Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Firefighters support One Lad's Challenge

Firefighters have helped an autistic boy get one step closer to completing a challenge to visit every fire station in the country.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service crews from Dunmow, Epping, Harlow, Leaden Roding, Loughton, Old Harlow, Newport, Ongar, Saffron Walden, Stansted, Thaxted and Waltham Abbey welcomed fire engine enthusiast, Andrew Dane, on Saturday, June 11.

Andrew, aged 10, started ‘One Lad’s Challenge’ in 2014 with a mission of visiting 2,100 fire stations across the UK.

So far the youngster, from Hampshire, has visited over 750 fire stations – a whopping 41 stations a month.

Assistant Divisional Officer Kevin Haywood said: “ECFRS is always happy to welcome young people in our community into our fire stations.

“Our firefighters are approachable, friendly and community people, and they were more than happy to help Andrew towards achieving his goal. We wish him every success throughout his challenge.”

Andrew’s proud mother, Kirstine Impey, said: “Two years ago, Andrew was unable to read and write, had hardly any social skills and refused to talk to people he didn't know.

“The challenge has really helped with his development because it has boosted his confidence and now is a happy boy with a very bright future.

“I would like to thank all the Essex firefighters who greeted Andrew and made him feel welcome as they showed him around their station.”

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