Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Service is more than just a job, it’s a way of life and I’d encourage anyone with the right drive, values, attitude and ambition to try and join

05-10-16 Pictured Firefighter Derek Roberts (Sonny) Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service - Photographer Alex Skennerton (Multimedia and Photography Officer Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service)

My name is Sonny and I have been a proud member of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service for 3 years now. My main interest outside of work is Karate; I have been doing this sport since the age of 9 and it has given me so many opportunities in life including enabling me to travel all over the world competing for my Country.

My biggest achievements in Karate have been winning the World Shotokan Championships, Senior Commonwealth, Nottinghamshire’s Amateur Sports Person of the year as well as winning the English Championships 7 times. Karate, more than anything, has developed me as a person. From a young age I have been training within a competitive environment and this has given me great drive in life to be the best person I can be. I feel this drive and ambition helped me massively when I was trying to apply for the Fire Service.

While I was in my final year of a Sports Science & Computing Degree at University I had decided like so many that the path I had chosen at 18 was no longer the path I wanted to take. I completed my degree successfully and then went out in to the world to find a living.

Success and self-worth have always been my aims in life and with these values I started thinking seriously about a job in the Fire and Rescue Service; a job that could give me the opportunity to change lives in a positive way.

So, I went about finding out what it would take to get this dream job. I contacted my local station to get a personal insight into the job but also to find out and learn from their experiences of the application process. By doing this I put myself in the best possible position to apply and I am happy to say I was successful.

Everything that I had decided years before on paper I wanted from a job, I am now living it! There are so many different aspects to being a Firefighter. The role goes way beyond just the rescues and putting out fires. Being a Firefighter and being privileged enough to wear the uniform gives you great responsibility as a positive role model within your community; from representing the service by giving fire safety advice at many of Nottinghamshire’s multicultural community events/ carnivals to taking active steps to promote LGBT rights and equality at Nottingham Pride. The community holds the Fire Service in the highest regard and it’s something I am very proud to be a part of.

The Service is more than just a job, it’s a way of life and I’d encourage anyone with the right drive, values, attitude and ambition to try and join.


Sonny Roberts, Firefighter, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service