A Gambian dad travelled 4,000 miles to start a new life as a firefighter in the Scottish Capital.

Joseph Mendy, 41, left his job as a fitness instructor in his native country to kick-start a better life for his wife and three children in Scotland.

The proud firefighter was determined to study every aspect of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the hope he'd be accepted onto the training programme.

Loading article content

And he said the help and assistance from serving personnel supported him through the tough recruitment process.

Joseph, who is based at Sighthill fire station in Edinburgh, said all the hard work paid off as he has now landed his dream job.

The dad-of-three said: "I wasn't sure what to expect in the interview and I found it quite challenging.

"It was quite daunting being from another country and stepping straight into a whole different culture.

"But I knew a few people in the service who gave me advice and I studied hard to learn what the fire service is all about - because it isn't just about fires.

"We attend at a whole range of different types of emergency and we also carry out a lot of prevention work to help people stay safe, particularly the vulnerable and the elderly."

Joseph added: "It's the perfect job for me."

The firefighter left his homeland in 2005 with wife Tracey and sons Peter, Joshua and Adam and became a crew member four years later after holding down several different jobs.

Despite his busy role, Joseph enjoys a good work-life balance.

Joseph and his family live in Moffat, Dumfriesshire but he doesn't mind the commute as his 14-year-old son plays football in the city.

And his shift pattern also allows him to spend quality time with his wife and sons.

He added: "Working the shift system works great for us. We can spend quality time together and the holidays allow us to be flexible for school breaks."