Watch Commander Stocker Standen

"Being a firefighter is every little boy's dream. It's the admiration and inspiration that comes with the big red fire engine that I think makes it attractive to you when you're a young kid."

After joining the fire cadet scheme as a teenager Stocker applied to eight fire and rescue services as soon as he was old enough and was accepted to join London's brigade after a brief spell working in the construction industry. Three years into his career he transferred to Cambridgeshire to return home.

He says: "I'm a practical person and I've always enjoyed doing practical things.

"I see the simplicity in situations and try not to get bogged down with overcomplicating problems and I think that's one of my strengths."

Stocker was recruited as a watch commander at training centre - somewhere he really enjoys working. He comments: "I really enjoy training others. I'm able to convey things in a practical, logical way with experiences to support the learning, and because a majority of our staff are practical learners, it's easy to relate to them."

Stocker is dyslexic and was officially diagnosed while working at the fire service. He explains: "I spent my whole school career being put in special needs classes and it was never acted upon until I came to training centre and spent more time on a computer and writing policies.

"My diagnosis was confirmed and it was great to be honest because I didn't have to worry anymore. It forced me to understand why things didn't always work in the right way to me but enabled me to figure out with my colleagues how to make things work best for me.

"My coping mechanism is not to worry - it is what it is, you take the rough with the smooth, and I've managed perfectly fine being in the fire service with dyslexia."

Stocker, a father-of-two, explained one of the most important things to him is making sure he enjoys his work and maintains a good work/life balance. "The favourite bit of my job is making people more confident in their job and more effective. Some people think that when you're in training centre, you're not on the frontline. I think it's the opposite. When in training centre you're delivering good working practice to every frontline firefighter and making them better at their job which hopefully will have a positive impact on the people we help in the community. The impact is in fact, really big," he says.

If you are thinking about whether you'll fit in at the fire service, Stocker's concluding remark is to go for it: "Different people will see things in different ways and respond in different ways. Nobody's perfect but you learn and develop together. If you're determined enough then there's no reason why you shouldn't apply."