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Youngest ever Derbyshire Firefighter passes LGV test and joins her firefighting dad to make Derbyshire Safer Together

Zoe Mears, one of the latest Firefighters to complete her training to become a wholetime Firefighter, has become the youngest person at Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service to pass her LGV licence which allows her to drive fire engines.

At 20 years and 3 months, Zoe will proudly join her father in another first for Derbyshire; the first serving father and daughter Firefighters to be operational within the Service at the same time.

Zoe grew up surrounded by talk and knowledge of the fire service, as her Dad, Rob Mears has been part of the Service since 1998; but, hadn’t considered she could have a career as a Firefighter until a trip to attend the Service’s Annual Awards Ceremony in 2018. At the ceremony Zoe’s father, Rob, was presented with his 20 Year Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct, and Zoe became inspired by the sense of belonging and team spirit that the awards ceremony demonstrated.

Commenting on why she joined the Service Zoe said: “My dad has been a Firefighter for as long as I can remember, and he is a massive inspiration to me. I'm a really caring person and have always wanted to help people, and be in a career I was proud of, where I could give something back to the community whilst still getting a buzz from doing it!

“Becoming a Firefighter ticked all of those boxes for me.”

Zoe’s father, Watch Manager Rob Mears, said: “I’m immensely proud of how Zoe has worked hard for a number of years for this opportunity and I’m confident that she will continue throughout her career with the same commitment and enthusiasm.

“To see your child achieve their dreams is something that every parent hopes for so it’s incredibly satisfying that Zoe is now on her journey as a Firefighter.

“I have always encouraged Zoe to believe in herself and her own abilities and that if you try hard enough and don’t give up, you can achieve your goals in life.”

Tomorrow, 12 February, Zoe will Pass-Out and embark on a career as a Firefighter in development, she will then complete her ‘Emergency Response Driving’ course so she can drive on blue lights.

Zoe will initially be based at Ascot Drive Fire Station, and joins 56 other inspirational female firefighters across the Service, as a true role model.

You can find more about a career as a Firefighter at on the DFRS website, where you can also read our latest trainee stories.