West Sussex Chief Fire Officer to lead on international programme with firefighters around the world

The appointment will see Sabrina Cohen-Hatton work with fire services across the world to share best practice and improve firefighter safety.


Release date: 26 May 2022

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s (WSFRS) Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, has been appointed as the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) International Lead.

The role with the NFCC, the representative body of chief fire officers of UK fire and rescue services, will be carried out alongside Sabrina’s position of Chief Fire Officer in West Sussex.

The appointment will see her work with fire services across the world to share best practice and improve firefighter safety to ensure fire services benefit from shared knowledge and the latest developments within the fire service sector.

Speaking of her recent appointment, Sabrina said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the NFCC International Lead and I am looking forward to embarking on this new journey and being able to share international best practice with colleagues around the world, as well as here in West Sussex.

“Over the last decade I have been researching decision-making psychology to help keep firefighters, and therefore the public, safer. Through this work I have had the privilege of sharing findings with others around the world and I have seen first-hand just how valuable the exchange of knowledge can be between fire service colleagues, both in terms of what we can share to help keep other firefighters safe, but also what we here in West Sussex can learn from other services.

“We already work very closely with all of our neighbouring services here in the UK to share best practice, but this position allows us to take that learning to a whole other level, and puts our fire and rescue service here in West Sussex in a fantastic position at the forefront of international best practice.

“I feel it’s really important that we learn from other people’s experiences in order to adopt new best practices, and this is something I am incredibly passionate about.”

The role will also support when aid is needed from fire services in other countries, such as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

In March the NFCC, FIRE AID and Fire Industry Association coordinated a national response to support firefighters, emergency services and volunteers battling together on the frontline following the Russian invasion.

A team of 12 firefighters from WSFRS were among the biggest UK fire service convoy and delivered 22 vehicles, including four fire engines donated by WSFRS, and more than 5,000 items of vitally needed equipment.

Since then, a further two convoys of equipment have departed for Ukraine. Going forward Sabrina’s role as NFCC Lead will be instrumental in driving forward similar projects. 

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