Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


"Dyslexia didn't hold me back" Firefighter shares his story for Inclusion Week

A firefighter with dyslexia has shared his story as part of a national week celebrating inclusion. 

On-call Firefighter Bradley Valentine, from Great Baddow Fire Station, has been an on-call firefighter for a year and a half, balancing the role alongside his family life and a full time career with a removals company.

He always wanted to do the role after firefighters saved his life following a serious road traffic collision when he was 10-years-old but he was worried that his dyslexia would hold him back from being successful.

“It’s been the complete opposite,” says Bradley. “Dyslexia didn't hold me back and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been amazing. So many people and teams have helped me so much and were able to give me support for the written and practical assessments. 

“I would recommend the role to anyone. We are all unique, each bringing our own strengths, skills and experience. It’s such an incredible feeling knowing that you’ve saved a life and are helping people.

“If you’ve got the time and you want to give some time and give something back to the community, then apply. You can come in and have a look at the station to see what the role entails and go from there. No matter what your concerns are there will be someone to talk you through the process and support you.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is supporting National Inclusion Week (27 September – 3 October) which celebrates, shares and inspires inclusion in all its forms.

The Service will hold a range of events for its colleagues to mark the week as well as joining partners and other emergency services in external events. 

Nikki Hudson, Inclusion and Diversity Business Partner, said: “Inclusion and Diversity is something we live and breathe in our Service – many of our Service values are based around these themes and we make sure inclusion and diversity run through all our work and projects.”

To follow the story of National Inclusion Week follow #UnitedForInclusion on social media. 

Page last updated 27 September, 2021

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