UK's first hijab-wearing firefighter hopes to empower others to follow their dreams

Monifa Bobb-Simon reports on the woman who is breaking barriers in the fire and rescue service

A 27-year-old woman who is thought to be the UK’s first hijab-wearing firefighter says she hopes others will follow in her footsteps.

Uroosa Arshid, from Aspley in Nottingham, says she hopes to inspire others to reach for their goals.

"It's one person that they can just look up to and say 'ok they've done it, so can I'," she says.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have supported Ms Arshid by providing a special hijab to wear underneath her oxygen mask.

The fire service hopes other young Muslim women may feel inspired to follow in her footsteps.

'It's not just about hijab but any barrier...we can get past those things and keep moving forward'.

Ms Arshid urges others who feel they may have barriers to have open conversations about it.

She said: "It shows that not just about hijab but any barrier that people may think that they have in front of them, if you work together and have conversations about it openly we can get past those things and keep moving forward and keep becoming more diverse."

What started out as a childhood dream for her has now become her reality.

She said: "I was still in school and I remember three firefighters coming to our class and doing a bit of a safety talk."

"And I just thought these guys are incredible."

'I really want to do what they are doing and be able to help people'

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has said her influence has helped to challenge stereotypes.

 Officer Ashley Fullard said: "I think the role model of a fire fighter typically has always been white, male, strong, big powerful men.

"It's not like that at all today, not at all, and Uroosa has demonstrated that perfectly."

"I think a woman of faith shows that this job, this door is open to people of all backgrounds and all faiths."