Footballing firefighter is in a league of her own

Firefighter Megan Beer of Red Watch at Newcastle Central Community Fire Station.

A female footballer who has been catching the eye with her performances for Sunderland AFC Women is not just a hero on the pitch – as she also saves lives in her career as a firefighter.

Fearless Megan Beer has been working as a firefighter for two years and responds to emergencies across Newcastle in her role with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).

The 30-year-old serves on Red Watch at Newcastle Central Community Fire Station after passing the gruelling 12-week firefighter training course back in 2021.

And now it has emerged that Megan not only inspires young girls across the region by breaking the mould of a firefighter – she stars on the pitch for Sunderland AFC’s Women too.

She has starred for the team since joining in 2012 and played a key role in their promotion to the Women’s Super League in 2014.

But despite the accolades she has received for her performances on the pitch – Megan says she wanted to be a firefighter as a young girl.

“I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter even from a young age, and when the opportunity arose for me to pursue both of my passions side-by-side it was a dream come true,” said Megan.

“I got goose bumps the first time I was inside the fire appliance travelling through Newcastle city centre at night with the blue lights flashing on the way towards a real-life incident.

“The adrenalin pumps through your body on the way to a job.  As it’s a dream come true helping to serve the people of my home town in the place I grew up.”

She added: “All of the different watches get on really well together.  There is a great camaraderie amongst the firefighters which makes the job extra special.  I love it!

“I get along with every single person, and I also learn from each and every one of them as well. I think that is one of the most important things for me.

“When we are on shift it’s like a family. It’s a lot like playing football with the sense of closeness and aspects of teamwork, and where we’ve always got each other’s backs.”

Megan lives in the rural village of Crawcrook and is the first firefighter in her family, with her two older brothers, Chris and Jack, both working as electricians.

Firefighter Megan Beer pictured playing for Sunderland A.F.C Women (credit SAFC)

Megan, a traditional right back, has played football since the age of six and worked her way up the age groups at Newcastle United’s academy.

She left to join rivals Sunderland A.F.C Women in 2012 who currently play in the Women’s Championship League [Megan’s squad number is 19].

Before joining Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Megan had worked as a personal trainer, an administrator in a law firm, car salesperson and as a football coach at Gateshead College.

Megan recalls a conversation with her dad saying that she wanted to join the Fire Service, to which he replied, “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

This inspired her to apply for the next available round of recruitment where she ‘threw her hat in to the ring’.

As a woman, Megan has helped break the out-dated stereotype of what a firefighter has looked like but says her gender has never been an issue on station.

She said: “It doesn’t feel like that to me. We’ve recently had a female Crew Manager join the watch (Jenni) which is great. I’ve only ever been treated as a firefighter.  It’s never felt like the lads and then me.

“My key aspirations for my career in the Fire Service is to enjoy every day, continue to learn, and to continue to help the local community as I grow as a firefighter. As for football, the aim is to play for as long as I can at the highest level possible.

“Both careers work hand-in-hand, and both roles keep me quite fit as they are very physical jobs and hobbies to pursue.”

(Left to right) members of Red Watch – Firefighter Harry Hayward, Watch Manager Steven Walker, Firefighter Megan Beer, and Firefighter Bradley Clough.

Watch Manager Steven Walker, who oversees Megan’s team at TWFRS, said: “We are proud of Megan’s achievements within the Fire Service and in her sporting career as a footballer.

“Megan has developed in to an accomplished and dedicated firefighter who is a key player for our Red Watch team at Newcastle Central Community Fire Station.

“She has shown that devotion by successfully coming through the recruits’ course and finding her professional feet on station. We will continue to support Megan’s dual ambitions as a firefighter and a footballer.”

If you have any desire to follow in Megan Beer’s footsteps then why not keep an eye out on the recruitment pages of our website for any forthcoming campaigns.

You can also find out what happened when Megan was interviewed by former professional footballers Rosie and Mollie Kmita from the Women’s Championship Show, which is broadcast on Sky Sports Football channel.

The interview can be found by click the following link – you will need to scroll to 9-minutes into the show (also to view the interview you will need to sign up to the free FA Player service).