Uroosa Arshid, a firefighter at West Bridgford Fire Station, has been named winner of the ‘Young Person Role Model Award’ in the Women in the Fire Service Awards 2022.
Uroosa, who joined Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2019 as an apprentice firefighter, also became the first hijab-wearing firefighter in the UK.
The ‘Young Person Role Model Award’ category recognises individuals who demonstrate being excellent role models. Who have engaged in, and inspired conversations, actions and outcomes around equality and diversity issues and actively embody the motto “if you can see it, you can be it”.
Damien West, Uroosa’s nominator described her as having overcome many barriers and challenges to achieve her lifelong ambition of being a firefighter.
As the first hijab-wearing firefighter in the UK, he revealed how Uroosa sharing her story with the world led to her becoming a role-model to many people because of her passion, enthusiasm and determination to succeed.
Damien told the panel how Uroosa’s story had received coverage around the world and had inspired many young people to chase their dreams, many of whom wrote to her to thank her for sharing her story.
The award submission explained how Uroosa was a role model in so many ways and to so many people. How determined she was to show young people that they could succeed at whatever they put their minds to. And how Uroosa was passionate about ensuring young people could see a young role model, who looked and sounded like them, working in the fire service.
Craig Parkin, Chief Fire Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It is great news that Uroosa has been named winner of the Young Person Role Model award.
“Uroosa is a fantastic firefighter and being able to tell her story has now given young people around the world hope that they can achieve their dreams of becoming a firefighter, no matter who they are.
“On behalf of everyone at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, we want to congratulate Uroosa on this amazing award.”
Speaking on the notification of the award, Uroosa said:
“It is such an honour to have been nominated and to have won this award. It is an overwhelming feeling because it is not something I set out to do, I just wanted to achieve my dream of becoming a firefighter.
“However, my story has helped inspire other people, which is something I am extremely proud of.
“Thank you to my family and colleagues, as this wouldn’t have been possible without their ongoing support.”