting new people every day and being able to help them is the part of her job she enjoys the most. "Also working with such a nice bunch of people - it's the teamwork and camaraderie that comes with it," she adds.

"I've grown up a lot since I've been here. Going out to jobs that aren't necessarily the nicest in the world, like fatalities, changes you and makes you grow up a bit quicker.

"I've also had to deliver talks at schools and in front of groups of people, which I don't think any young person is particularly confident at. It's a good challenge. Standing up in front of group of strangers and being able to talk about the job and portray yourself as a professional people is something that does come with a bit of time but that I've become much more confident at."

Chrissie's final words to anyone thinking about being a firefighter are to not let anything hold you back and give it go. She concludes: "Anybody can be a firefighter. Anyone can go out there and give it a go. It does take an awful lot of determination and work to get there, but if you don't try then you won't know."