New chief fire officer appointed for West Sussex

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been announced as the new chief fire officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been announced as the new chief fire officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

A new chief fire officer has been appointed for West Sussex.

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton joins the service with 18 years of fire service experience including senior roles in London Fire Brigade, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Welsh Government and most recently as interim deputy chief fire officer for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

She has helped shape national fire service policy and practice during her government secondments at Her Majesty Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) and at the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Throughout her career as a firefighter, Dr Cohen-Hatton has pursued further and higher education. She is a chartered psychologist and her pioneering research into critical decision-making has received national and international recognition.

Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sabrina to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. She comes with a breadth of experience, skills and knowledge to lead in delivering our top priority which is to keep our residents safe.

“I have no doubt that under her leadership we can go further to create a diverse and inclusive workforce and drive improvements to our fire service.”

Dr Cohen-Hatton said: “It is an honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to lead the fire and rescue service in West Sussex.

“Throughout my service, I have witnessed the human and economic impact of the emergencies we attend. We are privileged to be trusted to help when these events happen, and also trusted to prevent them from happening at all.

“I know the immense pride our staff have in this, and I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated men and women of the service, colleagues across the council and our partners to keep our residents safe.

“I would also like to thank the acting chief fire officer, Neil Stocker, who has done a great job leading the service through a very challenging period.”

An exact start date for Dr Cohen-Hatton is to be confirmed.

Last month inspectors delivered a highly critical report into the fire service, rating it as required improvement, but with two areas found to be inadequate.