From speed skater to firefighter

19/01/2021

Charlotte Upcott joined Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2020 with our newest batch of firefighters after retiring from being a professional athlete.

Before retiring, Charlotte was a British short track speed skater who competed at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The day she retired was the day NFRS opened their recruitment after many years of not recruiting for wholetime firefighters.

Charlotte said: “I was scouted for speed skating at such a young age, and from then it only took me two years to make a national team. I then moved to Nottingham to make something out of a great opportunity.

“I was an elite athlete for 13 years, so I wanted to do something that would most effectively utilise the skills gained from that and to continue to work in a team environment.

"Retiring from sport can be hard for any athlete as you can sometimes feel you are losing your identity, purpose and support system all at once. I felt very lucky to have the support from the service and my friends and family in pursuing my new career and passion.

“I am currently at Arnold Fire Station and so far, I have loved my experience. There is a strong team environment when on shift, and I have really gelled well with them. We rely on each other’s strengths during incidents which is supportive and gives me confidence.

“Both of my careers have the same values such as professionalism and one team which is really important to me. I love how being a firefighter gives me confidence to push my barriers and to be in an environment where everyone’s contributions are valued.”

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