Nicole is Ferry firefighter

071111 Nicola Hinks at south queensferry fire station.
071111 Nicola Hinks at south queensferry fire station.
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Queensferry is to get its first woman firefighter in over 70 years.

The last time women were deployed to fight fires in the area was during the Second World War.

But this week, 23-year-old Nicola Hinks joined the ranks of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service after graduating from Scottish Fire Service College in Gullane as a retained firefighter. She was the only female to graduate from 53 candidates at their most recent passing out parade.

She said: “It was fantastic, physically hard, but great fun and I was treated as just being one of the lads!”

Nicola, who has an honours degree in Forensic Biology, decided to take on the role and follow in the footsteps of her father Ernie, also a retained firefighter in Queensferry.

She added: “With my father being a firefighter, it was always something that I wanted to do. It will be great working alongside my dad but I think it will be weird for him to see his daughter assisting him to put out fires.”

Nicola, who currently works in the local Scotmid store on The Loan, said her employers were happy to allow her time off to do her firefighting work whenever duty calls.

Ideally she wants to become a full-time firefighter and get involved in fire investigation.

Also graduating from the fire training college last week was local man Paul Gray, who is also chairman of the Rosebery Hall Community Education Centre management group.

The latest graduates now takes the number of retained firefighters, covering the local area 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to 12.

Pictured are Nicola and colleague Paul Gray, two new recruits.

Picture by Gordon McBrearty L114502