Station Commander Farsh Raoufi

When Farsh arrived in the UK as a young adult and unable to speak a word of English, joining the fire service was not the first thing on his mind.

He explains: "I went to school and college to get myself educated and then I started working in the fitness industry as an instructor at a leisure centre and coaching different sports.

"I wanted a new challenge so I looked toward the fire service. I like the ethos, working in a team and the fact that there's a single aim that everyone is working toward."

Farsh didn't get accepted into the fire service the first time he applied but was successful second time around.
He says: "It was everything I thought it was at the time. Firefighters were great people to be working with and I had a fantastic time every day and I looked forward to work. Every day was different and I learned new skills. It was all about helping people and solving problems."

He continues: "Since joining the fire service I've met many different people and communities, in different locations, and from different backgrounds.

"It's the people that matter as they're at the centre of everything we do, whether they're in a situation where their life needs saving or helping them to prevent fires, we have to realise how important communication with the public is.

"When we're at an incident, the job is not just about putting the flames out. It's about making the victim safe and comfortable during a distressing time and then helping them to rebuild their life and prevent fires in the future."

Farsh explains that he lost his way at one point during his career and became blinkered. It was then that he got a posting in training centre, which he said gave him focus and direction with the opportunity to solve lots of problems.

"There are a world of opportunities in the fire service and they are only limited by our own thoughts and actions. I've worked here almost 25 years and I can honestly say I've only ever had a handful of bad days at work.

"The opportunities are there to put out fires, work in the community, be an instructor, lead, help people - it's all there in front of you. You can work in different departments and the opportunities are endless. You can learn and lead at the same time.

Whatever your background or talents, we can accommodate and enhance it by working in different ways; the support at the fire service is like no other."