Bullseye! Firefighter 'Soots' qualifies for the PDC

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By Steven O'Neill

Firefighter Alan Soutar arms crossed

A firefighter from Arbroath has successfully qualified for the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)

Alan Soutar, who works as a firefighter with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is based at Dundee’s Kingsway East Fire Station.

However, when he isn’t protecting Scotland’s communities the 43-year-old is busy taking aim at a dartboard.

Ranked 79th in the world (March 21) he will travel to Germany at the end of this week to compete in the Super Series 3.

When comparing his full-time job with darts he said: “It’s a strange one but you wouldn’t think that being a firefighter would equip me with the type of skills you need while playing darts but it has.

“The main one is being able to block everything out when you have to maintain focus and do the job you are there to do.

“At a fire there is lots going on both inside and outside and there are points where you need to block it out, just the same as when I’m on a stage playing darts and I need that focus from the crowd noises.”

As a firefighter, Alan and the majority of his wholetime colleagues across Scotland work two 10-hour day shifts, two 14-hour night shifts followed by four days off.

After seven weeks of this cycle they have 18 days annual leave.

Alan thanked his colleagues and managers for their support in helping with shift swaps when important tournaments come around during his normal pattern.

He said: “The support I’ve had from the Service has been incredible really.

“We’ll regularly talk about it being one big family… but it really is – from gaffers to crews everyone has been right behind me and I really feel that support when I’m playing.

“There’s been quite a buzz, when I’m at incidents with other stations there’s always someone that comes up and says, ‘I saw you on the TV’ it’s a good feeling”.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are recruiting for firefighters across Scotland in Wholetime, Retained and Volunteer roles.

To find out more visit www.firescotland.gov.uk and click on the work with us section.

 

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