James Bull

James Bull

James Bull is a UK Fire & Rescue Service Commander and mental health advocate and speaker, as well as a voluntary bereavement advisor and charity ambassador.

James Bull has served in the UK Fire & Rescue Service for over 23 years and has witnessed the worst of tragedies in this time. In 2006, James had a breakdown, experiencing PTSD, anxiety, paranoia and depression. At the time he did not feel he could seek help or talk about his mental health as this was considered a taboo so he kept the demons within.

In 2017, he became a father and this was a catalyst for change. James decided to not only seek counselling but also to share his story, recognising that suicide is most prevalent in men under 45 with a greater number among those working in the emergency services.

No stranger to endurance challenges in the past, James Bull then decided to compete in the Marathon des Sables, a 250km mega marathon, raising funds and awareness for The Fire Fighters Charity.

The challenge was filmed and made into a documentary called Feel the Burn, telling James’ story and battle with PTSD and anxiety, as well as showing the amazing achievement of completing what is considered the most difficult race on Earth.

James Bull has continued to speak up and raise awareness of mental health challenges, helping others to do the same.

He has been widely interviewed in the media, on podcasts and is a powerful keynote speaker on mental health, suicide, anxiety, PTSD, mindset and resilience.

Contact Great British Speakers today to book Fire Service Commander, mental health advocate and speaker James Bull for your next event.

Type Of Speaker


Thank you – that was a fantastic webinar with some amazing tips and insights.
Gareth Dace, Careers Hub Strategic Lead, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

You were brilliant and inspirational James Bull. No other word for it. Stunning video and live presentation from colleagues on lived experiences of trauma, pain, and burnout. Colleagues sharing great vulnerability, great strength, and huge generosity in sharing with us. Thank you for a moving and really quite beautiful event. I was moved to tears several times. There is huge scientific evidence like that which you have just shown reduces barriers to seeking help and reduces stigma. As with everything there is more to do, but today will have had more impact than you can imagine.
Jim McManus, Director of Public Health Wales

Great performance Firefighter James Bull. An inspiration.
Councillor Terry Hone, Chairman Development Control Committee, HCC

Thank you for speaking at the Druid Challenge. Your speech was inspirational and emotional, with some fantastic messages about mental health shared through your personal journey. I know our audience really valued your insight and experience from your ultra running adventures which I am sure will help them succeed in the Marathon Des Sables or whatever other big challenge they have coming up. I’d be happy to recommend you as a speaker to any corporates or organisation that are looking for someone to inform and inspire them. Thanks again and hope to see you running again soon.
Neil Thubron, Executive Coach – Director XNRG events

You are an inspiration James Bull. Being vulnerable is STRENGTH, it takes real COURAGE! Thank you for being open and honest, it is the only way to be. Amazing video (documentary trailer).
Keith Winestein, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities and strength. An extreme environment to help build your resistance. Our connection, or lack of, to the environment, is part of the intersection of so many things, including mental health. Thank you for this moment”.

Jay Wood, HR leader & Director of People – Thoughtexchange

Thanks again for being part of the Speakers Collective virtual summit today. Jo and I just wanted to say a massive thank you again for your time this afternoon. It was such a great event, and I will be sharing your talk with other members of the collective who weren’t able to attend.
Jon Salmon & Jo Emmerson, Founders of The Speakers Collective

All the boys’ feedback has been extremely positive and you gave them a lot to think about, not just with your job but the huge important of a plan B and resilience and adaptability. The fact that you were an HBS pupil, played rugby here would help a lot of our boys connect with your experience and really get them thinking about life beyond the school gates. If you are amenable, we would really love for you to come back again to deliver an assembly to more year groups. With your experience of training new recruits, could we possibly explore the idea of a physical workshop afterwards.
Ms.K.Bahnsen , Pastoral Support, HBS school

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