Dawn Wright, Firefighter

"I’ll never forget the feeling of pride" - How being a mum and firefighter go hand in hand

By Dawn Wright, Firefighter

When I joined Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) in March 2004 I was a mum to a 10-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

Although I knew it was the career for me, I was concerned about how it would impact my childcare arrangements, particularly during the initial training school.

The first few weeks of any firefighter’s career are always really full on as you immerse yourself in training school, getting to know your new colleagues, and learning as much as you can, as quickly as possible.

Finding time to study in the evenings was difficult initially but I soon got into a routine and having family around to provide additional support was invaluable.

I’ll never forget the feeling of pride I had standing in front of my son and daughter at my pass out parade. My youngest daughter tells everyone that her mum is a firefighter and I love that I inspire her to believe it’s a job she can do when she’s older.

Once I’d graduated from training school and got out on station I was able to plan my family life fairly well.

Shift patterns mean you can plan your work and childcare well in advance and having four days off after two day and two night shifts mean I also get time to myself when the kids are at school.

I’ve been in the fire service for nearly 15 years and during that time have formed bonds with colleagues that will stay with me for life. When you’re a firefighter, your colleagues become part of your extended family and people you know you can rely on. 

If you’re a woman and are considering a career as a firefighter, please don’t be put off by the stereotypes you may have seen in the past. It’s a fantastic job for men and women and provides a great opportunity for you to really make a difference in your community.

If you enjoy a challenge and are looking for a job with variety but that can also fit around your home and family commitments then this is the job for you!

You can hear more of Dawn's story here.